The Rise Of Roman Empire
As legend has it, Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Mars, the god of war. Left to drown in a basket on the Tiber by a king of nearby Alba Longa and rescued by a she-wolf, the twins lived to defeat that king and found their own city on the river’s banks in 753 B.C. After killing his brother, Romulus became the first king of Rome, which is named for him. A line of Sabine, Latin and Etruscan (earlier Italian civilizations) kings followed in a non-hereditary succession.
Rome’s era as a monarchy ended in 509 B.C. with the overthrow of its seventh king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, whom ancient historians portrayed as cruel and tyrannical, compared to his benevolent predecessors. A popular uprising was said to have arisen over the rape of a virtuous noblewoman, Lucretia, by the king’s son. Whatever the cause, Rome turned from a monarchy into a republic, a world derived from res publica, or “property of the people.”
Beginning in the eighth century B.C., Ancient Rome grew from a small town on central Italy’s Tiber River into an empire that at its peak encompassed most of continental Europe, Britain, much of western Asia, northern Africa and the Mediterranean islands. Among the many legacies of Roman dominance are the widespread use of the Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian) derived from Latin, the modern Western alphabet and calendar and the emergence of Christianity as a major world religion. After 450 years as a republic, Rome became an empire in the wake of Julius Caesar’s rise and fall in the first century B.C.
The long and triumphant reign of its first emperor, Augustus, began a golden age of peace and prosperity; by contrast, the empire’s decline and fall by the fifth century A.D. was one of the most dramatic implosions in the history of human civilization.
The 500-year-old Roman Republic had become corrupt and weakened by bloody civil wars, political in-fighting, power plays and dissatisfaction with the Senate. These all led to the decline of the Roman Republic. Julius Caesar eventually seized power and became dictator, ending the Civil Wars, but signalling the end of the Roman Republic. The adoptive son of Julius Caesar, Octavian, then became the first Emperor of Rome as Caesar Augustus.
The Roman Empire is the term used to refer the period in Ancient Roman history and civilisation when when Rome and its territories were ruled by autocratic Emperor
At its most powerful the territories of the Roman Empire included lands in West and South Europe (the lands around the Mediterranean), Britain, Asia Minor, North Africa including Egypt.
The Roman Empire was established in 27 BC when Octavian, the adoptive son of Julius Caesar, was given the title ‘Augustus’ by the Roman Senate and became the first emperor of Rome, known as Augustus Caesar.
The Split of the Roman Empire
The Roman Empire became so vast that in 285 AD the Roman Empire was split in half by Diocletian – the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire (aka the Byzantine Empire). Theodosius I was the last emperor of both the Eastern and Western Roman Empire. After his death in 395 AD the two parts of the Roman Empire were split permanently.