According to legend, there were two twin brothers named Romulus and Remus who were the sons of the God Mars. They were abandoned at birth, but were raised and suckled by a wolf. They founded ROME together, but in an argument over who should be in charge Romulus killed Remus and ruled ROME by himself.
Two tribes of people lived along the Tiber River -- the Sabines and the Latins. However, Latin always appears to have been the language of Rome.
Rome was conquered and ruled by the Etruscans during the late 7th century. The Etruscan kings expanded and developed Rome. However, the son of the last Etruscan King of Rome raped a Roman woman. This act so angered the Romans that they drove the Etruscans out in 509 BCE and decided to rule Rome themselves.
509 - 44 BCE
The Roman Republic began after the Romans kicked the Etrusans out and set up their own for of government. The government was headed by two consuls who explained and carried out laws. The consuls were chosen for one-year terms.
The most powerful group in government was the Senate. This group consisted of former consuls and anyone else chosen by the consuls. All senators were patricians (upper-class Romans).
In 494 BC, the plebeians (average citizen) revolted and forced the senate to accept them. The plebians elected "tribunes" to represent them in the Senate.
When the plebians gained more power in the governemnt, they elected tribunes to speak up for them in the Senate and protect their interests. The plebians also wanted the laws of Rome written down so that everyone would know their rights. These rights and laws formed the basis of the Roman Rebublic and the foundation of many future civilizations. In 450 BCE, the laws were carved on bronze tablets. These were known as the Twelve Tables and they were placed in the Forum.
264 -146 BCE
Rome had conquered most of Italy, but was still surrounded by enemies. During the first Punic War, Rome built fleets and eventually defeated the Carthaginians. Twenty percent of Rome's citizens died in that war.
During the second Punic War, the Carthaginian General Hannibal made his historic crossing of the Alps to attack Rome from the north. Carthage was eventually conquered and became a dependant ally of Rome.
Problems arose again and the third Punic War was fought. Carthage lost and was razed to the ground.
Titus Livy was born in 59BCE. He became famous during his lifetime for writing a complete history of rome. This history covered the period between the foundation of Rome and 9 BCE. Although there were enormous inaccuracies in his work, Livy's History of Rome had a dramatic flair and focussed on the personalities involved in historic events.