The Spatial Evolution of Rome
Rome is more than just the vast Ancient Rome. It is termed "The
Eternal City" for a reason. Throughout the ups and downs of history, Rome has prevailed and continues on, and is considered one of the major birth places of the western civilization.
This website is will cover not a history of Rome, but an account of the
spatial evolution of the city of Rome.
Rome has endured over the ages from one major aspect (though many other factors have shaped it's evolution over the millennia). The primary reason for Rome's existence is its status as a capital. It grew as the seat of the Roman Empire, continued after the empire's fall because of its seat of the Catholic Church, and grew exponentially after Italy was unified in 1871 and once again assumed its capital status. More about the various stages in its evolution can be found below:
Founding Location: The city was created in its current location because of geographic and trade route influences.
Growth Seen in City Walls: The growth of the city during the Empire can be seen through the expansion of the city walls.
Loss of Population: As the empire declined, population dropped from over 1.6 million to below 50,000. See the population chart and learn more about why the city declined.
City Abandoned, Church Assumes Power: When Rome lost its status as capital of the empire after Constantine moved it to Byzantine, Rome was taken over in a vacuum and was kept alive through the middle ages (barely) by the Catholic Church.
Church Restores Rome: During the Renaissance, the Popes began a restoration of the glory of old Rome, in an effort get the city to reflect the greatness of the Church.
Capital Status Restored: After being run by the Church (Papal States) for almost a 1,000 years, Italy is reunified under new secular rule, and Rome is restored to its capital status.
Dictator With Grand Plans: Mussolini. A dictator with grand plans and the political will to make huge spatial changes in the city takes over in 1921. New urban cores are created.
City Sprawls: The city continues to expand with the increased impact of automobiles, post World War II reconstruction funds, a number of special events, and new technology.