The city of Rome, to put it bluntly, is incredibly old. It is recognised by many as 'the eternal city', a place which has existed for as long as we can remember. A hub of culture and power, from the time of the Roman Empire, to the modern world, the city is home to the leader of the Catholic faith - the importance of Rome cannot be ignored. Historians have now estimated that Rome was built in the year 625 BCE, making it almost 2650 years old. However, the presence of neolithic tools found make it likely that humans have inhabited the area of Rome for at least six thousand years. Who could have guessed that the sight of a small pre-civilisation could have turned into the home of one of the most powerful and recognised world powers throughout history; The Roman Empire.
The legened of the birth of Rome is as follows; Twins Romulus and Remus (who, in some versions of the legend, are the sons of the God Mars), were abandoned at birth, and raised by a she-wolf. As adults, they decided to build a city to call home, and when it was built, argued about who it should be named for. In Biblical fashion, Romulus killed his brother, and decided to name the city 'Rome', after himself. Around 500 BC, Rome managed to conquer the other Latin cities, establishing itself as the centre of command, which it still is today. The ambitions of Emperors grew, capturing such territories as Gaul (modern day France). Evidence of the pride of the Roman rulers does not just come from their military decisions, but also their more recreational choices. In the first century, Emperor Flavius decided to build one of the most recognised monuments around the world; The Colloseum. A gigantic arena for games to entertain the Roman people, with activities such as exotic animals doing battle with one another, or battling gladiatiors. The stadium also housed water fountains, food stalls and toilets - all the facilities our own 'colloseums' have today. This building may not solely be remembered due to the fact that it's still standing, but also for what it represents. Human beings, who lived hundreds of years ago, were no different to us.
The signifcant rise of Christianity and Catholicism can be seen as the history of Rome throughout the second century, and is not marked by its rulers, but rather by its Popes. When Christianity first began, the Roman people thought of it as a Jewish sect, and, like with other religions, it was acceptable to worship, as long as you recognised the Roman Gods as your primary Gods. When individuals began to practice Christianity in public, however, was when trouble began. Despite the threats, and, in some cases, the murders of Christians, the religion still grew. This tension was luckily diffused by Emperor Constantine, also know as Saint Constantine, who became a Christian. Less than ten years into his reign, Constantine, who was then a worshipper of the Roman Gods, passed a law which stated that no religion would be actively persecuted by the state. Some say that Constantine had always followed the Christian footsteps of his mother, St. Helena, but there is a story which states otherwise. It is said that Constantine developed a painful, incurable disease, and was sure he would die. However, a dream instructed him to be baptised in one of the first Catholic fonts of the city, stating that he would be cured. Constantine followed the instructions, and his disease was gone! Immediately converting to Christianity, the Emperor swore to worship that God, and no other.
So, Rome, one of the world's oldest cities, is also the birthplace of two of the most powerful legacies the world has ever seen; The Roman Empire, and The Catholic faith. Due to the influence of other Western cities today such as London or New York, etc, some may find it hard to accept that this little city was the centre of humankind's progression. Yet if you take a closer look at the numerous churches, imposing cathedrals, and vast Roman sites which litter the place, it is much easier to accept that notion. Who knows, maybe one day Rome will rise again, once more surprising the world with its astounding dominance.