JOIN THE PRESENTATION HERE: All Roads Lead to Rome Part One
By the first century B.C., Rome was already the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the Mediterranean world. During the reigns of Julius Caesar and Augustus, Rome was transformed into a truly imperial city when the emperor was recognized as the ultimate authority. Under the emperors, Rome experienced great achievements in literature, architecture, and the arts. Religious cults flourished, temples built, and a number of public ceremonies and customs reinstated. By the year 1 A.D., Rome was transformed from a city of modest brick and local stone into a metropolis of marble.
An eventual decline in imperial power and the threat of invasions from outside the Italian peninsula, however, led to economic and political collapse. Constantinople replaced Rome as the new capital and Rome declined into a corrupt city teetering on the edge of disaster. Medieval Rome was a dangerous and chaotic place with clans fighting against clans vying for power. The population dipped from one million people during the time of Augustus to an estimated 20,000 in the year 1000. Even the Pope, fearful of residing in Rome, will abandon the city and move his court to Avignon. Join Elaine Ruffolo as she traces the history and art of Rome from its beginnings as an Etruscan settlement to barbarian invasions.