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Roman Empire

1. History and Transition from Republic to Empire: – Rome expanded its rule beyond the Italian peninsula in the 3rd century BC. – The Republic […]

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1. History and Transition from Republic to Empire:
– Rome expanded its rule beyond the Italian peninsula in the 3rd century BC.
– The Republic was governed by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the Senate.
– The 1st century BC saw political and military upheaval leading to rule by emperors.
– Transition from Republic to Empire occurred through internal conflicts and civil wars.
– Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC led to the rise of Octavian and the establishment of imperial rule.

2. Pax Romana and Transition from Classical to Late Antiquity:
– The Pax Romana period began with Augustus and lasted for 200 years, characterized by social stability and economic prosperity.
– Uprisings in the provinces were infrequent and swiftly suppressed during the Pax Romana.
– The Empire transitioned from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages marked by the Barbarian Invasions.
– The Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD marked the end of classical antiquity, while the Eastern Roman Empire continued until 1453.
– The Empire’s institutions and culture had a lasting influence on language, religion, art, and government.

3. Geography, Demography, and Languages:
– The Roman Empire was one of the largest in history, spanning Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
– The Empire claimed universal dominion under Christian rule in the 4th century.
– Latin and Greek were the main languages of the Empire, essential for various careers and influencing each other in language and culture.
– The Empire reached its largest expanse under Trajan, with an estimated population of 55-60 million inhabitants.
– The Empire deliberately promoted multilingualism for communication and projected power through Latin usage.

4. Government, Military, and Society:
– The Imperial state in Rome consisted of the central government, the military, and provincial government.
– Roman government was limited but efficient in resource utilization, with military control shifting from war to policing.
– Roman society was multicultural, fostering a shared identity through public spaces like forums and baths.
– Personal relationships influenced politics, and there were multiple social hierarchies in Roman society.
– Citizenship granted legal protections and privileges, with Roman law categorizing individuals as free or slaves.

5. Slavery, Women, and Legal Status in Roman Society:
– Slavery was a significant institution in Roman society, with slaves constituting a large portion of the population and supporting traditional social structures and the economy.
– Freeborn Roman women had limited rights but could own property, engage in business, and influence their sons’ lives.
– Roman law categorized individuals as free or slaves, with citizenship granting legal protections and privileges.
– Slaves in Rome were not based on race, and sources of slaves included war captives, markets, and self-enslavement.
– The Roman Empire had laws governing slavery, including restrictions on property ownership and granting legal protections over time.

Roman Empire (Wikipedia)

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican state of ancient Rome. It is generally understood to mean the period and territory ruled by the Romans following Octavian's assumption of sole rule under the Principate in 27 BC. It included territories in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia and was ruled by emperors. The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD conventionally marks the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Roman Empire
27 BC–AD 395 (unified)
AD 395–476/480 (Western)
AD 395–1453 (Eastern)
Flag of Roman Empire
with the imperial aquila
Imperial aquila of Roman Empire
Imperial aquila
  Roman Empire in AD 117 at its greatest extent, at the time of Trajan's death
Roman territorial evolution from the rise of the city-state of Rome to the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman territorial evolution from the rise of the city-state of Rome to the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Common languages
GovernmentSemi-elective absolute monarchy (de facto)
• Emperor
Historical eraClassical era to Late Middle Ages
25 BC2,750,000 km2 (1,060,000 sq mi)
AD 1175,000,000 km2 (1,900,000 sq mi)
AD 3903,400,000 km2 (1,300,000 sq mi)
• 25 BC
CurrencySestertius, aureus, solidus, nomisma
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Roman Republic
Western Roman Empire
Eastern Roman Empire

Rome had expanded its rule to most of the Mediterranean and beyond. However, it was severely destabilized in civil wars and political conflicts which culminated in the victory of Octavian over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the subsequent conquest of the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt. In 27 BC, the Roman Senate granted Octavian overarching power (imperium) and the new title of Augustus, marking his accession as the first Roman emperor of a monarchy with Rome as its sole capital. The vast Roman territories were organized in senatorial and imperial provinces.

The first two centuries of the Empire saw a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana (lit.'Roman Peace'). Rome reached its greatest territorial expanse under Trajan (r.98–117 AD); a period of increasing trouble and decline began under Commodus (180–192). In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, as the Gallic and Palmyrene Empires broke away from the Roman state, and a series of short-lived emperors led the Empire. It was reunified under Aurelian (r. 270–275). Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West in 286; Christians rose to power in the 4th century after the Edict of Milan. The imperial seat moved from Rome to Byzantium in 330, renamed Constantinople after Constantine the Great. The Migration Period, involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and by the Huns of Attila, led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire finally collapsed. The Eastern Roman Empire survived for another millennium with Constantinople as its sole capital, until the city's fall in 1453.

Due to the Empire's extent and endurance, its institutions and culture had a lasting influence on the development of language, religion, art, architecture, literature, philosophy, law, and forms of government across its territories. Latin evolved into the Romance languages while Medieval Greek became the language of the East. The Empire's adoption of Christianity resulted in the formation of medieval Christendom. Roman and Greek art had a profound impact on the Italian Renaissance. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Romanesque, Renaissance and Neoclassical architecture, influencing Islamic architecture. The rediscovery of classical science and technology (which formed the basis for Islamic science) in medieval Europe contributed to the Scientific Renaissance and Scientific Revolution. Many modern legal systems, such as the Napoleonic Code, descend from Roman law. Rome's republican institutions have influenced the Italian city-state republics of the medieval period, the early United States, and modern democratic republics.

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