What is it about ancient Rome that captures our attention so many centuries after its collapse? Is it buff gladiators fighting for life and death? Depraved emperors and the conniving senators plotting against them? The brilliant minds who engineered an empire before it all collapsed into the Dark Ages? I think it is a little something of each of these, combined with the rich archaeological and intellectual remnants that have survived the centuries. There is something amazing about walking down roads built over a thousand years ago, or knowing that underneath modern cities like London are the graves and houses of people who set out to create one of the largest empires in history. There are many great ancient civilizations, but ancient Rome left its mark in so many places that it is hard to escape and easily accessible. You can touch an ancient Roman wall in Scotland, unearth ruins of a gladiator school in Austria or visit an amphitheatre in Paris. The Roman Empire, for good or for bad, left its mark on history and the landscape of Europe. It’s hard not to be captivated.