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Birth of the Roman Empire: A Brief History

Written By Monika Soni
Last updated: February 20, 2024

When we think about the colossal achievements and the vast history that has shaped our world, few tales are as compelling as the epic saga that surrounds the Birth of the Roman Empire.

It’s a story that has captured imaginations for centuries, filled with myth, legend, and monumental moments. But when did this powerful civilization actually begin? Curiosity about ancient Rome’s roots tugs at our minds, beckoning us to explore its enigmatic origins.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was its storied past. The tale of how it came to be is wrapped in layers of legend and historical truths. It’s said that Rome was founded by two brothers nursed by a she-wolf, an image deeply etched into our collective memory.

Amidst these images of mythic beginnings lies an intriguing puzzle, when exactly was this iconic city brought into being?

Discovering the Birth of The Roman Empire

We often gaze back into the depths of history, curious about the origins of great civilizations. Our journey to understand how empires rose from simple beginnings leads us to one monumental tale, the origin of Ancient Rome.

Discovering the Birth of The Roman Empire

The Birth of the Roman Empire is more than just a story; it’s a pivotal moment etched in time, with riddles spanning centuries and whispers of legendary founders.

Join us as we embark on a quest to unravel this ancient mystery, exploring evidence and theories that piece together the early chapter of a city that would come to shape our world.

First Settlers and the Foundation of Rome

When we dig into history to uncover our past, the Birth of the Roman Empire stands out as a tale wrapped in both facts and myths.

Our search takes us back thousands of years, where evidence and old stories tell us about when Rome was first settled.

It’s like putting together a huge puzzle. Each piece is an important part of history. We look at clues from long ago that help us understand how this great city began.

  • Early Gatherings: Some very old signs point to groups of people living on the hills where Rome would later stand. These folks were likely farmers and shepherds, tending their flocks and growing crops.
  • The Villages: Experts believe these early settlers formed small villages around 1000 BCE – that’s more than 3,000 years ago! Imagine little huts made from sticks and mud scattered across the hills.
  • Layers Below: As we peel back layers under today’s Rome, we find bits of pottery and old walls buried deep down. This helps us guess how old those early villages might be.

Finding out when exactly Rome was founded is tough because there weren’t many written records back then. But some think these signs show that it could have been as early as the 8th or 9th century BCE.

We come across different ideas about Rome’s actual “birthday.” While some say it could be around 753 BCE, others suggest different dates based on what they discover in those ancient layers beneath modern Rome.

Also Read: How Long Did The Roman Empire Last? A Detailed Timeline

The Legend of Romulus and Remus – The Birth of The Roman Empire

When we look back at the pages of history, we find tales that are more than just accounts of the past – they are epic stories. One such legendary story whispers to us across time about the Birth of the Roman Empire.

The Legend of Romulus and Remus - The Birth of The Roman Empire

It’s a tale deeply etched in the annals of Western civilization, narrating the dramatic beginnings of ancient Rome itself. The main characters in this journey to the past? Two twin brothers – Romulus and Remus, whose lives were marked by destiny from their very births.

Joined by blood but divided by ambition, their story sets a powerful scene for how Rome – a name that would echo through millennia – came into existence. Come with us as we trace these hazy lines between myth and reality to uncover when Rome was founded and reimagine how it all began.

Tracing Back To 753 BCE

Legends tell us a story about the start of Rome, the mighty city. Our journey through time takes us back to 753 BCE. It was then, according to myths, that two brothers named Romulus and Remus made history.

These twins had a tough start in life. They were said to be sons of Mars, the god of war, and a priestess named Rhea Silvia.

Their tale is one that shows us just how Rome began:

  • Abandoned at birth: Left by the river Tiber as babies, the two boys faced grim odds.
  • Saved by an animal: A she-wolf found them and instead of harming them, she took care of them.
  • Grew strong and smart: Over time they became strong young men with sharp minds.
  • Found a city: They wanted to make a place of their own and decided where wolves had helped them seemed perfect.

So it was there that they started building what would become Rome. We find these stories wrapped in mystery but full of wonder.

Fighting for Leadership

Now once this city was rising up from its muddy roots, both brothers wanted to be leaders. But who would get to lead? This question soon turned into a quarrel between Romulus and Remus.

Here’s how they fought for control:

  • Who is stronger?: They started testing their strength against each other’s.
  • Sign from above: They looked for signs from the gods to see who should lead.

Romulus saw more birds flying overhead which he thought meant he should be king, but his brother disagreed.

The fight grew until:

  • One tragic end: In anger or perhaps by accident during one heated argument, Romulus struck down Remus.

And so it ended with only one brother left standing: Romulus became ruler on Palatine Hill. With flourishing creativity born out of his brother’s death, he shaped Rome in its beginning stages – marking what we consider now as the “Birth of the Roman Empire“.

These ancient tales tell us as much about people back then as it does about how great cities come into being – often with drama within their very foundations!

Also Read: Pax Romana: Exploring the Era of Peace

Virgil’s Account – Aeneas as Progenitor

In unraveling the rich tapestry of Rome’s past, we often look back to the stories that were woven by those from days gone by. Among these narratives lies the legend narrated by none other than Virgil, an ancient poet whose words echo through time.

Birth of the Roman Empire

His tales serve as a cornerstone for understanding the Birth of the Roman Empire, bringing us face-to-face with a character of heroic stature, Aeneas. Aeneas is not just another figure lost to history; he is seen as a progenitor, setting in motion a chain of events that would eventually lead to the founding of one of history’s greatest empires.

Now, let us embark on this journey through time and explore how Aeneas contributed to originating what would become Rome’s most influential dynasty, eventually giving rise to its legendary founders: Romulus and Remus.

Aeneas – Originating a Royal Bloodline

When we talk about the Birth of the Roman Empire, one famous tale stands out. It’s about a hero named Aeneas. According to Virgil, a very well-known ancient poet, Aeneas played a huge part in starting what would become Rome’s royal family line. This was the same family that led up to two important twins named Romulus and Remus.

Now, let us dive in deep:

  • Who Was Aeneas?
    Aeneas was this brave man from tales of old times. He comes from the city of Troy, yes, that city is known for the big wooden horse trick. In stories told by Virgil, he had to leave Troy because it was destroyed in a big war.
  • The Journey Begins:
    It wasn’t easy at all for Aeneas after leaving his home behind. He traveled far across lands and seas with his people and faced many challenges.
  • A Dream for New Land:
    They say the gods themselves guided him with dreams and signs because they wanted him to find a special place where his descendants would make something grand, what we today call Rome!
  • Establishing Foundations:
    Finally, after lots of wandering about, Aeneas and his followers reached a land that gave them hope. This place later became very important, it was where Rome started!
  • Linking with Local Kings:
    We hear that once settling down there, Aeneas tied bonds with local powers by marrying a princess, this way he made sure his people were mixed nicely with folks already living there.
  • From Father to Twins:
    The story goes on that generations passed from when Aeneas settled down until Romulus and Remus came along—the twin boys who are said to have founded Rome itself!

So you see, according to tales spun long ago by poets like Virgil, without heroic figures like Aenea’, we might not have had Rome or any story about how it started—with those scrappy twins raised by a she-wolf who later fought over who got to rule their new city.

Also Read: Vulcan Mythology: The Roman God of Fire and Volcanoes

Archaeological Evidence for Rome’s Founding

When we think about the majestic city of Rome, with its rich history and ancient ruins, it’s like stepping back into a grand past that has shaped much of our world today. But have you ever wondered how we really know when Rome was founded? We weren’t around back then to mark the calendar.

Archaeological Evidence for Rome's Founding

So how do we uncover the true date that marks the birth of this monumental city? It’s through carefully digging into Earth’s layers and discovering what lies buried that we find tangible proof. This is where archaeology comes in, unearthing clues from long ago to piece together our past.

Below, let us explore intriguing discoveries unearthed by archaeologists that suggest an 8th-century origin for the Eternal City, framing a timeline not just through tales, but backed by physical evidence, setting a foundation for understanding the real story behind the Birth of The Roman Empire.

Archaeological Finds Suggesting an 8th-Century Origin

Our search through time points us back to around the 8th century BCE for the birth of Rome. This does not mean a big city stood there right away. It started small – maybe just huts and simple farms at first.

Let’s talk about what archaeologists – those are like detectives for old things in the ground – have found:

  • Pieces of pottery: These are often from jars or cooking pots. Because they last a long time under the ground, they tell us people lived there long ago.
  • Remains of huts: Sometimes, there might be marks or bits of wood from where small houses were built.
  • Ancient graves: Where we find these, we know people lived nearby because they would bury their loved ones close to home.
  • Signs of farming: Like seeds or tools used in gardens many years ago.
  • Traces of fireplaces: People needed fire for warmth and cooking, so finding these is a good sign that life was happening here.

Every broken piece or tiny bit from old times adds up like pages in a book telling us about how early Rome was.

Experts think around 753 BCE could be when it all began because that’s where many signs come together pointing at life starting on what became known as Rome’s famous hills.

This does not just add up out of nowhere; lots of smart folks have studied and guessed and checked their guesses again and again before saying “Yes, this looks right.”

What do these findings mean? They show that way back then – over two thousand seven hundred years ago! – there were already people making their lives here. Their hands shaped the jars whose pieces we find today.

Also Read: Civil War Generals: 6 Controversial Leaders Explored

From Humble Beginnings – How Rome Expanded from a Village into an Empire

In the pages of history, there are tales that tell about small places that grew into great powers, and among these, Rome stands out tall and proud. Imagine a little village, just a bunch of huts really, where folks are living simply, without any hint that they’re standing on the future site of an empire.

How Rome Expanded from a Village into an Empire

This is exactly where our story starts – with a small settlement that wasn’t much different from any of the other villages dotting the ancient landscape.

Yet, it’s this very spot that sowed the seeds for one of history’s most incredible grow-ups: from a humble village to a mighty empire ruling vast stretches of land beneath its wings. Let’s dive into how this tiny civilization had such a massive growth spurt and transformed itself into an empire whose name – Rome – still rings through time.

Growth Spurt of The Civilisation

When we think about the history of Rome, it’s like one of those stories where someone starts with nothing and becomes a huge deal.

Rome began as just a tiny place no fancier than any other little village around it. But then, something amazing happened – it grew super fast and, before anyone knew it, Rome was in charge of not just the neighborhood but a big part of the world.

Here’s how that story goes:

  • First Steps: In its early days, Rome was small – think about how your local village or town might look. This was way back, hundreds and hundreds of years now.
  • A Bunch of Huts: Back then, people lived in simple huts made out of mud bricks. No fancy buildings or big palaces yet!
  • Key Location: We should give credit to where they set up shop: right in the middle of Italy with easy access to rivers and lands that were great for farming.
  • Friendly Neighbors? Not Really!: Now, just because you have nice things doesn’t mean others won’t want them to. There were lots of fights with neighbors who probably liked what the Romans had.
  • Getting Organized: Over time, these early Romans got their act together. They built better houses and came up with some smart rules so everyone could get along – well, sorta get along.
  • Trading Around: These folks weren’t just sitting tight; they started trading stuff with people nearby. Trading is when you swap things you have for stuff you don’t have but want or need.
  • Safety First: To keep all their new cool stuff and themselves from being taken by others who might try to take them away – they built big walls around their town.

As years went by:

  1. 1. New folks moved into town bringing fresh ideas.
  2. 2. The village got bigger as more babies were born and families grew larger.
  3. 3. Farmers figured out better ways to grow food so there would be enough for everyone.
  4. 4. Then someone had this brilliant idea about soldiers—why not gather tough guys together to 5. protect our place?
  5. 5. These soldier teams turned out to be super useful; they could even go grab new lands for more space if needed.

Before long:

  • The architecture got a makeover too; those once simple mud homes became grand stone buildings that screamed power and success.
  • Roads shot out like spider webs connecting Rome to far-off places making travel easier whether for business or battalions marching off somewhere.

Life in the once-rural village was all changed up:

  • More people meant needing proper systems to manage things like water supply (everyone needs clean water) and trash disposal (nobody likes litter).
  • Shops popped up everywhere – blacksmiths forging swords maybe even places selling togas (because who doesn’t love togas?)

And then boom – an empire happened! From Spain in the west across to Turkey in the east – heck there wasn’t much left that these Romans didn’t get their hands on eventually.

So yeah that’s pretty much how Rome went from being a humble spot on the map full of huts to running one big empire show!

Also Read: Punic Wars Decoded: Rome’s Masterful Defeat of Carthage


Why is 753 BC considered the year zero in Roman history?

753 BC is seen as the “year zero” for Romans because it marks the traditional date for the foundation of Rome by Romulus. It’s the starting point from which they measured their city’s age.

Who were some famous rulers during the early years after the Birth of the Roman empire?

Famous early rulers include names like Augustus, who was Rome’s first emperor, and Julius Caesar, whose actions and assassination played a pivotal role in Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire.

Why is birth year establishment vital in understanding Ancient styled civilizations?

Knowing a civilization’s founding year helps us understand its timeline and development. It also provides context for interpreting historical events, cultural evolution, and interactions with other societies.


After delving into the past, we’ve seen how Rome’s story is a complex tapestry of myth, legend, and historical evidence. From the ancient tales of Romulus and Remus to the hard facts unearthed by archaeologists, our journey through time has unveiled an epic narrative where fact intertwines with fiction.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and certainly, the story of its birth is just as enduring as the city itself. The founding date of this great civilization remains a fascinating puzzle that captures our imagination as much today as it did in times long gone.

Charles Eames

Monika Soni is a passionate writer and history enthusiast who joined the FindingDulcinea team in July 2023. With a deep love for both ancient and political history, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, weaving together narratives that captivate and educate her readers. Monika holds a B.Sc. degree from the esteemed Govt. College of Girls, Panchkula. When she's not diving deep into historical research, Monika enjoys exploring local museums and historical sites. Her commitment to bringing history to life makes her a valuable asset to the FindingDulcinea community.

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