Rome (ˈroʊm; ˈroːma; ) is the capital of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the country's largest and most populated city and comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

, with over 2.7 million residents in 1285.3 square kilometre. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy
Regions of Italy
The regions of Italy are the first-level administrative divisions of the state, constituting its first NUTS administrative level. There are twenty regions, of which five are constitutionally given a broader amount of autonomy granted by special statutes....


Rome's history
History of Rome
The history of Rome spans 2,800 years of the existence of a city that grew from a small Italian village in the 9th century BC into the centre of a vast civilisation that dominated the Mediterranean region for centuries. Its political power was eventually replaced by that of peoples of mostly...

 spans two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom
Roman Kingdom
The Roman Kingdom was the period of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a monarchical form of government of the city of Rome and its territories....

, the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 and the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, which was the dominant power in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 and the lands bordering the Mediterranean for over seven hundred years from the 1st century BC until the 7th century AD.

753 BC   Romulus and Remus founded Rome (traditional date).

509 BC   The temple of Jupiter on Rome's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September.

64    Great fire of Rome: a fire begins to burn in the merchant area of Rome and soon burns completely out of control.

69    Otho seizes power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, but rules for only three months before committing suicide.

69    Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of emperor.

250    Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian is martyred.

275    In Rome, (after the assassination of Aurelian), the Senate proclaims Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

350    Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, proclaims himself Roman Emperor, entering Rome at the head of a group of gladiators.

350    Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, is defeated and killed by troops of the usurper Magnentius, in Rome).

455    Sack of Rome: The Vandals enter Rome, and plunder the city for two weeks

472    After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor '''Anthemius''' is captured in the Old St. Peter's Basilica and put to death.

536    Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city, returning the old capital to its empire.


The story of Romulus and Remus|Romulus and Remus being suckled by a wolf is not a meaningless fable. The founders of every State which has risen to eminence have drawn their nourishment and vigor from a similar wild source. It was because the children of the Empire were not suckled by the wolf that they were conquered and displaced by the children of the Northern forests who were.

Henry David Thoreau, in "Walking (Thoreau)|Walking" (1862)

The traveler who has contemplated the ruins of ancient Rome may conceive some imperfect idea of the sentiments which they must have inspired when they reared their heads in the splendor of unsullied beauty.

Edward Gibbon, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776)