The historic city of Rome is located in the central-western part of the Italian Peninsula on the seven hills at the bank of the Tiber River in the Lazio region of Italy. The original settlement developed on hills that faced onto a ford beside the Tiber Island, the only natural ford of the river in this area.
Influence of Etruscan Sports
Long ago, a princess gave birth to twin sons, Romulus and Remus. The king was afraid the boys would grow up to take his throne, so he ordered his men to drown them in the Tiber River. Before they drowned, a wolf rescued them. When Romulus and Remus grew up, they decided to construct a town on the banks of the Tiber River where the wolf had found and saved them. However, in a fight, Romulus killed his brother. He became king of the city, which he named Rome.
Influence of Greek Architecture
The Romans learned their many building techniques from the Etruscans. Two important Etruscan structures the Romans adapted were the arch and the cuniculus.
Influence of Greek Art, Writing, and Religion
Romans also adapted two bloody Etruscan sporting events. The first was slave fighting. Etruscan spectators also enjoyed watching chariot races.
Greek architecture was one important influence on the Romans. The Romans used Greek designs in their own public buildings. The Romans also used concrete to build huge stadiums like the Colosseum, where gladiators fought. The Circus Maximus, where people watched chariot races, could seat more than 200,000 spectators.
Sometimes, the Greek influence on Roman culture was indirect. The Greek and Roman alphabets had many similarities. Also, the Greek influence on Roman painting and sculpture was so great that historians speak of “Greco-Roman art.” In addition, the Romans adapted many of the Greek gods as their own, but they gave them Roman names.