Map of the Hydrography and Chorography of Ancient Rome
Map of the Hydrography and Chorography of Ancient Rome (larger version). "The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome," by Rodolfo Lanciani. 1900

Definition: Rome, now the capital city of Italy, located at 41° 54' N and 12° 29' E, was the capital of the Roman Empire until it was replaced by Mediolanum (Milan) under the tetrarchy Emperor Maximian, in 285. Then, at the beginning of the 5th century, Emperor Honorius moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire to Ravenna. With the founding of Constantinople, the center of the Empire moved eastward, but the city remained central to the Roman Empire, not only historically and culturally (if no longer politically), but as the home to the head of the western church, the Pope.

Rome, which signifies the Roman Empire as well as the capital city, started as a small hilly city on the Tiber River at a time in history when the units of power were cities (city-states) or empires. In legend, it was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus in 753 B.C., with Romulus giving his name to the city. Over time, Rome conquered all the territory of the peninsula, and then expanded beyond to northern Africa, Europe, and into Asia.

Also Known As: Roma

Examples: Citizens of Rome (Roma in Latin) were Romans, no matter where they lived in the Empire. During the Republic, people living in Italy who had been granted only second-rate "Latin rights", fought for Roman citizenship (to become cives Romani) during the 1st century B.C. Social War.

  • Europe's Kingdoms (From the Ashes of the Roman Empire)


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Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. "Rome." ThoughtCo, Feb. 19, 2016, Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. (2016, February 19). Rome. Retrieved from Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. "Rome." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 25, 2018).