Category: Roman Empire
Roman Empire, the ancient empire, centred on the city of Rome, that was established in 27 BCE following the demise of the Roman Republic and continuing to the final eclipse of the empire of the West in the 5th century CE.
The Roman Empire, at its height (c. 117 CE), was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization. By 285 CE the empire had grown too vast to be ruled from the central government at Rome and so was divided by Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305 CE) into a Western and an Eastern Empire. The Roman Empire began when Augustus Caesar (r. 27 BCE-14 CE) became the first emperor of Rome and ended, in the west, when the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus (r. 475-476 CE), was deposed by the Germanic King Odoacer (r. 476-493 CE). In the east, it continued as the Byzantine Empire until the death of Constantine XI (r. 1449-1453 CE) and the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 CE. The influence of the Roman Empire on western civilization was profound in its lasting contributions to virtually every aspect of western culture.