This site is dedicated to bringing you information about the wonder that was the Roman Empire and how its legacy still shapes our history, our language, and the foundations of our society and its institutions. The Roman Empire endures!
The City of Rome was traditionally founded in 753 B.C. by our calendar. The Romans measured their calendar from the foundation of the City, or "Anno urbis conditae". By their calendar, today is Anno Urbis ("The Year of the City") 2768.
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent comprised most of western Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Larger than even most modern nations, the empire was held together by a network of roads, a common language, and most of all a culture which still today exerts a powerful influence on our society and institutions, over 1600 years after the fall of Rome. No other empire or civilization has had such a lasting and significant impact on the modern world.
Come down, Calliope, from above:
Breathe on the pipe a strain of fire;
Or if a graver note thou love,
With Phoebus' cittern and his lyre.
You hear her? or is this the play
Of fond illusion? Hark! meseems
Through gardens of the good I stray,
'Mid murmuring gales and purling streams.
Me, as I lay on Vultur's steep,
A truant past Apulia's bound,
O'ertired, poor child, with play and sleep,
With living green the stock-doves crown'd--
- legend, nay, a miracle,
By Acherontia's nestlings told,
By all in Bantine glade that dwell,
Or till the rich Forentan mould.
"Bears, vipers, spared him as he lay,
The sacred garland deck'd his hair,
The myrtle blended with the bay:
The child's inspired: the gods were there."
Your grace, sweet Muses, shields me still
On Sabine heights, or lets me range
Where cool Praeneste, Tibur's hill,
Or liquid Baiae proffers change.
Me to your springs, your dances true,
Philippi bore not to the ground,
Nor the doom'd tree in falling slew,
Nor billowy Palinurus drown'd.
Grant me your presence, blithe and fain
Mad Bosporus shall my bark explore;
My foot shall tread the sandy plain
That glows beside Assyria's shore;
'Mid Briton tribes, the stranger's foe,
And Spaniards, drunk with horses' blood,
And quiver'd Scythians, will I go
Unharm'd, and look on Tanais' flood.
When Caesar's self in peaceful town
The weary veteran's home has made,
You bid him lay his helmet down
And rest in your Pierian shade.
Mild thoughts you plant, and joy to see
Mild thoughts take root. The nations know
How with descending thunder He
The impious Titans hurl'd below,
Who rules dull earth and stormy seas,
And towns of men, and realms of pain,
And gods, and mortal companies,
Alone, impartial in his reign.
Yet Jove had fear'd the giant rush,
Their upraised arms, their port of pride,
And the twin brethren bent to push
Huge Pelion up Olympus' side.
But Typhon, Mimas, what could these,
Or what Porphyrion's stalwart scorn,
Rhoetus, or he whose spears were trees,
Enceladus, from earth uptorn,
As on they rush'd in mad career
'Gainst Pallas' shield? Here met the foe
Fierce Vulcan, queenly Juno here,
And he who ne'er shall quit his bow,
Who laves in clear Castalian flood
His locks, and loves the leafy growth
Of Lycia next his native wood,
The Delian and the Pataran both.
Strength, mindless, falls by its own weight;
Strength, mix'd with mind, is made more strong
By the just gods, who surely hate
The strength whose thoughts are set on wrong.
Let hundred-handed Gyas bear
His witness, and Orion known
Tempter of Dian, chaste and fair,
By Dian's maiden dart o'erthrown.
Hurl'd on the monstrous shapes she bred,
Earth groans, and mourns her children thrust
To Orcus; Aetna's weight of lead
Keeps down the fire that breaks its crust;
Still sits the bird on Tityos' breast,
The warder of unlawful love;
Still suffers lewd Pirithous, prest
By massive chains no hand may move.
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