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Roma
Please add updates or make corrections to the
NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

Roma, formerly queen of almost the whole earth.


Horace (L. iv. od. 3) calls her the prince of cities;
and according to Martial (L. xii. epig. 8) she is
terrarum dea gentiumque.
Rome, a city of Latium in Italy, situated on the
Tiber, founded by the Alban youth, under the
leadership of Romulus and Remus, the grandsons
of Numitor. At least the most generally received
opinion is that Rome was so called from Romulus,
who was first named Romus, according to the
authority of Servius. For when Romulus and
Remus intertook jointly the building of the city, the
latter wished that its name should be Remuria,
from his own name. Romulus, on the other hand,
preferred to have it named Roma. The auspices
were given in favour of Romulus; nevertheless, the
city was not styled Romula, lest such a dimunitive
of the name should derogate in any degree from
the majesty of the city.
Rome took for its sign the wolf suckling the twin
brothers, in recognition of the well known story.
When, indeeed, the power of the city became so
great that the decendants of its father began to be
ashamed of their origin, its history was adorned
with fables. Hence the sagacious Livy, in his
preface to his Libr. Histor., says: "Quae ante
conditam condendamce urbem, poeticis magis
decora fabulis, quam incorruptis rerum gestarum
monumentis traduntur, ea nec adfirmare, nec
refellere, in animo est." But although it is common
belief that Rome was built by Romulus, because he
founded a monarchy there, yet there are many
authors who assert that, before him, Evander,
from Arcadia, reigned over that part of the city,
afterwards called Mons Palatinus; nay, there are
others, especially the Greeks, who pretend that,
before the time of Romulus, there existed in the
same place a city named Rome, which had been
built by a certain noble lady, Greek or Trojan,
named Roma, who was with Eneas, it is not known
in what quality, whether slave or wife.
Leaving these, however, and other opinions which
have been advanced respecting the origin of
Rome, and which are founded only on conjectures
altogether arbitrary, we may regard it thus far
certain, that she sprang from the smallest
beginnings; that her first foundations were on the
Palatine mount; and that her boundries were then
from time to time enlarged round that spot to a
vast extent. For Pliny (L. iii. c. 6) writes that in the
reign of Vespasian, the circuit of the city was
13,000 paces. And Vopisens relates that the
emperor Aurelian increased the compass of its
walls to 30,000 paces. [So great and famous did
this city in the end become, as the capitol of the
most powerful and extensive empire ever known,
though it owed its origin to a troop of herdsman,
fugitive slaves, and robbers, conducted by a man
of ability and resolution].
If writers have varied in their sentiments on the
origin of Rome, they have equally differed with
regard to the year of its foundation. The most
general opinion assigns for that event the year
from the creation of the world 3231, viz., 753 BC,
the third year of the sixth Olympiad, 431 years
after the ruin of Troy, and during the reign of
Jothan, King of Judah.
Rome was called Septicollis, because she inclosed
within her mural boundries seven hills, viz.,
Palatinus, Quirinalis, Aventinus, Coelius,
Viminalius, Esquilinus, and Tarpeius, or
Capitolinus. Such was "the eternal city" under King
Romulus and his successors. And if, after the

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substitution of the consular for the monarchial


form of government, she gained in point of extent,
she was but a rude and unsightly mass of cabins
and cottages, until the period of her being burnt by
the Gauls. Subsequently to that event she
assumed abetter architactural character, having
been rebuilt in a more commodious and durable
manner. But it is stated by her historians, that
even so far down as the arrival of Pyrrhus in Italy,
the houses were covered with only shingle and
planks. Nor was it till the year 132 BC, that the
embellishments of Rome commenced, then
proceeding to that pitch of splendour to which
Augustus carried them. A splendour which Nero,
after playing himself the part of an incendiary with
the old city, still further improved upon in restoring
it from its ashes. This high a palmy state was
under Trajan not only maintained, but rendered
still more noble; and long after that great
emperor's time it exhibited almost undiminished
magnificence, in spite of the ravages of the Goths,
the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and other barbarians,
whose assaults were scarcely more ruinous than
the degeneracy of the people themselves. Rome
still contains relics which serve to indicate what
she must have been in the days of her imperial
power and grandeur.
Romanum imperium The Roman domination or territorial jurisdiction,
which began under kings (viz., Romulus and his six
successors, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostillius,
Ancus Martius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius,
and Tarquinius Superbus), whose united reigns
occupied a space of 243 years, did not extend
further than within 18 (Roman) miles each way
from the city.
But under consuls, amongst whom were
sometimes Dictators, etc, the advance of Roman
power, and the extent of Roman conquests, during
a period of 447 years, were in effect nearly as
follows: Italy captured as far as the Po; Africa and
Spain subdued; Gallia and Britannia rendered
tributary; the Illyrians, the Istrians, the Liburni,
the Dalmatians, vanquished; Achaia invaded; the
Macedonians overcome; war waged with the
Dardanians, the Moesians, and the Thracians; the
legionary eagle was panted on the banks of the
Danube. Having defeated Antiochus, the Romans
set foot for the first time in Asia; victories over
Mithradates, they take possession of the Kingdom
of Pontus, together with Armenia Minor, which that
monarch had hels; they march into Mesopotamia,
and enter into a treaty with the Parthians; they
fight against the Arabians; Judea is conquered;
Cilicia and Syria brought into subjection; at length
Egypt is reached by the victorious arms of Rome,
and her republic is no more.
Under the emperors, from Augustus to the times of
Theodosius and his sons, a period of 440 years:
the Cantabri, the Austures, and all Spain were
placed under the yoke; the Alps, Rhaetia, Noricum,
Pannonia, and Moesia were added to the empire;
the whole tract of the Danube was reduced to the
state of provinces; all Pontus and the Greater
Armenia, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Arabia, and Egypt
yielded obedience to the laws of Rome. And thus,
by the successive efforts of these "foremost men
of all the world," and by the valour and
perseverance of the Roman people, this most
august empire was elevated to the supremest
height of human glory. Having for her limits the
ocean on the west, the Rhine and the Danube on
the north, the Tigris on the east, and Mount Atlas
on the south.

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