There are about 244 years between the traditional year in which Rome was founded, and the traditional year in which Rome replaced its monarchy with a republic.
There are about 293 years between the beginning of the Roman Republic and Hannibal’s devastating defeat of the Roman legions at Cannae.
During those 537 years, lots of history happened within Rome’s lands. But much of its history was affected, directly or indirectly, by people and events in other regions. Rome grew up surrounded by Oscan-speaking Latin peoples and by the Etruscans (also called Tyrrhenians). Rome’s seven kings were either Sabine Latin, descended from Etruscans, had some Greek (or even Trojan) blood in their veins, or combinations of any of these. Further south, the Greeks had established colonies on the Italian mainland as early as Rome’s founding, and continued through her monarchy. The Greeks of Cumae welcomed the exiled last Roman king after his final defeat. The Greek tyrants of Sicily brought their wars into the Greek mainland during the century before Rome and Carthage began its first war, and then Rome sailed to war in Sicily and North Africa in the mid-third century.
Most of the history of these five centuries concentrate very closely on generals, rulers, and battles. But more must have happened than just defeats and victories–five hundred years is a very long time.
In some future posts I will present some historical background to the age in which my four current stories take place. Since I look for specific things in the histories, I might highlight events and people that fascinate me more than others. I might also offer speculation where history seems to leave tremendous gaps.