Development and Growth of Rome

Development and Growth of Rome

From it’s origins as a small settlement Rome grew to be the centre of an empire that spread across Europe and into Africa and Asia.

Rome was founded (built) in about 750BC (Before Christ). At first Rome was a tiny village, surrounded by lots of other little villages that ran their own affairs. By 130AD though Rome controlled most of Europe, had conquered Britain and had an empire that stretched a long way into Asia and across Northern Africa. This unit examines the reasons why Rome grew so quickly.

Map of Ancient Rome
Map of Ancient Rome

There are a number of reasons for Rome growing from a village to an empire so quickly (it was quick when you consider that there were no cars, trains or aeroplanes… not even any telephones or post boxes for them to use!). You will find some of the main reasons below… there are other possibilites though.


Much of the Empire was gained through fighting. At first the Romans fought small battles with neighbouring tribes who they had arguments with. as they won these battles they gained control of the lands around Rome and gradually gained land and power. These victories made the Romans confident and soon the Roman Army was waging wars to gain land rather than to defend Rome. This led to Italy falling to Roman control, then countries such as Greece, Austria and France fell. As the empire grew larger the army also grew as captured soldiers would be made to join the army… allowing the Romans to attack yet more countries.


The Romans became very wealthy as a result of the wars that they fought. Some areas of Europe were keen to make money from the Romans and were willing to let the Romans control them in return for the protection they offered and the wealth that they generated through trading.


Sometimes people would feel threatened by other tribes and ask the Romans to help them. These tribes would form an alliance (make an agreement) with the Romans saying that they would help each other out in times of trouble: this usually meant that the Roman Army would go and stay in this place.


Some people think that the Romans only invaded Britain to find out if the islands are at the end of the world!

Roman Britain  
Romulus and RemusDevelopment and Growth of RomeRoman Government: Monarchy, Principate, Emperors
Roman ArmyRoman invasion of BritainCaratacus
Boudica and the Iceni RebellionRoman GladiatorsJulius Caesar