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Chapter 20 – Rome from its origins to the end of the Republic

Chapter Summary

Roman history is divided into two main periods. After the initial settlement and a century of rule by Etruscan kings, the Romans organized themselves as a republic. The Roman Republic lasted for nearly 500 years, from 509 to 27 BC. After decades of civil war, Octavian, later called Augustus, brought peace to the Roman state, transforming it into a new unity, the empire. The Roman Empire would last until, conventionally, AD 476 in its western half, and until AD 1453 in its eastern, Byzantine half. This book will track Roman cities until the fourth century AD only, the end of pagan antiquity. This chapter traces Rome from its origins to the end of the Republic.



Study guide

  1. What geographical features attracted settlers to Rome?

  2. Describe the appearance of early Rome, ca. 753-509 BC.

  3. What were the civic institutions of the Roman Republic? What buildings, or spaces, served these institutions?

  4. Describe the typical Roman road, army camp, and colony. How did they serve to integrate the far-flung territories of the Republic and Empire?

  5. Describe the city plan of Cosa. Why do these remains illustrate well a small city of the Republic?

  6. What types of buildings are represented in the Roman Forum during the Republican period?


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