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History of the Roman Empire

explanatory Essay
1152 words
1152 words
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Roman Empire, political system established by Rome that lasted for nearly five centuries. Historians usually date the beginning of the Roman Empire from 27 bc when the Roman Senate gave Gaius Octavius the name Augustus and he became the undisputed emperor after years of bitter civil war. At its peak the empire included lands throughout the Mediterranean world. Rome had first expanded into other parts of Italy and neighboring territories during the Roman Republic (509-27 bc), but made wider conquests and solidified political control of these lands during the empire. The empire lasted until Germanic invasions, economic decline, and internal unrest in the 4th and 5th centuries ad ended Rome’s ability to dominate such a huge territory. The Romans and their empire gave cultural and political shape to the subsequent history of Europe from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present day. In 44 bc Gaius Julius Caesar, the Roman leader who ruled the Roman Republic as a dictator, was assassinated . Rome descended into more than ten years of civil war and political upheaval. After Caesar’s heir Gaius Octavius (also known as Octavian) defeated his last rivals, the Senate in 27 bc proclaimed him Augustus, meaning the exalted or holy one. In this way Augustus established the monarchy that became known as the Roman Empire. The Roman Republic, which had lasted nearly 500 years, was dead, never to be revived. The empire would endure for another 500 years until ad 476 (See Ancient Rome). The emperor Augustus reigned from 27 bc to ad 14 and ruled with absolute power. He reestablished political and social stability and launched two centuries of prosperity called the Roman Peace (Pax Romana). Under his rule the Roman state began its transformation into the greatest and most influential political institution in European history. During the first two centuries ad the empire flourished and added new territories, notably ancient Britain, Arabia, and Dacia (present-day Romania). People from the Roman provinces streamed to Rome, where they became soldiers, bureaucrats, senators, and even emperors. Rome developed into the social, economic, and cultural capital of the Mediterranean world. Despite the attention given to tyrannical and often vicious leaders like the emperors Caligula and Nero, most emperors ruled sensibly and competently until military and economic disasters brought on the political instability of the 3rd century ad. The Roman Empire encompassed a huge amount of territory, but also allowed people of many different cultures to retain their heritage into modern times.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the roman empire, a political system established by rome that lasted for nearly five centuries.
  • Explains that gaius julius caesar, the roman leader who ruled the republic as a dictator, was assassinated in 44 bc.
  • Describes how the emperor augustus reestablished political and social stability and launched two centuries of prosperity called the roman peace.
  • Explains that the roman empire encompassed a huge amount of territory, but also allowed people of many different cultures to retain their heritage into modern times.
  • Explains how the romans formed that synthesis during the longest continuous period of peaceful prosperity that the mediterranean world has ever known.
  • Explains how the romans expelled the last foreign monarch in 509 bc and established a more representative form of government known as the rome republic.
  • Explains how rome's military forces, known as legions, fought against kings and city-states in the eastern mediterranean to bring greece, asia minor (roughly modern turkey), syria, judea, and egypt under roman control.
  • Analyzes how roman imperialism introduced extremes of wealth and poverty that sharpened social and economic conflict within the roman state.
  • Describes how caesar marched into italy to challenge the leaders of the republic. he ruled as dictator until his murder on the ides of march in 44 bc.
  • Explains that rome needed a strong hand to administer the state and control the army, since the old system of government was unsuitable to rule an empire of 50 million subjects.
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