18 Important Events in Ancient Rome History

7. Assassination of Julius Caesar

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A major event in ancient Rome history, Caesar was stabbed to death by some of his senators, led by Cassius Longinus and Junius Brutus on Ides of March i.e. 15 March 44BC. He had declared himself as the perpetual dictator. Several senators feared Caesar will become a tyrant and they will have no power. Unable to restore the Roman Republic, the conspirators, including Caesar’s long-time friend Brutus, assassinated him. It led to the Liberators civil war and finally the Principate period of Roman Empire.

8. Final War of Roman Republic

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It’s also known as Antony’s Civil War and was the last war of the republic. It was fought between Octavius Caesar and Egypt queen Cleopatra (supported by Mark Antony) from 32-30BC. When the senate declared war on Cleopatra, her beau and ally Antony, betrayed Rome and joined hands with the Egyptians. After Octavius Caesar’s decisive victory over the joint forces of Cleopatra and Antony in the Battle of Actium, the two took refuge in Alexandria. Octavius blockaded the city until the lovers committed suicide.

9. Founding of the Roman Empire

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This was perhaps the most pivotal point of ancient Rome history. Julius Caesar’s nephew Gaius Octavian Thurinus became the first Roman emperor and assumed the name Augustus Caesar. He ruled Rome from 31-14BC. It was followed by an era of Pax Romana i.e. a period of relative peace during his rule. There was no large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, except those for expansion and a year-long civil war for succession. Augustus annexed Egypt, Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and Noricum. He also expanded into Africa.

10. Ending of Pontifex Maximus

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It was the highest religious chair in ancient Rome history and was exclusively reserved for patricians until 254BC, when it was first occupied by a plebeian. It later became highly politicized. Augustus subsumed the chair to the imperial office. He took over control of appointing the pontiffs and deleted the words “pontifex maximus” from the title. Though it was the most influential office in Roman priesthood, the pontifex maximus came fifth in the overall ranking of high priests.

11. Reign of the five good emperors

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The imperial succession beginning with Nerva (96-98AD) and ending with Marcus Aurelius (161-180AD), marked the most majestic days of Roman Empire. It was ruled by Trajan (98-117AD), Hadrian (117-138AD), and Antonius Pius (138-161AD) in between. The period witnessed considerable expansion, from northern Britain to Mesopotamia. The empire was consolidated, the defenses perfected, and a tolerable uniform provincial system was put in place. The acquired states were reconstituted as provinces.

Also Read: 15 Weird Facts about Ancient Rome

12. Pantheon by Hadrian

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It’s one of the most iconic buildings of Rome history. First built by statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the Pantheon was entirely rebuilt by Emperor Hadrian, probably around 118-128AD. The circular concrete building with a brick frontage has a dome rising from the walls. The Corinthian columns in the front porch support a gabled roof. Beneath the porch are massive bronze doors about seven meters high, the earliest known examples of such type. It was the first temple in Rome history to be Christianized in 609AD.