ROME


ROME
   (423), since 1871 capital of the modern kingdom of ITALY (q.v.), on the Tiber, 16 m. from its entrance into the Tyrrhenian Sea; legend ascribes its foundation to Romulus in 753 B.C., and the story of its progress, first as the chief city of a little Italian kingdom, then of a powerful and expanding republic (510 B.C. to 30 B.C.), and finally of a vast empire, together with its decline and fall in the 5th century (476 A.D.), before the advancing barbarian hordes, forms the most impressive chapter in the history of nations; as the mother-city of Christendom in the Middle Ages, and the later capital of the PAPAL STATES (q.v.) and seat of the Popes, it acquired fresh glory; it remains the most interesting city in the world; is filled with the sublime ruins and monuments of its pagan greatness and the priceless art-treasures of its mediæval period; of ruined buildings the most imposing are the Colosseum (a vast amphitheatre for gladiatorial shows) and the Baths of Caracalla (accommodated 1600 bathers); the great aqueducts of its Pre-Christian period still supply the city with water from the Apennines and the Alban Hills; the Aurelian Wall (12 m.) still surrounds the city, enclosing the "seven hills," the Palatine, Capitoline, Aventine, &c., but suburbs have spread beyond; St. Peter's is yet the finest church in the world; the Popes have their residence in the Vatican; its manufactures are inconsiderable, and consist chiefly of small mosaics, bronze and plaster casts, prints, trinkets, &c.; depends for its prosperity chiefly on the large influx of visitors, and the court expenditure of the Quirinal and Vatican, and of the civil and military officials.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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