What Would The Kings House Be Called In Ancient Rome

Modern society is incredibly different from ancient times. That’s especially evident around the question of what kingship meant in antiquity. In ancient Rome, kings and queens — if there were any — had a similar structure of governance as it exists in monarchies today. Yet the house of the king or queen was called something different. What was it called?

The answer to that question is not as simple as many would expect. Roman leaders, much like their counterparts from other ancient civilizations, did not have a single palace or residence where they lived, in the same way people would expect today. However, a few structures have been noted. One that has caused the most attention of scholars is called the regia, which is the Latin term for “the king’s house”. It was first mentioned in the eighth century BCE and was built on a plot of land at the consulate of the royal family. In the earliest days, the regia functioned as a fortification and was believed to be the center of all government activity.

The earliest regia was made of mud and thatch, and was surrounded by a wall and a ditch. This low-powered structure stood in the very center of ancient Rome. Later, the building was replaced with an impressive stone residence, believed to have been constructed after the original king, Tarquin the Elder, passed away in the late sixth century BCE. This new structure was said to have been quite sophisticated for its age. It was divided into four large chambers, and each of them held a specific purpose. The first and largest room served as a meeting house where political and social matters were discussed and decided. The second chamber was the throne room, where the king would conduct private meetings with advisors. Further on, the third chamber was a reception area, while the fourth was a storage area.

Location of the Regia

The regia, however, did not always stand in the same spot. The most dramatic relocation of this building took place at the death of Romulus, Rome’s first king, in 753 BCE when it moved to the Forum Roman, where it stood until the end of the kingdom in 509 BCE when it was burned by Marcus Furius Camillus and demolished. Afterward, a temple was erected in its place.

Function of the Regia

Throughout its history, the regia served as a place for conducting state affairs. Kings convened advisers within the chambers to discuss matters, debate policies, and make decisions. While it was not the only residence of Rome’s kings – if there were any – it was certainly a key element of the kingdom, representing an ideal of power and grandeur. It was believed that the throne room contained the sacred ius fetiale, an ancient legal code thought to represent the civil law of the kingdom.

The regia was also believed to be the dwelling place of the divine flame that was kept alight, without interruption, by the Vestal Virgins. This symbolized Rome’s continuity to the gods, protecting the city from foreign invaders and any disasters that might befall it. This tradition started as early as the fifth century BCE and was kept alive until the turn of the third century.

Meaning of the Building

The regia was the face of Rome’s monarchy for the people of antiquity. It held immense religious and political power, and was viewed as a symbol of the monarchy. It was also the place where new laws, regulations, and edicts were announced by the king, making it an extremely important feature of the state. Its placement was also significant, as it stood in the very center of the city, legitimizing the monarchy and symbolizing its power.

For this reason, the regia was a source of great pride for Rome’s citizens. They believed that their kings had an important connection to the gods which was symbolized in the building. Even after the monarchy ended, the regia continued to exist in some form. It was a reminder of Rome’s proud past, and of its powerful kings.


As time passed, the regia fell into ruins, and its structure was forgotten by many. Thankfully, new archaeological research has revealed that the building was an important part of Roman history and culture. Scholars have used this research to preserve the regia in modern times, giving it a new life and a place in history.

From its earliest days, the regia was a symbol of political and religious power. It was the residence of the monarchy, a place of religious rituals, and a center for state activity. Above all, it was a reminder of Rome’s royal past, a legacy that is still evident today.


Since the re-emergence of the regia in modern times, scholars have been able to gain new insights into the way ancient Romans lived and organized themselves politically. It has become clear that the regia was an important part of the state, and it played a huge role in the city’s religious and political life. It is also seen as a symbol of Rome’s past, representing a link between the city’s ancient and modern history.

Today, the regia has regained its former place in antiquity and is celebrated as an important symbol of Rome’s glorious past. Its location in the middle of the city, along with its immense political and religious power, make it a lasting reminder of the power of kingship in ancient Rome.


The regia has since been restored and turned into a museum, allowing visitors to explore its many chambers and learn more about its fascinating history. Though its original layout may have been lost to the ages, its importance as a symbol of Rome’s past remains intact. The regia continues to draw visitors to Rome, who come to marvel at its majestic structure and appreciate its place in antiquity.


The regia continues to have an impact on modern society, influencing the way people view the monarchy. It is a reminder of the power and influence of kings in ancient Rome, and is seen as an important symbol of the country’s proud history. Its place at the center of Rome serves as a reminder of the political and religious power of the monarchy, and its significance continues to live on today.


Despite its age, the presence of the regia is still strikingly obvious. It stands as a testament to the power of kingship and is a reminder of the grandeur of ancient Rome. Its existence was an important part of Rome’s past, and it continues to be a source of pride for the city’s citizens. Though it has since been turned into a museum, the regia remains an integral part of Rome’s past, and its influence and importance continue to be felt today.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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