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Nowadays we know Rome as being the capital city of the European country, Italy, but before Italy existed, Rome was the centre of the mighty Roman Empire.
In Roman mythology Rome was created in 753 BC when the two twin sons of the war god Mars and the Princess Rhea Silvia, Romulus and Remus, were thrown into the River Tiber by their evil uncle Amulius who had stolen the crown of Alba Longa from his father.
The boys were saved by the river that carried them to safety, a she-wolf that found them and cared for them, and a woodpecker who fed them! They were then found and raised by a shepherd.
When they discovered who they really were, the twins killed their evil uncle and put their grandfather back on the throne of Alba Longa. Deciding that they wanted to be kings too they founded their own city. Unfortunately they argued as to where it should be and Romulus killed his brother, naming the city after himself – Rome.
Romulus had lots of followers by then and decided Rome should have a SENATE (or parliament) of men to help him rule. He also knew that he needed a strong army which he divided into different LEGIONS.
But unfortunately the whole population were men! And so the Roman men kidnapped the Sabine women creating the original Roman people.
Romulus and his descendants ruled Rome as Kings until 509 BC.
In 509 the monarchy was overthrown by the people and replaced by two elected Praetors (meaning 'leaders'). This name was then changed to Consul (from the Latin 'to take counsel'). The Consuls would rule the Republic together for a period of one year, after which time they would be given the Governorship of a province, again for one year.
However, in 27 BC, Julius Caesar declared himself EMPEROR and started a dictatorship. This was the beginning of the official Roman Empire.
Anyone else been saved by a Woodpecker...?