I am knee-deep in some good Roman research but wanted to share a high-level timeline of some major/important events which will put future articles into perspective.
753 BC: The official founding of Roma (Rome) by mythical Romulus
600 BC: The Forum is built
578 BC: The first sewer, Cloaca Maxima, is built
510/509 BC: Etruscan kings ruled Rome until Romans revolted; Tarquinius I was first Etruscan king of Rome. The last Etruscan king was Tarquinius Superbus. Rome establishes a Republic headed by two praetors (later, Consuls) elected annually.
494 BC: Class wars between plebians (land-owners) and patricians (nobles) begins
486 BC: Wars with Aequi and Volsci
482 - 474 BC: War with Veians in the city-state Veii
387 BC: Gauls/Celts sack Rome
366 BC: Lucius Sextius becomes the first plebeian elected consul. This is significant in that someone from the land-owning class has risen up to a typically patrician position, one of the highest positions in the empire.
343 BC: Rome battles the Samnites. Two years later, they conquer Campania and its capital of Capua.
326 BC: The Circus Maximus, stadium for chariot races and other entertainment, is built
312 BC: The Via Appia (also known as the Appian Way, the road system) is built
312 BC: The Aqua Apia (the aqueduct) is built
308 BC: Romans conquer the Etruscan city of Tarquinia
298 BC: Rome goes to war against the Samnites again. Three years later they defeat them at Sentium.
295 BC: Romans defeat the Gauls/Celts in northern Italy
280 BC: Coins are issued
280 BC: Rome is defeated by Pyrrhus of Epirus at Heraclea. Five years later, Romans defeat Pyrrhus and conquer most of southern Italy
272 BC: The Anio Vetus (another aqueduct) is built
264 BC: Rome fights Carthage in the first Punic war
225 BC: The Gauls invade Rome. Three years later, the Gauls are defeated.
221 BC: The Circus Flaminius (another racetrack) is built
218 BC: Hannibal invades Italy and allies with the Gauls
202 BC: Scipio defeats Hannibal and Rome annexes Spain
184 BC: The Basilica Porcia is built; it is the oldest basilica in the known world
171 BC - 167 BC: The Third Macedonian War begins when Perseus attacks Rome and ends with Rome dividing Macedonia into four republics.
154 BC: The tribes of Lusitania rebel against Rome
151 BC: Roman troops massacre Celts in Spain
149 BC: Rome attacks Carthage and three years later destroys it.
149 BC: Roma wins the battle of Corinth, conquering Greece.
146 BC: Macedonia becomes a province of Rome
144 BC: The first high-level aqueduct is built
139 BC: First Servile War begins when 4,500 slaves are crucified in Sicily and the remaining slaves revolt.
128 BC: Southern France (Aquitania) becomes a province of Rome
113 BC: Germanic tribes Cimbri and Teutones defeat the Romans and invade Gaul and Spain
111 BC: Rome declares war on Numidia and five years later, Marius and troops defeat the King of Numidia, Jugurtha.
105 BC: the Teutones and the Cimbri defeat the Romans at Arausio/Orange
104 BC: Second Servile War - Slave revolt in Sicily again