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The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire is an ancient civilization that existed in what is today called Italy. The government of the Roman empire was autocratic. Despite this, Rome was a republic at one time. Another popular term of the Roman Empire is Imperium Romanum. When Rome first begin, it was a city-state. It eventually became an empire once the Romans begin to dominate regions beyond this. At its height, the Roman Empire was the largest in history covering well over 2 million square miles.

Historians are currently in debate about the exact start of this empire. However, a large number of historians agree that Rome became an empire when Julius Caesar was appointed to be a dictator.

The battle of Actium is another incident that many historians believe was the start of the Roman empire. As the Roman Republic was transformed into the Roman Empire, a number of political people sought to keep the citizens in the dark about the transformation. They continued to carry out procedures that made it appear as if Rome was a republic, while performing other actions that clearly showed that Rome had become an empire. Many historians consider September 4, 476 as the year when the Roman Empire ceased to exist. However, these same historians will make a distinction between the western portion of the Roman empire and the eastern portion. While the it was the western half that fell in 476, the eastern half continued and prospered long after this.

The eastern portion of Rome would become known as the Byzantine Empire. However, when most people use the term "Roman Empire," they are talking about the Empire that existed in the western portion of this region. Rome has continued to have a powerful effect on human affairs since it fell. Much of what is today known as Western civilization uses a political and economic structure that is very similar to the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire lasted so long that historian have split the history of ancient Rome into a number of different periods. There are few areas today were the influence of Rome cannot be felt.

Ancient Rome was responsible for influencing technology, politics, architecture, and language in regions that were thousands of miles away from Italy, and this influences have continued into modern times. At its zenith, the Roman Empire controlled much of the Eurasian region of the world. The only empires to surpass it in size were the Empire of the Hans and the Persian Empire.

Original Authors: Stephen Palmer
Edit Update Authors:
RPN
Updated On:
14/12/2006



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