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Part I – ‘Not without cause did gods and men select this place for our city’

Location was key to ancient Rome's early success and expansion of her empire. Hear more from Dr Matthew Nicholls and meet Professor Christopher Smith.

Rome is a city of hills and valleys. This, together with the River Tiber, must have been important reasons why the area’s first inhabitants chose to settle there. In this video, I explain why ‘it’s all in the location’ and how this landscape was pivotal to the early success and expansion of ancient Rome.

I also meet with Professor Christopher Smith, former Director of the British School at Rome, to ask what we know about these early inhabitants through archaeological.

As you watch this video, you may like to consider the following topics:

  • Why do you think the Romans told so many stories about their original founders?

  • What does Livy’s paragraph tell us about the importance of communication networks to ancient Rome?

Share your thoughts on these discussion points in the comments area below.

Later this week, you’ll investigate just how important the transport links I mention in the video, were to the expansion for the Roman empire.

To help you as you move through this course, a course supplement and a glossary are available to download which you may like to keep to hand as you work through the materials.

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Rome: A Virtual Tour of the Ancient City

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