Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius locked forces on 28 October 312, on Milvian Bridge, a major trade route on Tiber. The inherent rivalry in Diocletian’s Tetrarchy caused the battle. Constantine defeated Maxentius and started on the path which led him to end Tetrarchy and emerge as the only Roman Emperor. Maxentius was drowned in Tiber. His body was later taken out of it and beheaded. Constantine converted to Christianity and started building Christian basilicas in Rome.
The Gothic uprising in the Balkans, eastern Roman Empire, led to the Gothic War between 376-382AD. The Battle of Adrianople is largely considered as a major turning point in Rome history. It was the first in a chain of events about to happen over the next century that will see the collapse of Western Roman Empire. But its ultimate contribution to the downfall of the empire is still debated among historians.
Romulus Augustus was the last emperor of Rome from 31 October 475 to 4 September 476. He was deposed by Flavius Odoacer, a soldier in the Roman army, who became the first King of Italy. It traditionally marked the end of Western Roman Empire. The deposition of Augustulus is noted as the fall of the ancient Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages in West Europe.
The event that caused much devastation to the life and property in Rome was the great fire that occurred in 64 AD. It was on July 18th when the commercial area in Rome suddenly went up in flames. It was a natural disaster that burned Rome for an entire week and caused a massive destruction. It was rumored that the Emperor Nero, a sadist, played his lyre while much of Rome burnt to ashes.
However, this was just a local legend that was never proved by historians. On the contrary, Nero behaved quite responsibly the first night of the great fire when he rushed to the streets to contain the fire.
The chapters in Roman history record many a memorable events. One such event was the construction of the Colosseum in 80 AD. The monument was a marvel of ancient engineering in Rome and was built by Emperor Vespasian. It was a colossal amphitheater that could seat 50,000 people that came to enjoy gladiator fights, animal fight, chariot races, boxing and public executions. The programs organized in the Colosseum were grand and lasted from morning till sunset.
Ancient Rome history would be incomplete without mentioning the crowing of Charlemagne, popularly known as Charles the Great, as the King of Roman Empire on 25 December 800. He was the King of the Franks, and along with the Pope, was given supreme power to rule Europe. He united a large part of Europe in the early Middle Ages and laid the foundations of present-day Germany, France, and the low countries.
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