A significant and powerful civilisation, ancient Rome controlled over a large portion of Europe for almost a thousand years. Throughout its dominion, Ancient Rome disseminated its civilization throughout Europe. Rome’s culture thus continues to have an influence on Western civilization today. Ancient Rome served as the foundation for much of Western culture, particularly in the fields of law, engineering, architecture, language, and literature.
Rome first became powerful while it was a Republic. This meant that rather than being monarchs who were born into authority and reigned forever, Rome’s leaders, such as its senators, were elected officials who served for a set period of time. They possessed a sophisticated system of governance that included written laws, a constitution, and a balance of powers. Future democratic administrations, like those in the United States, were formed in large part because to these ideas.
From roughly 509 BC to 45 BC, the Republic would govern over Rome for hundreds of years.
Empire of Rome
Julius Caesar assumed control of the Roman Republic in 45 BC and established himself as its absolute ruler. The republic was destroyed as a result. The Roman Empire officially began when Caesar Augustus assumed the position of first Roman Emperor in 27 BC. The lesser levels of governance mostly remained the same, but the Emperor now held absolute power.
The Empire Splits
As the Roman Empire expanded, running it from Rome became more and more challenging. The Roman emperors ultimately agreed to divide Rome into two empires. One was the Western Roman Empire, which was governed from Rome. The other empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, was headquartered in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey). Byzantium or the Byzantine Empire would be the names given to the Eastern Roman Empire.
Fall of Rome
In most cases, when someone mentions “the fall of Rome,” they mean the Western Roman Empire. In 476 AD, it fell. Parts of Eastern Europe would be ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire, sometimes known as the Byzantine Empire, for a another 1000 years.
Interesting details about the Roman Empire
Italy’s capital today is the city of Rome. It is located on the same ground as the ancient city of Rome. Many of the original ancient structures, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, can still be seen if you travel to Rome.
There were around 150,000 seats available in the Circus Maximus, a sizable stadium created for chariot races.
In Europe, the “Dark Ages” are seen as having begun with the fall of Western Rome.
The consul held the highest post in the Roman Republic. To prevent one consul from becoming overly strong, there were two consuls present at once.
Although Latin was the native tongue of the Romans, they also frequently spoke Greek.
Julius Caesar declared himself to be the dictator for life when he assumed power. This, however, was short-lived because he was murdered a year later.