How Long Did It Take to Build Rome?
You might think about calculating the finite number of different Romes and coming up with a sizable figure. Rome can also be seen as a city that has been developing ever since it was discovered on April 21, 753 BCE. These numbers lead us to the conclusion that Rome was built in roughly 1,010,450 days.
Building a city does not happen overnight. Construction projects of this scale took centuries to complete. Many of Rome’s walls were built to protect the city from the Picts. Other massive building projects took place in other cities that Rome conquered. While the overall timeline for Rome is unknown, many factors can influence this answer. To learn more, read our article about some of the significant structures built during this time.
Roman Empire split into warring factions.
After Caesar’s assassination, Octavian took control of the army and funds of Rome. He also began to clash with Antony’s political rivals. Ultimately, the two sides ended up in an uneasy coalition. The battle of Philippi in 42BC was a turning point in Roman history. Octavian seized the initiative, putting the Roman Empire on the brink of war.
The second civil war began in 82 BCE when Sulla’s army seized control of Rome. Afterward, his enemies fled to Greece and raised their armies. Again, the Roman political elite was split, and Julius Caesar, the former emperor, emerged victorious. Finally, however, a third civil war broke out in Rome after his senators assassinated him.
The Roman Empire also suffered from severe community tensions. Like the Greek city-states, the Roman community was riven by conflict and discord. The ruling Patricians, a small elite of powerful families, were reviled by the poor Plebeians. As a result, the Patricians interpreted customs and rules for their benefit and acted harshly toward the Plebeians. The result was a period of civil war and resentment.
The wars between the two sides were a bloody chapter in the history of the Roman Empire. While the Romans could not defeat the Germans, they repelled them in North Italy, where Hannibal’s army had been stationed. Once he arrived in Italy, he recalled Hannibal from his homeland to lead the defense of Carthage. Despite this setback, the Romans eventually dominated all of the Mediterranean Sea by the 2nd century BCE.
After the battle of Tusculum, the Romans attempted to settle the tensions between the two sides. After defeating the Campanians in a war, the Romans attempted a similar peace formula with Tusculum. During this time, the Senate granted citizenship to Italians living south of the Po. Despite the wars between the two sides, many cities voluntarily threw away their arms. Only a few hill tribes survived the war.
As the Roman Empire grew, the emperors began experimenting with various arrangements. Augustus’ formula centered around control of the provinces, which included the empire’s army. More civilized provinces were run by the Senate, which appointed governors and collected taxes. The emperor retained control of the military and the Senate but could still not overthrow rivals.
The Romans adopted various military tactics during conquering Western Europe, Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa. These conquests forced significant changes to Rome’s military, including reforms to how soldiers were organized. Before Marius, military service was only available to those with property, but in 107 BC, he expanded the army’s eligibility criteria to include landless peasants. Marius also expanded the length of military service and reorganized the Roman fighting formations into ten larger ones.
Colosseum was a giant stadium for athletic contests with gladiator enslaved people.
The Colosseum was a Roman arena that was used for athletic contests. Gladiator fights pitted armed combatants against one another. Though these fights were often drawn out, only about one in eight ended with a slain combatant. Gladiators were a symbol of Rome and were depicted on various artifacts.
The Colosseum’s elliptical shape is the most well-preserved aspect of its design. The structure is built around a central arena, surrounded by three superimposed arcades with Greek columns ascending from Doric to Ionic to Corinthian at the top. The topmost level was the “attic,” used to entertain and absorb blood.
There were multiple contests throughout the day, and spectators flooded 80 different entrance arches to watch the spectacle. At the start of the games, a procession of gladiators made their way through the arena, and the gladiators emerged as the main attraction. The gladiator games were organized a few times a year and were sponsored by wealthy patricians or high-ranking provincial magistrates.
When the fight was over, the gladiator was awarded a prize. They received cash prizes, palm fronds, and a laurel crown for winning. If the gladiator was particularly good at the arena, they could also be granted freedom and win a wooden sword known as a rudis.
The Colosseum was a massive stadium in ancient Rome. Gladiator games were staged to be blockbuster entertainment. The morning events involved staged hunts, animal tricks, and warm-up acts, while midday events featured comic performances, dwarves, and criminal executions. The afternoon games featured gladiator duels and were held on days when the crowds were more significant.
As with all gladiator activities, the Colosseum was a business for gladiators. While gladiators were trained to kill rather than wound, they were generally treated with utmost dishonor, living and working together in the collegia unions. In some cases, their fallen comrades were even buried and looked after by the college.
Fortuna temple was a trading station.
The ancient Greek and Roman cultures had a thriving market, and they believed that the goddess Fortuna, who protected the city, would grant good luck and prosperity. The temple was built around a harbor, and its location was important in fostering mutual trust between locals and traders. Ancient authors praised the temple’s craftsmanship, with its gilded roof tiles, gold-plated doors, and pedimental relief sculpture.
The Fortuna primigenia sanctuary was an ancient Roman extra-urban religious complex founded by Publius Sempronius Tuditanus in 204 BC. It was dedicated to the goddess Fortuna or the Fortune of the First Born. Its architectural design was attributed to the work of Palladio. Although the construction date is uncertain, numerous archaeological finds suggest that the Fortuna temple was built around 110 BC.
The early Romans strongly influenced the city’s environment, and the Fortuna temple is one of the oldest known temples from that time. The temple excavation was difficult because the structure was under the water table. The temple was near the Sant’Omobono church on Capitoline Hill, and the Tiber River flowed nearby. The Tiber River was a natural harbor for merchant ships in the ancient Roman world.
The earliest phase of the Fortuna temple included elements in the terracotta, including the acroteria at the roofline and a giant red statue of Jupiter inside the temple. This terracotta statue of Jupiter, which was sculpted by the famed archaic sculptor Vulca of Veii, also served as the basis for painting the faces of Roman generals during their official triumphs.
Ancient Romans used to trade as an essential part of their lives. Their single currency made trade easy and free from complicated customs dues. In peacetime, trade flourished throughout the Roman Empire. However, the crumbling of the Roman Empire disrupted the city’s trade, and the Mediterranean Sea became a dangerous place for merchants. Piracy even spread northward into the English Channel.
The excavation of the Sant’Omobono site has revealed hundreds of artifacts. They date the temple to the late seventh or early sixth centuries B.C. The excavation was only open for three days before the trench was backfilled. Its discovery will have long-lasting effects on the study of the eternal city. It has been called one of the most important discoveries made in the city’s history.