- "Roma is the pillar that holds our entire enterprise aloft. She cannot waver; which means neither can you."
- ―Cesare Borgia to his allies.[src]
Rome (Latin and Italian: Roma) is the capital city of Italy. During the Renaissance, Rome was the capital of the Papal States and headquarters of the Roman Rite of the Templar Order. Also, as part of Rome's liberation, the city became the base for the Italian Brotherhood of the Assassins. During the Renaissance, Rome was divided in four districts: Antico District, Campagna District, Centro District and Vaticano District.
During the Isu Era, the First Civilization built at least three sites near the future location of Rome. The Isu Jupiter, Minerva and Juno were remembered as the Capitoline Triad and assimilated to gods.
Kingdom of Rome
Archaeological evidence supports that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on Colle Palatino, the future site of the Roman Forum, upon which there are several caves. According to legends, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BCE by the King Romulus, son of the god Mars bred by a she-wolf on the Palatine Hill, which became the place of the royal palace.
Republic of Rome
Eventually, the Republic of Rome was founded in c. 510 BCE, which eventually began to conquer territories through Mediterranean Sea, having influence over Gaul, Hispania, Greece, Egypt and Middle-East. In 456 BCE, a law was passed allowing plebeians to own property on the Aventine Hill, causing the city to quickly grow beyond its walls. After an invasion of the Gauls, a wall was built encircling the hill.
Between 144 and 140 BCE, the Praetor Quintus Marcius Rex built the longest aqueduct of the city, running on 91 miles. In 62 BCE, Lucius Fabricius built a bridge connecting the Tiber Island to Rome.
In 90 BCE, Tivoli received official Roman citizenship and became a resort destination for the Roman elite who travelled there for its beauty and superb water.
In 49 BCE, a Civil War began between the consuls Pompey and Julius Caesar. In this conflict, Pompey died and Caesar became the dictator of the Republic. On 15 March 44 BCE, Caesar was stabbed and killed in the Theatre of Pompey by forty senators, calling themselves the "Liberatores", who secretly were Hidden Ones. These Liberatores were led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, and helped by the Egyptian Hidden One Aya.
After Caesar's death, the Republic was led by Marcus Antonius, Lepidus and Octavianus, Caesar's adoptive son. As Antonius committed suicide after being defeated by Octavianus in 30 BCE, Rome became an Empire in 27 BCE with Octavianus as his first Emperor known as Augustus. Under his reign, he constructed many monuments. He finished the Basilica Julia in honor of his adoptive father using it as a court of civil law as well as for sessions of the Centumviri who presided over matters of inheritance. He ordered the construction of the Pantheon to celebrate the victory of Agrippa over Antonius, and the Mausoleum of Augustus where he was buried with other important persons.
In the year 41 CE, the Hidden Ones Leonius assassinated the Emperor and Templar puppet Caligula in Rome, whom he stabbed with a dagger. His successor Claudius finished the construction of his aqueduct in 52 CE.
Between 54 and 68 CE, Rome was ruled by the Emperor Nero, who was known for his tyranny and extravagance. In 64 CE, a Great Fire occurred in Rome. Some accused Nero of intentionally started the fire to make room for his golden palace on Esquiline Hill. It was also likely that Nero used the aqueducts to build his palace because they did not give water to civilians anymore for a time. As Nero accused the Christians to have started the Fire. The Apostle and Jesus' disciple Peter was crucified in the Circus of Nero circa 68 CE where he was buried. As Peter was the wielder of a Staff of Eden, a Piece of Eden, all the leaders of Christian community and later the Popes kept the artifact.
Under the Flavian dynasty, many monuments were constructed by the Emperors. Between 72 and 80 CE, the Colosseum was built as a place of entertainment. The Temple of Vespasian and the Arch of Titus honored the two first Emperor of the dynasty. Domitian ordered the construction of a stadium in Rome.
During the 2nd century CE, the Roman Empire knew a Golden Age under the Nerva-Antonine. The Emperor Trajan and his architect Apollodorus of Damascus constructed three monuments to the glory of the Emperor: a market, a column and public baths on the ruins of Nero's Golden Palace. Trajan's successor, Hadrian ordered the construction of a mausoleum bigger than Augustus' one and restored the Pantheon. In 140 CE, a part of the Circus Maximus collapsed, killing 1,112 spectators. The same year, the Empress Faustina the Elder died. Her husband Antoninus Pius erected a temple in her honor on the Roman Forum. 20 years later, the Emperor died and the temple was also dedicated to him. During this century, the Catacombs of Rome were constructed and served as a buried place for the Christians who hid in the city.
At the end of the 2nd century, the Severian dynasty ruled over Rome. To celebrate his victory over the Parthians, the Emperor Septimius Severus constructed an arch near the Colosseum. His sons Geta and Caracalla succeeded to him but in 211 CE, Caracalla killed Geta and destroyed all records of Geta's existence, as his representations on the arch. Caracalla ordered the construction of public baths with the Acqua Antoniniana and restored the Porta Tiburtina. In 259 CE, the Hidden Ones Aquilus assassinated Caïus Fulvus Vultur, a member of the Order of the Ancients, in the city of Rome to avenge his father Lucius and recapture the Ankh.
In 271 CE, the Emperor Aurelian began the construction of walls around the city, connecting numerous arches and gates. His successor Probus completed his work in 275 CE. In 283 CE, the Temple of Saturn was restored.
At the end of the 3rd century, the Emperor Diocletian constructed public baths on the Viminal Hill. In 308 CE, the Emperor Maxentius began the construction of a basilica in the Roman Forum. After being defeated by Constantine I, the basilica was finished by his Maxentius' rival, who constructed an arch to remember his victory. Constantine also destroyed the barracks in the Castra Praetoria as the Praetorian Guard sided with Maxentius during the war, disbanding it in the process. The Emperor also built his lavish private baths on the Quirinal hill.
As Constantine authorized the Christian religion, in 326 CE the St. Peter's Basilica was constructed on the site of Peter's death. The Lateran Palace became the principal residence of the Pope.
In 401 CE, Hadrian's Mausoleum was changed into a military fortress. In 410 CE, the King of the Visigoths Alaric I entered in Rome by the Porta Salaria with his army and began to sack the city. The Basilica Aemilia was destroyed during the attack and the urns and ashes of Hadian's Mausoleum were scattered by looters. In 476 CE, the Western Roman Empire fell, ending the rule of the Romans on the city.
During the 6th century, Rome was disputed between the Ostrogoths and the Eastern Romans. In 536 CE, the Roman general Belisarius entered in the city by the Porta Asinaria and took back Rome. A year later, the Ostrogoths besieged the city, cutting the water supply and attacking the Hadrian's Mausoleum. During the Gothic Wars in 545 CE, much of Aurelian Walls were destroyed by the army of the Ostrogoth King Totila. In 546 CE, a traitor opened the Porta Asinaria to the Ostrogoths who sacked the city. In 549 CE, the treason of the Isaurian garrison permitted to the Ostrogoths to enter by the Porta Ostiense and sacked another time the city.
During the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church increased their influence in Rome. Around 550s CE, Pelagius I ordered the construction of the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles to celebrate the victory of the Roman General Narses over the Ostrogoths. At the end of the 6th century, Gregory I built the church Santa Maria in Vallicella. In 609 CE, Boniface IV converted the Pantheon into a church.
Beginning of the Papal State
At the middle of the 9th century, Rome became the target of Arab raids. In 849 CE, one of this raid was repelled by the forces of Leo IV at the Battle of Ostia. In 852 CE, to forbid any futher raids, the Vatican was enclosed by the Leonine Walls, composed by the Porta Viridaria and the Porta Cavalleggeri. During the 11th Century, the Church to convert the Ruins of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina into the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda.
During the 12th century, the House of Colonna occupied the area around the Mausoleum of Augustus, which was fortified and converted into part of the Castel Sant'Angelo. At this period, a Commune of Rome was established but eventually failed in 1167 and the Colonna family was disgraced, banished from the city and their fortification was dismantled.
During the 13th and the 14th century, the Capitoline Hill became the siege of the communal power with the construction of the Palazzo dei Conservatori as the seat of the Roman magistrates and the Palazzo Senatorio for the judges. On the ruins of the Temple of Juno was constructed the church Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
During the 14th century, some accidents occurred in the city. The Lateran Palace was on fire in 1307 and 1361, deciding the Pope to leave it to go to the Hadrian Mausoleum, becoming the Castel Sant'Angelo. A passage was created between the Papal residence and St Peter's. In 1348, an earthquake damaged the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles and the Torre delle Milizie. A year later, another earthquake made a part of the Colosseum collapsed.
In 1400 was built the Rosa in Fiore, one of the most popular brothel in Rome, also known for its preferential treatment for members of the Vatican. In 1417, the Pope Martin V from the Colonna family ordered the restoration of the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles.
- "I say we work here. In Roma. Erode the Borgia’s influence while restoring our own. And in fact, I want to begin right now."
- ―Ezio to his allies, before beginning the liberation of Rome, 1501.[src]
During the 15th century, Rome became an economic and cultural powerhouse in Europe, even though Florence surpassed Rome as the center of the Italian Renaissance. Due to the rivalry between the two cities, the papacy spent vast amounts of money to create cultural masterworks.
The Jubilee of 1450 was particularly deadly for the pilgrims. The balustrades of the Ponte Sant'Angelo buckled due to a surging mob of pilgrims making their way to the Basilica San Pietro, leading to a mass drowning. Several hundred pilgrims were also trampled to death moving between churches in 1450. The populace was so traumatized by the insanity of the events unfolding, that performers stayed in the city for several years afterward to help ease Jubilee withdrawal.
In 1461, Pope Pius II built the Rocca Pia in an attempt to control the population of Tivoli which often rioted. The fortress stood as a symbol of the omnipotence of the papal temporal power. During the Renaissance, Tivoli had open several open-air travertine mines, excavating stone for the palazzos and courtyards of Rome.
In 1476, cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, Grand Master of the Italian Templars and a powerful figure in Vatican politics, briefly left the city to discuss his Order's plans to take control of Florence and killing Lorenzo de' Medici, before returning to affirm Papal approval. Assent was given by Pope Sixtus IV, and the Templars were provided with military support for their endeavors.
In St Peter's, Rodrigo was confronted by the Master Assassin Giovanni Auditore da Firenze, as the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins knew about the Templars' schemes. After trying to make him betray the Assassins, Rodrigo ordered to his guards to kill the Assassin. Giovanni survived but was later hung with two of his sons in Florence by the Templar agent Uberto Alberti to impeach him to reveal their plans.
During his pontificate, Sixtus IV built the Ponte Sisto between 1473 and 1479 to connect the Centro District and the Vatican. In 1483 began the construction of the Sistine Chapel, serving as the Pope's chapel near St Peter's. Artists as Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio worked on the painting of the chapel. The chapel was constructed on the site of a vault of the Isu. After the death of Sixtus IV in 1484, looters sacked Rome. Caterina Sforza, ruler of Forlì and wife of Sixtus' nephew Girolamo Riario, organized the defense of the Vatican, with cannon fire and soldiers.
In 1492, Rodrigo became Pope Alexander VI, and head of the Papal States and Catholic Church. Ruling with his family and the Templars, he maintained oppression over the city with towers located throughout Rome, which prevented shops from opening.
In 1497, Juan Borgia the Younger, Rodrigo's elder son, was assassinated by the courtesan Fiora Cavazza under the order of his own brother, Cesare Borgia who became the Captain-General of the Papal Army. His personal assassin, Micheletto Corella killed some of Cesare's enemies in the city. Cesare controlled the city with many Templar cultists through Rome, as the thieves of the Cento Occhi and the cultists of the Followers of Romulus, accomplishing different illegal activities: slavery, corruption, smuggling, persecution and murders. Cesare also associated with Juan Borgia the Elder to fund his army and allied with the French noble Octavian de Valois who established his troops in the countryside of Rome.
The Assassin Brotherhood also intervened in Rome in the 1490's. Around 1493, the condottiero and Assassin Bartolomeo d'Alviano arrived in the city with his companies installing in a barrack in Rome. His guild controlled the fighting club in the city and recruited the champion Corvo Antonelli in the Brotherhood. In 1496, Bartolomeo allied with the House of Orsini to fight Cesare.
In 1497, the Assassin Perotto Calderon was sent undercover in the Borgia court as a courier but he compromised the Brotherhood when he had an affair with Rodrigo's daughter Lucrezia which resulted to the birth of Giovanni Borgia and the death of Perotto in 1498. The Assassin and Florentine thief La Volpe arrived in Rome and established a guild to fight the Cento Occhi. The Assassin Niccolò Machiavelli served as a diplomate in the Papal court.
In 1499, the Master Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Giovanni's son, learned that the Vatican Vault was beneath the Sistine Chapel and confronted Rodrigo in a fight. Defeating him, he used the Papal Staff and an Apple of Eden to open the vault. There, he entered in contact with Minerva who told him about the Great Catastrophe and about the Second Disaster. After that, the staff was locked in the vault, and Ezio flew Rome with the Apple.
In 1500, Cesare Borgia led the Papal Army to Monteriggioni, the headquarters of the Assassins. During the siege, Cesare took the Apple of Eden, captured Caterina Sforza and killed the leader of the Assassin Mario Auditore, Ezio's uncle. Escaping from the city with the population, Ezio returned to Rome to exact his revenge. At the time, the city had fallen far behind those of Florence and Venice, and had grown stagnant in terms of development, due to the influence of the Borgia.
Allying with Machiavelli, Ezio decided to increase their network in the city. In order to free Rome of the Borgia influence, Ezio killed the overlords of the towers and burned the structures themselves to the ground, taking them over for the Assassin Order afterwards and renovating the districts. Claudia Auditore da Firenze, Ezio's sister, took control of the Rosa in Fiore, having information from the men of the Vatican. Ezio helped Bartolomeo in his fight with the French. With la Volpe, Ezio founded La Volpe Addormentata, a tavern that served as the headquarters of the Roman thieves. Ezio also accomplished some assassination contract for Machiavelli and also tracked the Followers of Romulus to exposed their ties with the Borgia.
In November 1500, the Templar and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus wanted to share his scientific discoveries but the Master of the Sacred Palace tried to kill him. Ezio protected him and killed the Master while Copernicus studied the lunar eclipse in Rome.
In 1501, during his mission to assassinate Rodrigo and his son, Ezio rescued Caterina Sforza who was imprisoned in the Castel Sant'Angelo. Understanding they couldn't attack Cesare directly, Ezio established the Assassins Guild in Rome, and set up its headquarters on Tiber Island to decrease the power of Cesare. By recruiting several Roman civilians as Assassin apprentices, the Brotherhood worked to free Rome of Templar control, killing some of their agents and going on missions through Europe and Asia. Cesare captured the inventor Leonardo da Vinci to force him to construct War Machines while he studied the Apple for Rodrigo. Leonardo decided to help his old friend Ezio by indicating which guard in Rome had the location of the War Machines.
In 1501, the ancient speaking statue of Pasquino was unearthed at Piazza Navona. The citizens used it as a sign post for social parodies and anonymous derogatory comments, which were attached to it for all to read.
In August 1503, Ezio killed Juan Borgia the Elder, cutting the funds of Cesare. Octavian de Valois knew the same fate. After the death of their general, the French troops flew Rome. Ezio saved the actor Pietro Rossi from Micheletto Corella to obtain the key of the Castel Sant'Angelo. As the new Mentor of the Assassins, Ezio infiltrated the Papal residence and witnessed the assassination of Rodrigo by Cesare as he refused to give him the Apple of Eden. The Assassin and the Templar ran out for the artifact and Ezio recovered it in the place of St Peter's. During the following months, the Assassins and the Templars fought for the control of the city. Ezio used the power of the Apple to defeat the Borgia. In December, after a fight between the two factions on the Piazza del Popolo, the Pope Julius II had Cesare arrested, finishing the Templar influence on the city.
During the year 1504, Cesare tried to escape from Rome but was captured by Ezio. Cesare was then sent in a castle in Spain. The Assassins continued to fight the Borgia diehards in Rome. After finishing with them, Ezio hid the Apple of Eden in the Isu vault under Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
In 1506, the Hermeticists led by Ercole Massimo kidnapped Leonardo da Vinci to open the Temple of Pythagoras hid in Roman Underground. Ezio recovered the paintings of his friend in to find the hidden clues leading to the Temple. After killing all the Hermeticists and saving Leonardo, the duo decided to enter in the Pythagorean Vault inside the Temple, which gave the coordinates for the Grand Temple in North America.
During the beginning of the 16th century, two members of the House of Medici became Pope. In 1518, Leo X initiated an architectural completion for a new church to be built in place of the old Saint Pantaleo. The winning architect went by the name of Sansovino but there were complications, the construction slowly ground to a halt and many different individuals tried to finish the church tower for over two centuries. In 1527, Rome was sacked by the imperial troops. Clement VII who was imprisoned in the Castel Sant'Angelo, escaped from the fortress disguised as a tradesman.
During his papacy, the Pope Paul III commissioned Michelangelo to improve the Capitol Hill to impress the Emperor Charles V. The artist re-designed the facade of the Palazzo dei Conservatori, adding gigantic Corinthian pilaster strips on high pedestals to make it a little less ostentatious. He also designed a double-flighted staircase in front of the Palazzo Senatorio.
In 1542, Paul III established the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, a system of tribunals for prosecuting anyone with alternate religious beliefs.
In 1575, construction of the cathedral Santa Maria in Vallicella got underway, which was eventually finished and consecrated in 1599.
During his papacy, the Pope Sixtus V wished to make use of the remaining shell of the Colosseo to convert the structure into a giant wool factory to provide employment for Rome's prostitutes. However, he died before his plan could become reality.
In 1598, a flood swept away the eastern arch of the Pons Aemilius, the oldest bridge of Rome. City officials deemed it too expensive to fix, as all money was heading into Pope Clement VIII's execution fund.
Between 1594 and 1600, the Dominican Friar and Hermeticists Giordano Bruno was held prisoner in the Castel Sant'Angelo for heresy. In 1600, he was burnt at stake in the small interior courtyard of the Castel
In 1601, plague struck the city due to a stagnant river of the small channel near Porta Metronia.
In 1638, a massive face lift was begun on Sant'Antonio dei Portoghesi at the hands of Martino Longhi the Younger, converting it to the national church of the Portuguese people.
In 1650, San Andrea della Valle was completed and celebrated the world over for its stunning interior.
In 1734, San Giovanni dei Fiorentini was finnaly completed.
In 1960, the spot where the Caserma di Alviano was standing was marked for a memorial, but no one was quite sure where the barracks were actually located, so the idea was scrapped in favour of a park, which was, in turn, scrapped in favor of a fast food restaurant.
In 2007, a construction accident that halted temporarily the flow of the Acqua Vergine, the source providing water to the Trevi Fountain, the Villa Borghese, the north and south fountains of the Piazza Navona and the fountains of Piazza del Popolo.
In 2012, the Assassin Clay Kaczmarek was tasked to infiltrate the Abstergo laboratory in Rome, as Subject 16 of the Animus Project. Clay remained in the lab for the remainder of his physical life, until the consequences of the Bleeding Effect drove him insane and led him to commit suicide. Clay would then continue to provide assistance within the Animus to his successor, Desmond Miles, via an implanted digital consciousness.
In September 2012, Desmond Miles was captured by the Templars and brought to the same facility in Rome. There, Desmond was marked Subject 17 of the Animus Project, in which Warren Vidic examined the genetic memories of Desmond's ancestor, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, for a week. Desmond subsequently escaped from the facility with the help of Lucy Stillman, who in reality was a Templar part of Project Siren. The pair then made their way to an Assassin hideout nearby, where Desmond relived Ezio's memories in order to gain his abilities through the Bleeding Effect. Once Vidic and the Templars located the Assassins, Desmond and his team were forced to relocate to another safer location in Monteriggioni.
On October 10, 2012, Desmond Miles, Lucy Stillman, Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings returned to Rome to retrieve the Apple of Eden, after Desmond had relived Ezio's memories in Rome and found that the Assassin had locked the Piece of Eden in the Colosseum Vault, as well as leaving the password to unlock the Vault on the wall of the Sanctuary, where they were stationed.
On December 12, 2012, Desmond returned to Rome, to the same Abstergo laboratory he had been held in months before, to rescue his father who had been captured by the Templar organization. Desmond fought his way to Warren Vidic's office, killing Daniel Cross and many Abstergo guards along the way. There, Desmond managed to rescue his father and kill Vidic using his Apple of Eden, which he also used to escape the laboratory.
The simulation was set in the Centro District, depicting the market square, upon which a great many market stalls had been set up, located in front of the Pantheon and the surrounding residences. Although the Pantheon could be seen, its interior and exterior were inaccessible. The streets themselves were relatively spacious, but the many hidden alleyways allowed people to slip away from the masses with ease.
Rome, like most of the simulated locations in the first and second stage, had two aesthetic variations. As such, it could be utilized during the day or at dusk.
The city was divided into four districts: Centro, Antico, Campagna, and the Vaticano district. With the exception of the Vaticano district, these were also subdivided into 12 territories, each one controlled by a Borgia tower.
- In-game, the city was tilted roughly 15 degrees to the right from its real counterpart.
- In an interview, developers mentioned Rome to be four times bigger than Venice, despite in reality being only three times bigger.
- While Rome and Florence's architecture were historically similar during the game's time period, the developers of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood designed Rome with its later Baroque style to be more familiar to their audience.
- The area where Ezio climbed up to the Castel Sant'Angelo from the river in Assassin's Creed II was unreachable in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, with fencing and blockades along the Castello and Vaticano district.
- The buildings seen north of the Passetto di Borgo in Assassin's Creed II did not appear in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
- In the Assassin's Creed series, there were two bridges that could clearly be seen that led into the Vaticano district of Rome: the Ponte Sant'Angelo, leading first into Castel Sant'Angelo, and the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, which lay west of the Ponte Sant'Angelo. While both bridges could be seen in Assassin's Creed II, the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II was missing in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
- While the final memory of Assassin's Creed II took place in 1499, construction on the Ponte Emanuele did not begin until 1886. This is one of the largest anachronisms in the series to date, and an oversight of 387 years.
- Assassin's Creed: Lineage (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed II
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy
- Assassin's Creed: Ascendance (non-canonical appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
- Assassin's Creed: Identity (ambiguously canonical appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Origins
- Assassin's Creed: Origins comic
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood of Venice