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Facts about Ancient Rome For Kids

  • Did you know that Medieval scholars thought the Romans had been in Britain before the invasion of Caesar, and they gave them the name “Britons”?
  • The city of Rome is the capital of Italy today. It sits on the same site as the city of ancient Rome. If you were to visit Rome, you could see many original ancient buildings, such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
  • The Circus Maximus, a huge stadium built for chariot races, could seat around 150,000 people.
  • The fall of Western Rome is considered the start of the “Dark Ages” in Europe. The highest position in the Roman Republic was the consul.
  • The native language of the Romans was Latin, but they often spoke Greek as well.
  • When Julius Caesar took power he named himself dictator for life.
  • The Roman empire ruled most of Europe and Western Asia from 27 BC to 395 AD. It was founded by Augustus when he became emperor in 27 BC.
  • Rome is the only permanently occupied city so far to grow beyond its walls over 2000 years ago. Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus who was abandoned as a baby. The capital of the empire moved to Constantinople, modern Istanbul, in 324 A.D., leaving Rome to become the city of the papacy and the seat of western Christianity.
  • Ancient Rome was ruled by two emperors at once until Augustus became sole emperor after Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC. The tradition continued until the death of Emperor Diocletian in 395 AD, even though there were still different people to be rulers for different regions or smaller areas.
  • There were two consuls at the same time to make sure that one didn’t become too powerful.
  • The Pope has his own country called Vatican City, located within Rome, Italy. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. It was started in 1929 by Pope Pius XI when he wanted to separate the Church from the government.
  • The ancient city of Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus, its first king. Romulus decided upon Palatine Hill, which was situated on eight hills, as the location for his new city.
  • The Romans were great engineers and built aqueducts that carried water into the city to provide citizens with freshwater, even though it had no rivers or streams. The current location of Rome would be inhospitable without these engineering marvels. The aqueducts were just part of their great accomplishments in water management. They also built sewers to remove waste from the city and solid waste was used as fertilizer for crops.
  • Romans designated a day as dies fasti, or a “festival day” which meant citizens could not be arraigned in court on those days. The original reason for this designation was to provide a day of rest from work for people who otherwise would have been working every day of the week.
  • The city of Rome was divided into 14 regions called regions or “wards”. Each region contained several precincts and each precinct contained several vici, or neighborhoods.