II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > E. Rome
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
E. Rome
1. The Monarchy and the Early Republic, 334 (338)–264 B.C.E.
a. Geography and Climate
 
(Note on dates: Virtually all precise dates for early Rome are antiquarian reconstructions. The conventional (Varronian) dates for Roman events before the late 4th century are high by four years due to the insertion of the fabricated “dictator-years”—333, 324, 309, and 301. In what follows, the conventional dates will appear in square brackets.)  1
Rome's site on the Tiber River lies where the foothills of the Apennines, the mountain chain that dominates central and southern Italy, come down to the central plain. The Tiber, like the other navigable rivers of antiquity, was a vital channel of trade. Latium, the region to the east and south of Rome, was bounded to the north by Etruria—distinguished by mineral deposits which were heavily exploited from the 8th century B.C.E.—and to the south by Campania, with good farmland and harbors. Italy itself was a geographical unit long before it was a political one; it came to include northern Italy only in the 2nd to 1st centuries B.C.E. and never included Sicily or Sardinia. The climate of peninsular Italy in antiquity was not very different from that of today, except that extensive deforestation in some regions has caused a decrease in rainfall.  2
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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