Ancient Rome began in 509 B.C. when the Romans ousted their neighboring Etruscan conquerors and formed a republic, a system of government where citizens elect officials to represent them. Folklore states that two brothers, Romulus and Remus, the sons of Mars the God of war, were left to drown in a basket on the Tigris River but were saved by a she-wolf. The twins then went on to conquer the king in 753 B.C. and founded a new city on the river banks.
In the early days of the republic, any male who was 15 years old that was a descendant of the original Roman tribes became a citizen. Citizens could vote, conduct acts of commerce and marry freeborn women.
The wealthy class, or Patricians, dominated the Roman Senate and elected two officials called consuls, who were commanders-in-chief of the republic's empire. The Plebeians were the lower class and did not gain rights to participate in the government until later in the republic's history.
The first Roman Law code was recorded for the first time officially in 450 B.C. Laws concerning civil and property rights and legal procedure were written on 12 tablets displayed in the Roman forum. These bronze tablets, the Law of the Twelve Tables, would become the bases for all Roman civil law to follow, according to History.com.