Rome, the capital of the modern kingdom of Italy, stands on the Tiber, about 15 miles from its mouth (from 35 to 44 hours' journey from Paris by rail). Roman legend ascribed its foundation to Romulus in 753 B.C.; but recent explorations have proved that the site was inhabited in the neolithic and early bronze period. In the time of the kings (753-510 B.C.) the city occupied seven hills (Palatine, Capitoline, Aventine, CAelian, Esquiline, Quirinal, and Viminal), whose summits rise from 80 to 120 feet above the river and the intervening valleys. The settlement on the Palatine attributed to Romulus was certainly fortified at a very early period. In the time of the later or Etruscan kings at least five of the settlements on the seven hills had been surrounded by separate defences. These fortified hills, with the marshy hollows between them, were enclosed under Servius by a huge rampart or agger of earth, faced with an exterior wall of unmortared masonry. For 800 years, till the reign of the Emperor Aurelian, the Servian agger formed the only defence of the city. The wall which bears the name of Aurelian is to a great extent identical with the present walls; it enclosed the suburbs which had grown up beyond the CAelian, the Esquiline, and the Quirinal, and included two additional hills, the Pincian, and part of the Janiculum, as well as the low-lying ground near the Tiber called the Campus Martius. The Aurelian Wall, begun by Aurelian in 271 a.d., completed by Probus in 280, restored by Honorius, and repaired by Belisarius, is 12 miles in circuit. The Leonine Wall, enclosing the Vatican Hill and the remainder of the Janiculum, was built by Leo IV. in 848. At the present time populous suburbs have arisen to the east and north beyond the walls, while to the south extensive spaces within the wall are uninhabited. Some 1500 acres, chiefly on the CAelian and the Aventine, are occupied by vineyards, fields, and gardens, while public gardens and squares occupy over 100 acres. To the period of the kings belongs the Cloaca Maxima, a huge arched sewer of Etruscan masonry. The so-called Mamertine prison at the foot of the Capitol was a deep vaulted well, and is perhaps the most ancient structure in Rome; in it, afterwards made into a prison, Jugurtha and the Catiline conspirators (and according to tradition St Peter) were confined. Of the fourteen aqueducts, with an aggregate length of 351 miles, several date from the republican period, some from the imperial age; these vast structures, striding on their huge arches across the Campagna, and still bringing water from the Apennines and the Alban hills, are among the most striking features of modern Rome.
In the time of the Republic the centre of the public life of the city was the Forum Romanum, an oblong space, containing about 2 1/2 acres, and traversed by the Via Sacra. Here are still to be seen the remains of the temples of Saturn (491 b.c.), of Concord, of Castor and Pollux (496 b.c.), of Vesta, of Julius Caesar, of Vespasian, and of Faustina. We see also the foundations of the Triumphal Arch of Augustus, the vast ruins of the Basilica Julia, and the milestone from which all Roman roads were measured. To the north of the Forum stands the Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus, to the south the Arch of Titus. In the time of the emperors additional fora were laid out to the east, and remains still mark the Forum Julium, the Forum of Augustus, the Forum of Nerva, the Forum Pacis (built by Vespasian), and, most magnificent, the Forum of Trajan. Beyond it stands the great Column of Trajan, 124 feet in height, with spiral bas-reliefs representing scenes from Trajan's campaigns against the Dacians. Of inferior art is the Column of Marcus Aurelius(the Antonine Column) in the Piazza Colonna on the Corso. On the western side of the Forum Romanum rises the Palatine Hill, its summit covered with the substructures of the Palaces of the Emperors and the Houses of Augustus, Tiberius, Livia, Caligula, Domitian, Hadrian, and Septimius Severus. Of the 300 temples in ancient Rome, the names, and in many cases the sites, of 153 are known - several of them having been converted into churches. S. Maria del Sole is a round temple formerly called the Temple of Vesta, but now believed to be the Temple of Hercules Victor. Another temple, supposed to be the Temple of Fortuna Virilis, is now the church of S. Mary of Egypt. The church of SS. Cosmo e Damiano is the Temple of Sacra Urbs, erected by the Emperor Maxentius. The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva stands on the ruins of a Temple of Minerva. In 27 b.c. Agrippa built a vast dome in front of the Thermae which he erected in the Campus Martius; it is called by Pliny and other writers the Pantheon, and may have served as a sort of entrance-hall to the Thermae. It is now known to have been rebuilt by Hadrian; in 608 it was consecrated as the church of S. Maria ad Martyres, and now, perfectly preserved, goes by the name of S. Maria Rotonda. The diameter (142 feet) of the dome, which is lighted only by a central aperture in the roof, is larger than the dome of St Peter's; the walls are 19 feet in thickness. The Thermae of Agrippa were the earliest of the eleven great public baths - those of Trajan, of Con-stantine, etc. The Thermae AntoninianAe, usually called the Baths of Caracalla, by whom they were begun in 212 a.d., and completed by Alexander Severus, were built to accommodate 1600 bathers; and, after serving for centuries as a quarry, they are still the vastest of all the ruins in Rome. A large marshy plain, which now forms the most densely populated part of Rome, lay outside the Servian Walls, extending from the foot of the Capitoline and Quirinal hills to the Tiber. This, being used for military exercises, was called the Campus Martius. On these fields were built the Baths of Agrippa and the Baths of Nero; and here were erected the Theatre of Balbus and the vast Theatre of Pompey, said to have contained seats for 40,000 spectators. Somewhat nearer to the Capitol was the Theatre of Marcellus, of which a considerable portion still stands. This theatre was begun by Julius Caesar, and finished in the year 11 b.c. by Augustus, who named it after his nephew Marcellus. The great Flavian Amphitheatre, built for gladiatorial exhibitions and for the combats of wild beasts, goes by the name of the Colosseum; commenced by Vespasian, it was dedicated by Titus 80 a.d., and finished by Domi-tian. It is built in the form of an ellipse, the longer diameter measuring 613 feet and the shorter 510 feet. It rises to a height of 160 feet, covering 5 acres of ground. In the middle ages it was used as a fortress and afterwards as a quarry; but, though so large a portion has been demolished, it constitutes perhaps the most imposing monument of Roman magnificence which is left. The roads leading out of Rome beyond the Servian Walls were bordered by tombs, many of which, on the erection of the Aurelian Wall, were included within the city. On the Appian Way are the tombs of the Scipios. Outside the Aurelian Wall is the Tomb of CAecilia Metella, wife of the triumvir Crassus, which in the 13th century was converted into a fortress; it is a Cylindrical block of masonry, 65 feet in diameter, resembling the keep of a feudal castle. The most magnificent of Roman tombs was the Mausoleum of Hadrian, now the castle of S. Angelo. It was a cylindrical tower of masonry, 240 feet in diameter and 165 feet in height, surmounted by a colossal statue of the emperor. When the Goths besieged Rome the tomb was converted into a fortress by Belisarius. It afterwards became the castle of the popes, and citadel of Rome, and in 1527 was defended against the French by Ben-venuto Cellini. The Mausoleum of Augustus formed, in the middle ages, the castle of the Colonna family, and is now occupied as the Teatro Corea. Eleven Egyptian obelisks still ornament the gardens and piazzas of Rome, brought by Augustus and others. That in the Piazza of S. John Lateran, 104 feet in height, is the largest in existence. It was erected at Thebes by Thothmes III., and removed by Constantino to the Circus Maximus. The triumphal arches of Septimius Severus, of Titus, and of Constantine are still conspicuous. Of the bridges over the Tiber, three are ancient.
Of modern Rome, the pop. was 226,022 in 1870; 300,467 in 1881; and 462,783 in 1901. The walls are 14 miles in circuit. In the last thirty years of the 19th century many thousands of houses were built, miles of street constructed, and millions of money laid out. Under the strict building regulations adopted in 1887, the streets are much more spacious, and even the tenement-houses of better character; meanwhile the government has carefully guarded against the destruction of buildings of historic or antiquarian interest. During recent excavations interesting sites have been laid bare (especially near the Forum), and many statues, busts, inscriptions, and coins recovered. Old Rome stands on the left bank of the Tiber; on the right bank, occupying the Vatican and Janiculum hills and the low ground between these hills and the river, are St Peter's, the Vatican Palace, the Borgo, and the Trastevere ('trans Tiberim,' the section beyond the Tiber). The business part of the city occupies the plain on the left bank between the hills and the river, traversed by the Corso, the principal thoroughfare of Rome, about a mile in length, leading from the Porta del Popolo to the foot of the Capitoline Hill, where is the great national monument to Victor Emmanuel (1890-94). From the Piazza del Popolo two great streets diverge on either side of the Corso, the Via di Ripetta to the right, skirting the Tiber, and to the left the Via del Babuino, leading to the Piazza di Spagna, whence the Scala di Spagna, the resort of artists' models, ascends to the Pincian Gardens, on the site of the gardens of Lucullus, which command a splendid view of the city, and form the fashionable drive and promenade.
Before Rome became in 1870 the capital of Italy, the greater part of the Pincian, Quirinal, and Esquiline hills was occupied by villas of the Roman nobles, with extensive gardens planted with ilexes and vines. With two exceptions these have been destroyed, and their sites have been covered with modern houses, and too often by blocks of ugly barrack-like buildings, many stories in height, let out in tenements. The dirty but picturesque mediaeval city is assuming the aspect of a modern capital, broad, straight thoroughfares having been driven through quarters formerly occupied by narrow streets and mean, crowded houses. Of the new streets the most important are the Via Venti Settembre, the Via Cavour, and the Via Nazionale. The older foreign quarter lay at the foot of the Pincian, around the Piazza di Spagna, but the healthier sites on the slopes and summits of the Quirinal and Esquiline are now more frequented.
Of the palaces the largest are the Vatican, the residence of the pope, and the Quirinal, now the residence of the king, but formerly a papal palace, in which the conclaves were held for the election of the popes. Many of the palaces of the Roman nobles contain collections of pictures and statuary. Chief among them are the Palazzo Bor-ghese, containing, next to the Vatican, the best collection of pictures in Rome, the Palazzi Colonna, Doria, Barberini, Rospigliosi, Chigi, Tor-Ionia, Farnese, Corsini, and di Venezia, now the Austrian embassy. Among the notable villas are the Villa Borghese, standing in a great park below the Pincian; the Villa Ludovisi, on the Pincian; the Villa Albani, outside the Porta Salara; and the Villa Medici, on the Pincian, now the Academie Francaise, with a splendid collection of casts. The Collegio Romano, formerly a great Jesuit college, is now occupied by a public library of modern books, by the Kircherian Museum of Antiquities, and by a well-arranged prehistoric and ethnological museum. The Palazzo dei Conservatori, on the Capitol, contains many of the best ancient statues. In the cloisters of the Carthusian convent in the Thermae of Diocletian are stored the antiquities brought to light during the recent excavations. The Villa Medici contains a good collection of casts from ancient statues. The Lateran Palace contains an unrivalled collection of inscriptions and sculptures from the Catacombs, and a few good statues and mosaics. The chief papal collections are contained in the galleries attached to the Vatican, probably the largest palace in the world. In addition to the private gardens and apartments of the pope, the Vatican Palace comprises immense reception-halls with a series of chapels, libraries, picture-galleries, and vast museums of sculptures, antiquities, and inscriptions. The Sistine Chapel, built in 1473 by Sixtus IV., is covered with magnificent frescoes by Michael Angelo and the great Florentine masters. The Capella Nicolina, built by Nicolas V., and the Pauline Chapel, built by Paul III. in 1590, are also painted in fresco; the first by Fra Angelico, and the second by Michael Angelo. Raphael's Stanze and Loggie are halls and solars covered with inimitable frescoes executed by Raphael, Perugino, Giulio Romano, and other masters of their school. Beyond the Loggie is the great picture-gallery. The Vatican Library, with its priceless MSS., its collections of early printed books, of Christian antiquities, ancient maps and jewellery, is contained in two immense halls. The vast sculpture-galleries, with their unrivalled collections, comprise the Museo Chiara-monte, the Braccio Nuovo, and the Museo Pio-Clemente, which includes the Cortile di Belvedere, containing the Laocoon, the Apollo Belvedere, and the so-called Antinous.
Of the churches, over 300 in number, many are rather mortuary or memorial churches, opened only once a year on the festival of their patron saint. The most noteworthy are the five patriarchal churches, the seven pilgrimage churches, and the eight basilican churches. Others are interesting either from their early date, their historical associations, the archaeological or artistic treasures they contain, or the fragments of earlier structures which they enclose. St John Lateran (S. Giovanni in Laterano), between the CAelian and Esquiline hills, ranks as the first church in Christendom. It dates from the time of Constantine, and was, till the rebuilding of S. Peter's, the metropolitan cathedral of Rome. It retains its 5th-century baptistery and the beautiful 13th-century cloisters. The Santa Scala, said to have been brought by the Empress Helena from Jerusalem, is still venerated by pilgrims. The church itself was burned down and rebuilt in the 14th century; the adjoining palace of the popes is now a museum, chiefly of Christian antiquities. The Basilica of St Peter (S. Pietro in Vaticano), the largest church in the world, was rebuilt in the 16th century from the designs of Bramante, Michael Angelo, and Bernini. Begun in 1506, and consecrated in 1626, it is in the form of a Latin cross, with a vast central dome. The interior length is 615 feet, the height of the nave 150 feet, and of the cross which surmounts the dome 435 feet. S. Paul beyond the Walls, till the fire of 1S23 a vast 4th-century church, has been rebuilt in a style of great magnificence. S. Lorenzo beyond the Walls was rebuilt in 578, and remodelled in the 13th century. The Basilica Liberiana, commonly called S. Maria Maggiore (as being the largest of the eighty churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary), is one of the oldest churches in Rome, the nave dating from the 5th century. These five patriarchal churches, together with S. Croce and S. Sebastiano, constitute the seven ancient pilgrimage churches. The five patriarchal churches, together with S. Agnese, S. Croce, and S. Clemente, are the eight basilican churches. S. Agnes beyond the Walls was founded by Constantine, and rebuilt in the 7th century. S. Croce is a 5th-century basilica. S. Clemente is the most archaic church in Rome. In addition to the eight basilican churches, others conserve the remains of earlier buildings. S. Pietro in Vincoli, a 5th-century basilica, with twenty ancient Doric columns, contains Michael Angelo's statue of Moses, and the supposed chains of St Peter. S. Maria sopra Minerva, near the Pantheon, the chief Dominican church, is the only Gothic church in Rome. Among the vast modern churches are the Gesu, the gorgeous church of the Jesuits, containing the tomb of S. Ignatius Loyola; S. Carlo al Corso, now the fashionable church of Rome; S. Andrea della Valle; SS. Apostoli; S. Maria Vallicella, commonly called Chiesa Nuova; and the Cappuccini. Other objects of interest are the vast Catacombs, extending underground for many miles, the Ghetto (now almost wholly reconstructed), the Sapienza, the Propaganda, and the Protestant cemetery with the tombs of Keats and Shelley.
Rome is now a fairly healthy city, except in the late summer months; the water-supply is unrivalled both for quality and quantity, and the streets are well cleansed. No city excels Rome in its public fountains. One of the greatest improvements which has been effected is the embankment of the Tiber, and the straightening and deepening of its channel. This has put a stop to the disastrous floods by which the lower parts of the city were formerly inundated. The opening of new streets and the widening of old ones have also had a favourable result on the public health. The streets are in great part lighted by electricity, and electric street tramways are in operation. There are practically no manufactures in Rome. Hats, gloves, neckties, false pearls, and trinkets are made, and there are cabinet-makers, and a few foundries on a small scale; but compared with other great cities the absence of factory chimneys is very notable. There are printing-offices, but the Italian booktrade is centred at Milan. The chief industry is the manufacture of small mosaics, small bronzes, of statuary, casts, and pictures, either original or copies of the works of the great masters. All the necessaries of life have to be imported from a distance, the Cainpagna which extends for many miles around Rome being uninhabitable on account of the malaria. It is an unenclosed and untilled waste, roamed over by herds of half-wild cattle. Corn and wine are brought from Tuscany, and from the fertile Terra di Lavoro near Naples. The prosperity of the city depends on the expenditure of the courts of the Quirinal and the Vatican, of the army of functionaries in the public offices, of the garrison, and of the foreign visitors who crowd the hotels during the winter months. The railways from all parts of Italy converge outside the city, which they enter near the Porta Maggiore on the Esquiline, and have a common terminus on the summit of the Quirinal close to the Baths of Diocletian. The omnibus service is good, and well-managed tramways traverse several of the broad new streets.
The history of Rome was for centuries the history of the civilised world; and even after it ceased to be the capital of the empire it was the centre of Christendom and the most interesting and influential city on the planet. Rome was the capital of a kingdom which gradually grew till the foundation of the republic in 509 b.c. The republic steadily extended, and after wars with Aequians, Volscians, Latins, Samnites, Sabines, Tarentines, etc, Rome was mistress of Italy by the middle of the 3d century b.c. Then came the wars with Carthaginians and Macedonians, with Jugurtha and Mithridates, and Rome becomes the mistress of southern Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. Gaul was conquered by Julius Caesar (51 b.c.), and next south Britain. The republic was overthrown, and Augustus, the first emperor, was at peace with all the world soon after the birth of Christ. The empire was extended to Germany and Dacia, in Parthia and Asia; but in the 3d century a.d. the northern nations - especially the Goths and kindred nations - began to do more than hold their own, and the empire contracted on the north. The seat of the empire was removed from Rome to Byzantium or Constantinople by Constantine in 330 a.d., and in 364 the empire was divided into an eastern and a western empire, Rome remaining capital of the western half. Erelong Rome was taken and retaken by the barbarians (410, 476), and, retaken again by Belisarius, was made dependent on Constantinople in 553, her glory being departed. But as capital of the popes, new glories were in store for her; Charlemagne and Otho of Germany were crowned emperors of the west at Rome, and the city became the independent capital of the increasing papal dominions or States of the Church, the Romagna, Bologna, and Perugia being conquered by Pope Julius II. in 1503. Rome remained the mother city of Christendom, and continued to flourish in spite of the temporary sojourn of the popes at Avignon and the short-lived republic of Rienzi (1347). Again in 1798 the French proclaimed Rome a republic, and in 1808 the city became part of the French kingdom of Italy; it was restored to the popes in 1814, who, save during the troubles of 1848-49, retained it as capital of the States of the Church, under French protection. But in 1860 the papal states revolted to Sardinia, and in 1870 Rome became part of the Italian kingdom and national capital.
See R. Burn, Rome and the Campagna (1870);
J. H. Parker, Archaeology of Rome (1872-80); T. H. Dyer, The City of Rome, its Vicissitudes and Monuments (2d ed. 1883); F. Wey, Rome (trans. from Fr., new ed. 188(5); R. Lanciani, Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent Discoveries (1888); with other works by Gell, Nibby, Hare, Professor Middleton, etc.; and the histories of the Roman state, or parts of it, by Mommsen, Duruy, Ihne, Merivale, Gibbon, Bury (1889), Hodgkin (1880-85), Gregor-ovius, Ranke, etc., besides the Church histories.