Rome was located in the country of Italy, which was a peninsula, meaning that it was surrounded by water one three sides. Italy is known for being shaped like a high-heeled boot, with the heel pointed towards Greece, and the toe pointed towards Sicily. With easy access to seas (these included the Ligurian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, Adriatic Sea, and Ionian Sea.),the Romans had a very large advantage. As with many other civilizations, being able to have access to a sea is useful for multiple reasons. Seas allow access to trade routes and other nations, which was very helpful to the Romans, as there was mass amounts of trade to the Southeast of Italy, with routes such as the silk road. Seas also allow for the catching of fish, with is a useful food source.
A Map of the country of Italy, notice the boot-like shape and the location of Rome.
There were two mountain ranges in Italy. Italy was isolated from the north by the Alps. This was a large mountain range that kept Italy isolated from Europe and made them into a sub-continent. The Apennines Mountains also ran along one side of the peninsula towards the center. The Apennines provided a form of defense and isolation for Rome, as mountains do with many civilizations. The mountains' slopes also leveled out into flat, open plains that allowed for far better farming, which is a crucial aspect of a civilization, as it produced food for the people. Unlike the mountains of Greece, the Apennines were much less rugged, and crossing them was less difficult. This had an impact on the government as well as the people and trade. Because they were able to cross the mountains, the people of Rome did not break up into small city states as the Greeks did. This meant that not only was there less fighting and better trade between areas of Rome, but also that the government did not break up as it did with the Greeks, but instead Rome remained under one government system.
A plain on the slopes of the Apennines Mountains.
Rome also had a nearby river, called the Tiber River. The river was useful for several reasons. As with many other civilizations, the river offered fertile farmland, and a source of drinking and bathing water, which was very important, especially as Rome was one of the first civilizations to have aqueducts and major bathing areas, as well as the concept of a proper and functional sewer system that carried and recycled water. The Tiber River also allowed Rome to have a large advantage. Because the Tiber River fed out to the sea, the Romans were able to settle further inland but still have easy access to the ocean around them. Doing so gave them a tactical and military advantage, if an enemy was approaching from the sea, they would see them coming and have a chance to prepare and defend themselves before an attack. The Tiber could also be used for transportation, including trade and moving goods or people in and out of Rome.
The Tiber River in Rome, Italy
Rome was built upon 7 large hills, they were the Aventine, Caelian, Capitoline, Esquiline, Palatine, Quirinal, and Viminal hills. Hills are a very useful geographical feature that allowed many benefits for the Romans. First of all, it gave a tactical military advantage, as the hills could be used as a vantage point to see attackers approaching and prepare before they attacked. Hills can also help to prevent flooding of the homes, if the buildings are placed on hills, rainwater would collect at the bottom instead of dispersing and accumulating, causing a flood. The Romans were also able to drain the marshes located at the bottom of the hills, this means that there was most likely fertile land that could be put to use during the settlement of Rome.