|Roman Forum, Rome, Italy © Doug Hickok|
"The gods are on the side of the stronger," said Publius Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56-117), a senator of Rome and historian of the Roman Empire. This statement was true of the mighty empire, from the 8th century BC to the year AD 476, when one of the world's greatest civilizations rose, thrived, and declined in a span of about 1000 years. At the height of its power, the dominion of Rome spread 2.5 million miles across the Mediterranean region, and into northern Europe and Asia.
Pictured above, the Roman Forum was the heart of the empire and the oldest part of the city of Rome. This photograph of its ruins illustrates both a visual and historical depth, showing more than a millennium of years in one view.
The ruins from front to back are, the Arch of Septimius Severus (AD 203), the Column of Phocas (far right, AD 608), the Via Sacra (cobblestone path near steps, circa 5th century BC), the Basilica of Julia (steps, BC 54), the Temple of Castor and Pollux (3 columns, BC 484), and in the distance the ruins of the Palatine Hill (BC 510 - AD 576).
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