The City of Rome

by Minha Mahjoob Shujau
The City of Rome

Romulus built Rome with his bare hands, what he did not know, however, was that it would come to be one of the greatest eras of human history. From the monarchy reign of seven kings to the republican times of Julius Caesar. His death, and the rising of Augustus Caesar. Rome was an interesting story. End to the beginning.

I’ve lived in this world for over a millennium now. Believe me when I say that I have seen everything. I’ve seen the rise and fall of great empires, I’ve seen people being killed in wars, I’ve seen humans absolutely and definitely destroying the earth I am being rooted to. Though, one of the most amazing things I have seen is the Roman civilization.

I was there the day when Romulus founded Rome. I’m like the wind, like the light and like the sea. I’m everywhere, all at once. I am timeless.  April 21 of 753 BC, is the day that the seed that would be known as Rome was planted. Romulus became the first king through hard work but also murder and deceit. He had decided to build his city on the seven hills of Rome, his reasoning behind this is so that the sentries would be able to spot incoming intruders. The Tiber river was also crucial as it was a source of water and a mode of transportation.  

After construction had been complete Romulus gathered people to inhabit Palatine hill. This raised Rome’s population. Soon Rome would grow into one of the greatest cities that has ever existed. After founding Rome the next thing that Romulus did was to found the Roman senate. This was a group of 100 men who would govern over Rome and give them rules and regulations.

There were seven kings of Rome. Not all of them were bad. Most of them did what they thought was better for the kingdom. Although the last King Tarquinius Superbus pushed the kingdom to its limit. He ruled with an iron fist killing anyone who dared defy him. The very thing that led to his murder was his own insolence. During the time of panic after the last king's murder, the kingdom of Rome converted into a republic.  45 BC was when Julius Caesar and other warlords started rising to the top. During this time the first triumvirate was also formed. It was an alliance between three powerful political pillars. Pompey, Marcus Licinius Crassus and Julius Caesar. In 49 BC Julius Caesar decided to invade Italy. This resulted in a civil war from which he emerged victoriously. Because of this Julius Caesar became Rome’s dictator.

Julius Caesar did not have a happy ending. He was murdered one year later by a conspiracy led by Gaius Cassius and Julius’s illegitimate son, Marcus Brutus. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by 60 of his senators. He fought for his life till he saw Marcus Brutus. He gave up his fight after that. Some say his dying words were “And you child?”, some say he said nothing at all.

What he actually said, if it was anything at all, will be a secret I will leave hidden in the embers of the past.

Octavian, Julius Caesar’s great nephew and adopted heir, sought revenge for the death of Julius. He joined forces with Mark Antony in order to destroy Brutus and Cassius. After they had done that they sought out a third person with whom they would share their power. This person was known as Lepidus. He was an ex-consul member. Together they formed the second triumvirate. However, this did not last long and collapsed in 36 BC.

By 29 BC Octavian was the sole leader of Rome. He made sure to make himself loved by the public so he would not be killed by his own comrades. All this was a build-up to 27 BC. When it finally came Octavian crowned himself the first Emperor of Rome and changed his name to Augustus Caesar. Augustus means venerable and it is derived from the Latin word Augere. The republican era has died out. The Roman Empire has arrived. This was divided into two parts. The high and low empire. During my time in this broken world, I have seen many people rule, but it is very rare to have as many accomplishments as Augustus during that rule.

Augustus Caesar established Pax Romana which was a time of over 2 centuries. During this time peace and evolution were focused on. Rome flourished and it covered around 5.9 million sq kilometres. This was Rome during its peak. After this, it started to shrivel and die.

The 7 Hills of Rome hand drawn by Minha Mahjoob Shujau

I have many tales. I could tell you all of them but it would take a monstrous amount of time and I’m sure you don’t want that. In case you are curious. No, I’m not immortal. I will die like the rest of you mortals. I have just escaped the clutches of death for the time being.


Author biography

Minha Mahjoob was born in the Maldives. She is a table tennis player and is on the national squad. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and reviewing books (the reviews can be found on her Instagram page called Foi_ha). She typically feels drawn towards dystopian and fantasy novels. Some of her goals include getting into a good college such as the University of Oxford and publishing her own book.

Minha Mahjoob Shujau

Cite this article as:
Minha Mahjoob Shujau, The City of Rome, theCircle Composition, Volume 1, (2021).