Ancient Rome was the largest and most powerful empire in the ancient world. It had a profound impact on the development of Western civilization. The Romans ruled their empire for over 700 years until it finally collapsed in AD 476 after centuries of decline.
The Roman Empire began with the founding of Rome by Romulus, its first king, in 753 BC. By AD 117, the Roman Empire included all of Italy and much of Europe, including England, Wales and parts of Scotland.
Rome was built on seven hills, each one representing one of the seven kings who ruled after Romulus died. The hills are still there today – eight if you count the Vatican hill (which is now in Rome but which originally belonged to an independent city called Rome).
Rome was an important center for trade between many different peoples from around the Mediterranean region. The Romans were great engineers who helped build roads for their armies to travel on easily and bridges to cross rivers safely. They built great public baths where people could meet and relax together after work or exercise. The Romans also had a system of law courts where people could bring cases against one another if they had been treated unfairly or unjustly by others.
They had a very good army which helped them conquer new lands quickly. The Roman army could march up to 40km (25 miles) a day!