|“||SPQR - Senatus Populusque Romanus||”|
–Written on every roman shield or public building
Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Western Europe, Africa
The Roman Empire was a civilization that emerged in the area now known as Italy, a country in southern Europe. Its first emperor was Augustus, the nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar became official dictator of the First Roman Republic after he ousted the other men in the First Triumvirate, escalating the Roman Civil War. The Roman Empire was formed by Emperor Augustus and the Second Triumvirate after the disastrous end of the war.
The city-state of Alba Longa was founded by Aeneas after fleeing Troy. Later, Romulus and Remus, sons of Mars, left Alba Longa to found their own great city. They were supposedly raised by the immortal goddess/she-wolf, Lupa, and then found by a shepherd. An argument broke out over where to build the city, Remus wanted to build the city on the Aventine Hill, and Romulus on the Palatine Hill. They waited on their hills for an omen from the gods, Romulus saw more birds and decided to build his city there. Remus, angered by this, mocked his brother's walls by leaping over them. Romulus killed his brother in a fit of rage and the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC.
After a period of seven kings, the last king of Rome, Tarquin, was overthrown in 509 BC, and the Roman Kingdom became the Roman Republic.
While the fall of the last king had established Rome as a republic, the senate was largely controlled by the patricians, or the rich upper class nobility. The plebeians the lower class, left Rome twice in protest against the patricians' unfair rule. The senate elected two senators, called consuls, to be the leaders of the Roman Republic for one year.
By 280 BC, Rome's borders had encompassed the whole of modern Italy, excluding Sicily and Sardinia. The emerging superpower soon found itself in conflict with the other Mediterranean superpower at the time, Carthage. Rome fought three wars with Carthage, winning all three, albeit at great cost. While the Republic had nearly doubled in size following the second war, its economy had been severely weakened by the conscription of farmers.
After the Punic Wars, the republic started to collapse. There were social and political crisis. The brothers Graco tried to remake the distribution of land but were killed by the patricians. The general Mário also tried to make changes but the following consul, Sila, destroyed all his work. This, combined with a corrupt senate, and generals controlling their own personal armies lead to the eventual fall of the Republic at the hands of the first and the second triumvirate.
First Emperor of RomeEdit
Augustus, the name Octavius took after he defeated Crasos and Mark Anthony in a second civil war. Mark Anthony was one of Ceasar's tenants and made a last stand at Alexandria, in Egypt, where he killed himself together with Cleopatra. Augustus (meaning Prince, the king of all or even Emperor in Latin) returned to Rome, the capital of the now weakened First Roman Republic, triumphant in 27 BC. There, he was welcomed by the citizens of Rome and the Roman senators and was honored by the senate when they appointed him first emperor of Rome. Once emperor, he established the Pax Romana (Roman Peace in Latin), a period of relative peace, although the wars continued on borders. He built great part of the road's network and courier system an established a police force and fire-fighters. He created the imperial system that all the others emperors would follow.
Rome the Capital of the EmpireEdit
Rome, located on seven hills near the Tiber River and now stretched to the suburbs from the original location, was originally the capital of the weak First Roman Republic. Once it became the capital of the Roman Empire, it prospered under Augustus's and other Emperors' rule. It's been said that during it's peak Rome reached the incredible mark of 2 million inhabitants.
About the modern Rome it was said:
- The Niobe of nations
- Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
- An empty urn within her wither`d hand
- Whose holy dust was scatter`d long ago;
- The Scipios`tomb contains no ashes now;
- The vey sepulchres lie tenantless
- Of their heroic dwellers: dost thou flow,
- Old Tiber! through a marble wildrness?
- Rise with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress
- -Lord Byron
It isn't very optimistic but it also reflects a past full of glory contradicting with a city that is today almost not remembered other than for its past.
The Expansion of Rome Edit
By 280 BC, Rome's borders had encompassed the whole of modern Italy, excluding Sicily and Sardinia. Charthage was taken by the senate together with Sapin and a part of northern Africa, Greece. During the Republic, Rome took Egypt and France and Jerusalem was taken by Pompeii. During the time of the empire, every emperor extended the boundaries of the empire until the boundaries had been stretched far, from Britain in the north, Spain in the west, North Africa to the south and to the Middle East to the east. Armenia, Dacia and Mesopotamia were dominated by Trajan and Britain by Claudius. These campaigns lasted until Adriano's rule pacified the empire and made no military advance. After him the peak of Roma had ended and the empire started to collapse.
Roman TacticsEditThe Roman Army was mostly infantry based and rarely was the cavalry the principal attacking force. Obviously it was very variable and changed due to the time, the enemy, the strategy, the general and also due to the terrain. They tended to stay together and there aren't many examples of a Roman army split in half, at least not that they wanted to do so. The variations below were the more "classical" ones. A variation of the first and the second formations were used in the famous and remarkable victory against Boudica in Britain.
The Roman Army was divided in legions. Every legion was composed of 10 Cohorts (being the first the most prestigious one, then the second and so on) that were each composed of 6 centurias of 80 men. Normally the commander of the first centuria commanded the entire Cohort. This totaled to be approximately 4800 that were under the command of a General (sometimes more than one Legion was commanded by one person). Almost every emperor was a general. They only commanded big campaigns or tough battles leaving the "normal" ones to their generals.
They had quite an efficient navy during all their history, which made it much easier to travel long distances and to transport goods or even orders throughout the empire. They didn't invest on their military navy as they did on ground troops but it indeed existed in a considerable number. The Mediterranean was sometimes said to be the Roman Lake or "Mare Nostrum", our sea in Latin. Also, they used their fleet to maintain the frontier with the Germanic tribes, always keeping boats traveling up and down the Renus and Danubius.
Octavian Augustus - First emperor and nephew of Julius Caesar. Octavian re-organized the political, judiciary and tax system that all the others emperors would follow. He established the "Panem Circenses", bread and circus in Latin, and the "Pax Romana" in order to "calm down" the empire.
Tiberius - One of Rome's greatest generals, he expanded the northern frontier of the Roman empire and conquered Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia and temporarily, Germania. Infamous for supposedly orchestrating the exile and death of Germanicus.
Nero - Is best know for "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" . Tried to enlarge Rome's culture and trade routes but his mental illness caused by his domineering mother didn't help at all.
Diocleciano - Created the Law of the Maximum, there were a price crisis, and the Tretraqui, 2 augustus and 2 ceasars ruled the empire.
Vespasian - Reunited the falling empire and ascended as a strong emperor after a time of great crisis. He also restarted the campaigns in Judaea.
Titus - Again one of the greatest generals ever recorded. He retook Jerusalem and was known for his generosity with the victims of Pompei and with the Roman citizens after its fire.
Trajan - Built the Trajan`s market, the biggest market the world had ever seen. Also one of the greatest generals ever. Conquered Dacia (a region north of Greece and east of the Danubius), Armenia, Parthia and then declared Mesopotamia as a province of the empire. The Roman Empire had never extended that much neither its eastern borders nor in area.
Hadrian - Built Hadrian's Wall, that crossed Britain from East to West and was 73 miles long. The world`s second largest wonder wall behind The Great Wall of China. He had no major military conflict but he built numerous buildings (including the Pantheon) and fortified Roman economy and territory.
Constantine - First Christian Emperor, founded Constantinople (former Byzantium) and stabilized Roman Economy. He fought with success the rebellions and barbarians that appeared (and there were a lot of them) and established religious tolerance.
Theodosius - Closed all pagan temples and officially prohibited paganism when made Christianity the official religion of the empire. Also divided the Roman Empire in the Eastern and Western Empire and was the last one to rule over the two halves of the Empire.
Justinian - (eastern empire) Built Hagia Sofia and started to dramatically expand the Eastern Empire to where once lay Rome and to the borders of he Atlantic, have taken Hispania, and even dominated most of Black Sea's coast. He also started the Cesaropapism (unifying both political and religious power), wrote the Corpus Juris Civilis (a legal code) and controlled the riot of Nika.
As the barbarians closed in on the Empire it was split into the Eastern and Western Empire (the Eastern Empire was by far, more rich). Later emperors would reunite the empire but their efforts proved to be in vain. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer on September 4th. Although the name 'Romulus Augustulus' recalled more than centuries of Roman glory, it could not save the empire from collapsing. After the Western Empire fell, the East lived on much longer as the Byzantine Empire, until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 led by Mehmed II.
Of course The Roman Empire never died and attempts to recreate it last until modern times. In 800 Charlemagne was crowned Emperor and founded the Holy Roman Empire that would after be Holy Roman-German Empire and that would last more a few hundred years. Soon after the fall of Constantinople, Moscow claimed to be the third Rome and the descendant of the Roman Empire. Another attempt was made by Mussolini during WWII when he declared that the new Italian empire in Europe would be 'the Second Roman Empire'.
Reasons for the Fall of the Western Roman EmpireEdit
The Roman Empire, before the division between the western and eastern empire, "fel" a few times to barbarians leaders but every time the Romans cleaned up and things came back to "normal". Nevertheless, the "last fall" of Rome happened in 476 AD when the last Roman emperor Romulus Augusulus lost his throne to a Germanic chieftain named Odoacer. This marked the fall of the Roman Empire. There were many reasons for its fall but the majority of them can fit into these three categories:
Military reasons: The Roman Empire was too big to be defend. Of course, it was attacked many times but when barbaric tribes felt Rome was weak they simply went to get it all. Serbian, Spanish, and especially Germanic tribes were invading the Eastern Roman Empire and the Romans didn't have enough soldiers and strength to defend the borders. The Romans recruited many soldiers from outside Italy into the army but their loyalty was dubious.
Economic reasons: There were many problems in Rome. Their production system based on slaver was collapsing since they didn't dominated other territories nor slaves. Many Romans had to pay huge taxes that hurt the economy and trade. Rome wasn't the largest city in the west and its importance to Europe's economy was falling. Other cities, mainly Constantinople, were becoming more attractive to make business and were becoming capitals of growing empires.
Political reasons: One of the main reasons for the fall of the Western Roman Empire is that Rome could not find a new leader to rule the empire. Emperors were overthrown before they could take full control of the Empire. Another reason for the Fall of the Western Roman Empire is that diseases killed many Romans and affected the population and Rome's morale.
All those factors led to the fall of the empire and it's considered today that none of them alone could have caused as much damage as they did together.
The Roman Empire is not mentioned, but it is said in The Lost Hero that Camp Jupiter demigods were led by Jason Grace to Mount Othrys to destroy the Titan war base while the Greek demigods were defending Manhattan and Mount Olympus from Kronos's second Titan Army in the Battle of Manhattan.
In the end demigods from the Greek Camp Half-Blood discover that there is really a Roman Camp that is presumed located near San Francisco in the United States of America. Just like the Olympian gods and Mount Olympus following the center of the power of Western Civilization, the Roman version of Camp Half-Blood called Camp Jupiter, founded when Western Civilization once stayed in Ancient Rome, has its own version of the Greek Deities.
- Main article: Camp Jupiter
The Roman Camp is a smaller version of the Roman Empire itself called New Rome , although it has the likeness of the Greek camp called Camp Halfblood and Camp Fish-Blood. However, like its patronages (the Roman gods and goddesses) and the Roman Empire, the camp itself takes great care in the training of Roman demigod in the militaristic motto of the Roman Empire.
Like the Roman Empire, the camp's training is of military, discipline, and loyalty. The camp's activities director, a she-wolf named Lupa (and the one who took care of the founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus), takes in the ideals of the Roman Empire. They also have an underground "city" called New Rome which could possibly be a roman version of Olympus.
Location in the United States of AmericaEdit
Camp Jupiter is the city of San Francisco, California, in the United States of America. In the first chapter of The Son of Neptune, Percy finds it under a hill, in a tunnel, after having fought Medusa's sisters, Stheno and Euryale. (In The Lost Hero, Jason asked Piper about the Caldecott Tunnel while the were riding the helicopter to Wolf House).
- Purple was the most expensive color in the Roman Empire, being considered the color of the powerful or rich due to the cost of the dyeing process. It`s also known for its horrible smell because of the snails that needed to be left in the sun to make the color.
- Julius Caesar was the second person added to the Pantheon, where statues of all gods were held, just after Romulus, who founded Rome.