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Rome's history spans over two and a half thousand years.

It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe and the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea for over seven hundred years from the 1st century BC until the 7th century AD. 411; by the Vandals, 455 ; by the Heruli, 476; by the Goths, 547.

This was a monarchy system which was headed by an emperor holding power for life, rather than making himself dictator like Julius Caesar had done, which had resulted in his assassination on 15 March, 44 BC.

At home, Emperor Augustus started off a great programme of social, political and economic reform and grand-scale reconstruction of the city of Rome.

The city became dotted with impressive and magnificent new buildings, palaces, fora and basilicae.

Augustus became a great and enlightened patron of the arts, and his court was attended by such poets as Virgil, Horace and Propertius.

His rule also established the Pax Romana, a long period of relative peace which lasted approximately 200 years. 137.) This remark is more particularly applicable to the forum, which is covered with rubbish to a great depth; a circumstance which detracts much from the apparent height of the Capitoline; whose sides, too, must formerly have been much more abrupt and precipitous than they now are.

Following his rule were emperors such as Caligula, Nero, Trajan, and Hadrian, to name a few. 93 In ancient times, however, the hills must have appeared considerably higher than they do at present, as the valleys are now raised in many places from 15 to 20 feet above their former level, and in some parts much more. The much superior height of the Janiculum to that of any of the hills on the W. Hence it enjoyed a noble prospect over the whole extent of the city and the Camtpagna beyond, to the mountains which bound the eastern horizon.

Roman emperor Nero was well-known for his extravagance, cruelty, tyranny, and the myth that he was the emperor who "fiddled while Rome burned" during the night of 18 to 19 July 64 AD. Lorenzo 160 Quirinal, Palazzo Quirinale 148 Pincian, floor of S. The view has been celebrated by Martial (4.64), and may be still enjoyed either from the terrace in front of S.

The Antonine Plague of 165180 is believed to have killed as much as one-third of the population. Pietro in Montorio, or from the spot where the Fontana Paolina now pours its abundant waters :-- Hinc septem dominos videre montes Et totam licet aestimare Romam, Albanos quoque Tusculosque colles Et quodcunque jacet sub urbe frigus. The climate of Rome appears to have been much, colder in ancient times than it is. [2.722] Dionysius (12.8) records a winter in which the snow lay more than 7 feet deep at Rome, when houses were destroyed and men and cattle perished. That such instances were rare, however, appears from the minuteness with which they are recorded.

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