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Famous People

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on May 3, 2009 at 11:18:56 pm


Below is a list of Famous Romans in order of importance, according to Matt Lipson, Amanda Lipson, and Kristin Harris. Included with each Roman will be a short biography and why they ranked what they did.


10  Saint  Helena 



Saint Helena also known as Helena Augusta or Helena of Constantinople was the consort of Emperor Contstantuis, and the mother of Emperor Constantine I (number seven on our list. She is said to have found the relics of the True Cross. She was born in the Roman province, Moesia, a land on the western shore of the Black Sea. According to St. Ambrose, Helena was an inn-keeper when Constantius lifted her from her lowly position and made her his consort. Legend says that she is the daughter of a British king. When Emperor Constantius died at York the new Emperor Constantine I had his mother live at Byzantium, the capital of the Eastern Empire. Constantine I, who liked his mother very much, honored her by giving her the name Augustus, and had coins made with her face on them.





When Constantine I had a dream of a flaming cross in the sky, and beneath it were the words, in Greek, "In this sign conquer" he decided to embrace the Christian religion taking it as a sign. He had his children and his mother Saint Helena become Christian too. Saint Helena, honored with the position, fell in love with the religion and used her influence and wealth to extend Christianity. She built many churches and restored shrines. She is particularly famous for the churches at Rome and at Trier, in Gaul. But she is most famous for the Holy Land itself; there she constructed the great basilicas at Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Saint Helena’s aim was to clear the Holy Places of all the accumulated debris and rubbish that had piled up in the past three centuries. Saint Helena, according to some of the chroniclers, with the help of St. Judas Cyriacus, cleared the mound that covered the Holy Sepulchre, and when she did she found the True Cross, on which Jesus was crucified, which they moved to Byzantium.

Saint Helena is very important to the Roman people, and especially the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches for being their Saint. She has many “feast days” in several different churches, which prove how important and appreciated she is. Her feast day as a saint of the Orthodox Christian Church is celebrated with her son on May 21, also called the "Feast of the Holy Great Sovereigns Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles." Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is on August 18. Her feast day in the Coptic Orthodox Church is on9 Pashons (according the Coptic calendar of the Coptic Orthodox Church). Saint Helena made many great discoveries and helped Constantine be the great Emperor that he was although she didn’t rule Rome herself, she still have a great influence on Rome and it’s religion, which is why she ranks number 10 on our list.






9 Justinian 


8 Nero 


7 Constantine 


6 Mark Antony 


5 Cicero 


4 Augustus  

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Gaius Octavius Thurinus was born on July 23rd, 63 BC. Octavius was born into a simple family that lived in a small Italian village outside of Rome. Despite being related to Juilius Caesar, his family were plebians and lived very simply. When Octavius was four-years-old his father died and was left to live with his mother. His mother eventually remarried a man named Lucius Philippus who was the former governor of Syria. However, his mother nor step-father took great interest in him. He was raised mostly by his aunt and grandmother. When Octavius' grandmother died, his mother and step-father took a much more active role in his life and paid more attention to him. When Octavius got older he joined the military. When he was in training he recieved the news that his great uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated. When he got to Rome he found out that Julius left him two-thirds of his estate and the throne. When Octavius took the throne he changed his name to Gaius Julius Caesar to hide his modest origins. He lead Rome with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus in an authoritarian regime known as the Second Triumvirate. During this time he ruled Rome and many other provinces as a ruler. However, all three men became too ambitious and the Second Tiumvirate failed. Mark Antony committed suicide after losing the battle of Actium and Lepidus was exiled. Octavius was left as the lone ruler of Rome and attempted to make Rome a more Democratic society. However, he still ruled as a dictator by using the military to alter the Senate's decisions if he did not like the outcome. During the time he ruled he added most of modern-day Europe to his empire and expanded his African provinces. He changed his name once again to Impearator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus, which showed his increase in power and influence. During the time Octavius ruled there was long period of peace  known as the Pax Romana, which lasted for hundreds of years. Augustus reformed the Roman tax system, built a network of roads, and established the Roman police and fire department. Augustus passed away in 14 AD and was declared a God by the Roman senate. All the emperors after him used the names Augustus and Caesar. Augustus was a very important person because he established the framework on which the Roman Empire would be ruled by for hundreds and hundreds of years. He also made Rome the most powerful empire in the world by expanding its territory. Augustus has a legacy that will never go away. In a sense, he never really died. 


3 Cleopatra 


2 Romulus and Remus  

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The legend of the famous twins Romulus and Remus begins long before they were even born. Two men named Numitor and Amulius ruled the ancient Italian town Alba Longa. Amulius was in charge of all the royal gold while Numitor held the throne. Since Amulius had the power of wealth, he was able to take the throne from Numitor. After Amulius took the throne he was scared that Numitor's daughter, Rhea, would have sons that would eventually overthrow him as ruler. He made Rhea become a priestess so she could not have children. However, she broke his rules and had a child with Mars, the god of war. When Amulius noticed that Rhea was pregnant he threw her in prison until she gave birth to twin boys, Romulus and Remus. There are many accounts about what happened next. One legend says that Amulius ordered Rhea to be buried alive and the twins to be killed by exposure. Another legend says that both Rhea and the twins were ordered to be thrown into the Tiber River. However, it is popularly told that the servant that was ordered to kill Romulus and Remus did not have the heart to kill them, so she put them in a basket and put them in the Tiber River. The twins floated down the river and were found by Tibernius, the river diety. Tibernius brought them to Lupa, a wolf who raised Romulus and Remus under a fig tree and gave them food from a woodpecker. Coincidentally, both the tree and the woodpecker were sacred to their father, Mars. Eventually, Romulus and Remus were found by a shepherd and was raised by him. When Romulus and Remus got older, the issue of who should rule the new land they lived on surfaced. They both felt they should be the king and had a huge conflict over it. Romulus and Remus stood on seperate hills and a flock of birds flew over Romulus, which signified he should be the king. He killed Remus and named the land Rome, after himself. As ruler Romulus increased the population of Rome by stealing women from the Sabine tribe, which resulted in the mixture of Romans and the Sabines. He also added massive amounts of land to Rome. Romulus and Remus are important because according to legend, they founded the world's largest empire, which influenced the world in many ways. Their story is still told today and it is still a timeless legend. 

1 Jupiter 

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Jupiter is the most important Roman due to his status as the king of all gods. He holds the same status as the Greek god, Zeus. Another common name Jupiter holds is Optimus Maximus, which means "Father God Best and Greatest." Jupiter had a huge influence in the way the Roman Empire was run. He ruled over all Roman law and social order which were based on all of his beliefs. He is the son of Saturn and the father of Mars. Jupiter is also known as the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Jupiter was ruled in many temples across the Roman empire, including the largest temple in Rome. He was worshipped in this temple along with the other influential gods Juno and Minerva. Outside the temple is a huge stone dedicated to Jupiter that later became an oath stone. Jupiter is known as the overseer of Cosmic Justice. In all Roman courts people swore on the name of Jupiter while they were on trial. Jupiter is still worshipped by a small group of people today that are part of the group Religio Romana Neopaganism. This group is a Roman revivalist group that still believes Jupiter is the supreme god. Jupiter is important because he was worshipped by millions and millions of people. Roman law was based upon what people thought he believed in. He had a huge say in the way this huge, influential empire was run which affected so many people. Jupiter still has a huge influence on people today. The people that are members of the Religio Romana Neopaganism group still worship him. Jupiter's influence over the Roman empire influenced the world today because so many of today's influences are based on Ancient Rome. Jupiter will always have a legacy that no one else will ever match.


Works Cited

"Romulus and Remus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 29 Apr 2009, 15:07 UTC. 4 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Romulus_and_Remus&oldid=286860680>.




"Augustus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 19 Apr 2009, 00:40 UTC. 4 May 2009 <






"Jupiter (mythology)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 Apr 2009, 00:12 UTC. 4 May 2009 <




“Jupiter.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2 May 2009. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/308395/Jupiter>


“Romulus and Remus.” UNRV History. 3 May 2009. <http://www.unrv.com/culture/romulus-and-remus.php>


“Augustus Caesar.” 3 May 2009. <http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/egypt/history/people/augustus.htm>


“Augustus.” Famous-People. 2 May 2009. <http://www.famous-people.info/Soldier.html


“Romulus and Remus.” 1 May 2009. <http://www.sbceo.k12.ca.us/%7Evms/carlton/projimages3.htm>


“Jupiter.” 1 May 2009. http://www.metasymbology.com/jupiter.html









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