The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire is the name given to both the imperial domain developed by the city-state of Rome and also the corresponding phase of that civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government. It succeeded the 500 year-old Roman Republic, which had been weakened by the conflict between Gaius Marius and Sulla and the civil war of Julius Caesar against Pompey.
Roman Eagle StandardSeveral dates are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including the date of Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the victory of Caesar's heir Octavian at the Battle of Actium, and the Roman Senate's granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus. From the time of Augustus to the Fall of the Western Empire, Rome dominated Western Eurasia, comprising the majority of its population. At its territorial peak in 116, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 5 900 000 km˛ of land surface, making it the largest empire of its time. The expansion of this Roman territory beyond the borders of the initial city-state of Rome had started long before the state organization turned into an Empire. The greatest extent of the expansion came after the conquest of Dacia by Trajan in 116. The Latin term Imperium Romanum ("Roman Empire"), probably the best-known Latin expression where the word "imperium" denotes a territory, indicates the part of the world under Roman rule.
Rome's influence on the culture, law, technology, arts, language, religion, government, military, and architecture of Western civilization is a continuing legacy more than one thousand years after the Empire ceased to exist. The end of the Roman Empire is traditionally placed on 4 September 476, when the Western Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders, although the major power centre of the Empire had by then transferred to the Eastern Roman Empire.
Known to modern-day historians as the Byzantine Empire, it maintained Roman legal and cultural traditions within a distinctly Christian form for another thousand years until it finally succumbed to the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453.

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