Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew out of a small agricultural community founded on the Tiber river, on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea, it became one of the largest empires in the ancient world, adding peoples and cultures to its sphere of influence. In its centuries of existence, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy to a republic, and then to an empire. It came to dominate Western Europe and the Mediterranean region through conquest and assimilation. The Western Roman Empire went into decline and disappeared in the 5th century AD.Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire, including Hispania, Gaul, Britannia and Italy, broke up into independent kingdoms in the 5th century AD. The eastern part of the empire, governed from Constantinople survived this crisis, revived, and lived on for another millennium until 1453.
According to legend, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC by Romulus and Remus, who were the grandsons of the Latin King, Numitor of Alba Longa. The King was ejected from his throne by his cruel brother Amulius while Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth. Rhea Silvia was a Vestal Virgin who was raped by Mars, making the twins half-divine. The new king Amulius feared that Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so they had to be drowned. But she-wolf saved and raised them, and when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor. The twins brothers then founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over which one of them was to reign as the King of Rome.
According to archaeological evidence, the city of Rome was probably founded sometime in the 10th century BC, by members of the Latin and Sabine tribes, on the Tiber river, on the top of the Palatine Hill. The Latin and Sabine were indoeuropean peoples that had made their way into Italy around 1800 BC. A different tribe, the Etruscans, established political control in the region by the late 7th century BC, forming the aristocratic and monarchial elite. But in the late 6th century BC, the Latin revolted against the Etruscans who lost power in the area, and at this point, the original Latin and Sabine tribes reinvented their government by creating a republic.