Roman Mythology (Myths and Legends of the World)
From the founding of the Roman empire to its fall in A.D. 476, Rome dominated Europe and much of North Africa, the Near East, and . Although this sprawling empire encompassed many cultures with their own myths and legends, the mythology of the Romans themselves revolved around the founding, history, and heroes of the city of Rome. The Romans had developed their own pantheonalt the gods of a particular culture of gods and goddesses. After they conquered Greece, however, their became increasingly associated with the figures of Greek mythology.
Background and Sources. Although Rome's early history is difficult to separate from the legends that formed around it, the city appears to have begun as a community of central Italian peoples known as Latins. The Latins merged with the Etruscans, who had come to Italy from Asia Minor before 800 B.C.
Until 510 B.C., Rome was ruled by kings. Then it became a republic governed by elected officials. The Roman republic eventually dominated most of Italy and conquered the North African coast and Greece. By 31 B.C., Rome governed all the lands around the Mediterranean Sea as well as northwest Europe.
The principal sources of information about Roman mythology appeared during the early years of the empire, between about 20 B.C. and A.D. 20. The poet Virgil produced...
(The entire section is 1812 words.)
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