What was the geography of Rome like?

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The location of early settlement in Rome was ideal for a number of reasons.  The Latins were the original settlers of Rome and they settled on Palatine Hill according to the archaeological record.  The mild climate, in addition to the fertile soil, made it perfect for farming.  The nearby Tiber River provided a source for irrigation.  The city of Rome was built among seven hills which allowed a natural protective barrier for the city.  The farming was done at the base of the hills and the early Romans lived on the hilltops.  There were also geographical benefits to living on the peninsula itself.  The city was close enough to existing Greek ports along the Mediterranean Sea.  The sea provided further protection, but more importantly, it allowed Rome to expand through trade and military expansion.

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