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This article contains the history of Rome according to the World of Darkness timeline.


The history of Rome spans more than 28 centuries, from their beginning as a kingdom to the Roman Republic, its transformation into the Roman Empire and later as the seat of the Roman Catholic Church of the Papal States (though with various interregna) and a center of the Renaissance to becoming part of the newly founded Kingdom of Italy, the short-lived Italian Empire and the contemporary Republic of Italy.

Since the location has a vast and complex history, a timeline is presented to give an overview how the various supernatural factions of the World of Darkness active in Rome evolved and coexisted along mortal history. The timeline will at times examine territories outside the city of Rome proper, when they fell under Roman dominion.

Pre-Roman Era

Founding of the Roman State

According to Roman tradition, Rome was founded by Romulus, twin brother of Remus. Legend claims that the pair were nursed in their infancy by a wolf.

The first vampiric society in Rome was founded by Tinia, an Etruscan methuselah; like most of Rome's subsequent rulers (and most Cainite princes in general), she was a scion of Clan Ventrue.[3] Rome was one of the first cities, if not the first city, to grow large enough for Cainites of multiple clans to gather in one place in any significant number – or at least, the first time since the fall of the legendary Second City.[3] This was likewise the first opportunity for the Nosferatu to gather in groups larger than individuals or their broods.[4]

The Punic Wars and Carthage

The empire of the North African city-state of Carthage was a rival to Rome for centuries. Likewise, the Cainites of Rome and Carthage held a bitter rivalry. The Ventrue ruled in Rome first under Prince Collat and later his childe Camilla, and the Brujah held power in Carthage under none other than their Antediluvian, Troile. The Brujah sought to turn Carthage into the heir to the Second City where Cainites and kine could dwell in harmony, but they instead became tyrants who presided over slavery and infant sacrifice; many blame the presence of the Baali, whose leader, Moloch, had become Troile's confidant. Ultimately, the tide turned against Carthage and her Cainites as more and more clans allied with the Roman Ventrue during the Punic Wars between the two states. The Malkavian seeress Tryphosa counseled Camilla to take action against Carthage; this prompted the Roman Cainites to directly involve themselves in the Third Punic War. An alliance of many clans in the region united under Camilla's leadership: Malkavians, Lasombra, Toreador, Cappadocians, and even the rogue Baali Cybele. Carthage was destroyed by Roman forces at the end of this war; its soil was salted, with Troile and Moloch bound in the earth, entwined in a torpid embrace. The Idealist Brujah would ever after resent the Ventrue for destroying their last, best chance at creating a Third City.

This period also saw the Roman conquest of the Greek city-states. The ruling Romans suppressed many native Greek supernaturals, such as the Black Furies and the Sisters of Hippolyta. Others allied with the ascendant Roman supernaturals out of self-preservation, as is the case with the Greek Toreador and Roman Ventrue.[18]

Rise of the Roman Empire


  • 88 BCE: The Social War ends with Roman dominance, thanks in part to Ventrue efforts. The Asiatic Vespers result in the killing of tens of thousands of Romans in Asia Minor; Critias claims some responsibility. Critias soon moves to Byzantium.[28][29]
  • 63 BCE: Romans under Pompeius conquer Palestine, including Judea.[30][31]
  • 54 BCE: Julius Caesar leads the first Roman incursion into Britain, sparking conflicts between Roman and Celtic mages. Retreating druids forge pacts with the fae.[23]
  • 44 BCE: Murder of Julius Caesar by Brutus et al.[23][32] Lucius Casioli changes the Mt. Ossa Calyx to the Collegium Praecepti ("Brotherhood of the Rule"); its headquarters shifts from Greece to Rome, and its craft is dubbed Ars Praeclarus.[23]
  • 30 BCE: Cleopatra VII Philopater – last queen of independent Egypt, alleged Setite ghoul, consort of Mark Antony, and former consort of Julius Caesar – commits suicide via poisonous serpent.[33]
  • 27 BCE: Octavian becomes Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.[34]


  • 33: Crucifixion of Jesus by Roman authorities in Jerusalem.
  • 43: General Aulus Plautius conquers Britain for Emperor Claudius.[35][36][37][38] Celtic mages rebel against Roman occupiers.[23]
  • 61: Boadicea rebels against Romans and is defeated. Her son Ferox is taken as a ghoul by conquering Roman vampires.
  • 64: Great Fire devastates Rome.[23] Prince Camilla vanishes. Hermetic Library Mercuris is destroyed; Collegium Praecepti guild hall is spared.[23]
  • 100: At this time, hundreds of Earthbound congregate in Rome, organized into stratified ladder of hierarchy with Asmodeus and Abaddon at the top.[39]
  • 118: The Lightning Scourge begins: Roman Hermetics under Marcus Fulgurator battle Celtic mages across southern Britain and northern France; many magical beasts are slain.[23]
  • 120: Emperor Hadrian builds Hadrian's Wall along the southern border of Scotland.[23]
  • 121: The Lightning Scourge ends in a stalemate, with the Celtic mages driven back past Hadrian's Wall.[23]
  • 130: October: Hadrian's young lover Antinous commits suicide in Egypt's Nile River; Hadrian has the boy deified. Antinous is secretly Embraced by the Ventrue Methuselah Antonius; the childe takes his sire's name.[33][40]
  • 3rd century: The members of the Eternal Senate are all but forgotten, having become unknown ("Incogniti" or "Inconnu").[41]

Christian Rome

  • 310: The Eleusinian Accord between both Archdukes is broken. Both sides send their pawns against each other, resulting in another civil war.[42]
  • 312: October 27: Emperor Constantine the Great has a vision of a cross before the Battle of Milvian Bridge. After his victory over Maxentius, he converts to Christianity.
  • 313: The Edict of Milan promotes tolerance of Christianity in the Roman Empire under Constantine.[23]
  • 320: Claudius Oediticus authors a revelatory work, and later founded the Cabal of Pure Thought (Gabrielites).[23]
  • 326: Mi-ka-il/Beshter, having converted to Christianity and taken the name Michael, departs Rome for Constantinople to be with his lovers, the Dracon (Tzimisce) and Antonius the Gaul (Ventrue). Michael proclaims Dominus, an old Traditionalist of Rome, as Inconnu (an insult at the time). The Traditionalists are angered, creating a rift between the Cainites of the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire.[43]
  • 410: The Sack of Rome.[23][44] Hermetic sanctuaries and Collegium Praecepti guildhalls are ruined; their members are scattered, as are the Messianic Voices and the Gabrielites. The Dark Ages begin.[23] Romans withdraw from Britain.
  • 476: The last Emperor in Rome dies, and the Western Roman Empire crumbles.

Dark Ages

  • 955: The Earthbound Ala makes Pope John XII a thrall, gaining short-lived control over the papacy.
  • 1204: The Fourth Crusade sacks and burns Constantinople; the Eastern Roman Empire (the "Byzantine Empire") becomes the Latin Kingdom of Constantinople under control of Venetian lords.
  • 1229: A series of earthquakes devastate Rome. Prince Constantius' haven is destroyed, and the prince himself suffers the Final Death under the sunlight. The earthquake also jostles the Methuselah Camilla out of torpor.
  • 1231: The Church formally establishes the Inquisition. Gabrielites and Messianic Voices assist the Inquisition.[45]



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  2. MTAs: Mage: The Ascension Second Edition, p. 282
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 VTM: Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 142
  4. DAV: Players Guide to Low Clans, p. 45
  5. MTAs: Dead Magic II: Secrets and Survivors, p. 141
  6. VTM: Clanbook: Ventrue, p. 16
  7. MTAs: Technocracy: Syndicate, p. 16
  8. MTAs: Guide to the Technocracy, p. 59
  9. VTDA: Constantinople by Night, p. 16
  10. VTM: Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 50
  11. MTAs: Celestial Chorus Tradition Book, p. 16
  12. DTF: Demon: Earthbound, p. 26
  13. DTF: Demon: Earthbound, p. 27
  14. VTM: Counsel of Primogen, p. 13
  15. 15.0 15.1 DAV: Road of Sin, p. 90
  16. 16.0 16.1 VTDA: Iberia by Night, p. 18
  17. WTA: Tribebook: Fianna, p. 35
  18. VTM: Clanbook: Ventrue, p. 18
  19. VTM: Chicago by Night, p. 57 -58
  20. VTM: Chicago by Night Second Edition, p. 63
  21. 21.0 21.1 VTM: Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 74
  22. VTM: Bloody Hearts: Diablerie Britain, p. 22
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 23.12 23.13 MTSC: Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade Rulebook, p. 52
  24. VTDA: Veil of Night, p. 104
  25. MTAs: Order of Hermes Tradition Book, p. 11
  26. DAV: Road of Sin, p. 12
  27. WTA: Tribebook: Shadow Lords, p. 24
  28. VTM: Chicago by Night, p. 60
  29. VTM: Chicago by Night Second Edition, p. 65
  30. VTDA: Jerusalem by Night, p. 26
  31. VTM: Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 96
  32. VTM: Cairo by Night, p. 34
  33. 33.0 33.1 VTM: Cairo by Night, p. 35
  34. DTF: Demon: Earthbound, p. 27
  35. VTM: A World of Darkness, p. 9
  36. VAV: London by Night, p. 15
  37. DAV: Dark Ages: British Isles, p. 26
  38. DAV: Dark Ages: British Isles, p. 50
  39. DTF: Demon: Earthbound, p. 28
  40. VTM: Cairo by Night, p. 36
  41. VTM: Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 143
  42. DTF: Demon: Earthbound, p. 31
  43. VTDA: Constantinople by Night
  44. MTAs: Dead Magic, p. 96
  45. MTSC: Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade Rulebook, p. 54
  46. VTM: Giovanni Chronicles II: Blood & Fire Buy it from DriveThruRPG!