The history of Rome spans 2,800 years of the existence of a city that grew from a small Italian village in the 9th century BCE into the centre of a vast civilisation that dominated the Mediterranean region for centuries. It is one of the oldest named cities in the world. Its political power was eventually replaced by that of peoples of mostly Germanic origin, marking the beginning of the Middle Ages. Rome became the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the home of a sovereign state, the Vatican City, within its walls. Today it is the capital of Italy, an international worldwide political and cultural centre, a major global city, and is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world.
The traditional date for the founding of Rome, based on a mythological account, is 21 April 753 BCE, and the city and surrounding region of Latium has continued to be inhabited with little interruption since around that time.