American/Italian Club notice

Frank Nechvatal

The January meeting featured a pizza party. Again, members brought canned goods for contribution to the St. Mary’s Food Bank. President Bob Sciaretta and his bride were out of town exploring Panama. The meeting was conducted by a former club president. Members enjoyed the pizza and the camaraderie. Of course, our Treasurer Herb Zielke entertained us with another of his fine jokes. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 10 at 6:00 p.m. in the Horizon Room. See you then.

Last month we explored a bit of the history of the Italian peninsula by looking at the early cultures that contributed to the development of modern day Italy. With this article we will continue with a more in depth look at the Roman period. Rome’s origin is said to date back as far as 753 BC. The settlements sprung up on the Tiber River along the Palatine Hill area. Seven kings were alleged to have ruled until the establishment of the Roman Republic around 509 BC when the last of the Kings, Tarquin, was deposed by Lucius Junius Brutus and a system of elected magistrates and representatives came into being. From this point until 27 BC Rome warred with neighboring city states to expand its influence. In 27 BC Octavius became the sole leader of Rome, now called the Roman Empire and Octavius ruled as Augustus and usurped the powers of the republican government and assumed absolute powers. Under the rule of Augustus, Rome enjoyed its Golden Age, especially in literature and architecture. His rule resulted in a period of 200 years of relative peace and is known today as “Pax Romana.” During the first and second centuries the Roman Legions were used in intermittent warfare against the Germanic Tribes in the north and the Parthian Empire to the east. By 395 AD the Roman Empire was divided into two sections – east and west and soon dwindled and disappeared and would not reunite under one ruler for 13 centuries.

Next: The Middle Ages.