In its glory days, the word Rome meant not the just city but what Romans considered the entire civilized world. In actuality, the first Romans mixed and mingled here — in the valley between the famous Seven Hills of Rome. In 509 BC, they tossed out their king, established a relatively democratic Roman Republic, and began what was perhaps history's greatest success story — the rise of Rome. But the Republic was finished, and Rome became the grand capital of a grand empire. The Capitoline Hill — which rises majestically from the busy streets — has long been the home of Rome's city government.