When Edward Gibbon embarked on his great history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, he began his narrative with the accession of Commodus. Marcus Aurelius, the father of the new emperor, was a man who, in the noblest traditions of the Roman people, had combined the attributes of a warrior, a statesman, and a philosopher; Commodus was none of these.
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Rome celebrates its 2,772nd birthday on 21 April which this year coincides with Easter Sunday festivities.
Known as Natale di Roma, the annual birthday celebration is based on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.
Few Romans would have chosen young Julius Caesar (ca 100–44 B.C.) as the man most likely to succeed on a grand scale and dominate their world. But when he led his troops across the Rubicon River in defiance of the Roman Senate, he distinguished himself for the ages and set Rome on a path of transformation from republic to empire.
Caesar made the political prime time at around age 40 by forging the First Triumvirate with Pompey the Great, noted general and statesman, and Marcus Licinius Crassus, one of Rome’s richest men. In 59 B.C., Caesar was elected consul.
Myths were very important in the ancient world. The Roman myth of Romulus and Remus is one such example and many believe that it is based on real-life events. Now experts claim that they may have located the over 2,500-year-old ‘tomb’ of Romulus – the legendary founder and king of Rome. They theorize that this sarcophagus is located underground in the heart of the city. The tomb was a symbol of the founder of the city on the Tiber and will not contain any remains which would prove his historical existence.
Septimius Severus was born on 11 April 145 or 146 CE in Leptis Magna (present Libya) as Lucius Septimius Severus (Lucius Septimius Severus). It ruled from the year 193 to 211 CE. He won the civil war that broke out after the death of Commodus and stabilized the situation in the state. He started a new Severan dynasty.
Though Interamna Lirenas was in the area now known as “Italy,” it had been set up by Rome as a “Latin” colony in 312 B.C.E., Launaro explains: “As such, its inhabitants were not considered Roman citizens, but citizens of a formally independent community, bound to Rome by a treaty of close political and military alliance. Following the so-called Social War (‘war with the allies’, from 91 to 88 B.C.E., Interamna was granted the status of a Roman municipium and its inhabitants became Roman citizens.”
While still having a large degree of administrative autonomy, its inhabitants would have then been entitled to vote in Rome’s assemblies and even run for public office, he explains.