- capital of Italy; seat of an ancient republic and empire; city of the Papacy, Old English, from Old French Rome, from Latin Roma, a word of uncertain origin. "The original Roma quadrata was the fortified enclosure on the Palatine hill," according to Tucker, who finds "no probability" in derivation from *sreu- "flow," and suggests the name is "most probably" from *urobsma (cf. urbs, robur) and otherwise, "but less likely" from *urosma "hill" (cf. Sanskrit varsman- "height, point," Lithuanian virsus "upper"). Another suggestion [Klein] is that it is from Etruscan (cf. Rumon, former name of Tiber River).
Common in proverbs, e.g. Rome was not buylt in one daye (1540s); for when a man doth to Rome come, he must do as there is done (1590s); All roads alike conduct to Rome (1806).