Relationships of Ancient Rome: Customs and Morality
The founding of Rome itself was described in a n ancient myth filled with intrigue and danger. According to legend, twins Romulus and Remus, who were fathered by the war god Mars, were born to a Latin princess. The Latin king at the time was afraid the twins might make claim to his throne so he had them put in a basket on the Tiber River. The king assumed they would die, but Romulus and Remus were found by a female wolf who fed them her own milk. Soon after, a shepherd adopted them and raised them as his own. Upon growing up, the boys vowed to build a city where they had been abandoned as babies. Each brother chose a hill and became leader of a new city. Eventually quarrels broke out and Romulus killed Remus, leaving Romulus's hilltop, Palatine, the center of the new city called Rome.
Some of the earliest Roman settlements rose from this Palatine Hill.
In the first century AD, Rome was the bustling, cosmopolitan center of the empire. It was also a city of great contrasts. Wealthy patrician senators and knights walked with their slaves and dependents; freedmen merchants spread largesse among impoverished free shopkeepers; slaves had the ear of the emperor but scions of the noblest houses fought in the arena to scrape a living." (Goodenough, Citizens of Rome 11)
On the Palatine Hill Stood the magnificent palace of the emperor. The Colosseim, the Circus Maximus, the Pantheon, the great public baths, temples, gardens, triumphal arches, tombs, statues, the forums and market places at the heart of the city - these embodied the dignity and grandeus of Tome, at which provincials gazed in wonder. But there were also prostitutes' quarters, the narrow streets of...