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Human geography This article is about the history of Rome in antiquity. For a general overview, see
Rome.
For other uses, see Ancient Rome (disambiguation).
"Romans" redirects here. For other uses, see Romans (disambiguation).
Ancient Rome
Roma
753 BC–476 AD
Senātus Populus que Rōmānus
Territories of the Roman civilization:
Roman Republic
Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
Eastern Roman Empire
Capital
Rome, several others during the late
Empire, notably Constantinopleand
Ravenna.
Common languages
Latin
Government
Kingdom (753–509 BC)
Republic (509–27 BC)
Empire (27 BC–476 AD)
Historical era
Ancient history
• Founding of Rome
753 BC
• Overthrow of Tarquin the
Proud
509 BC
• Octavianproclaimed
Augustus
27 BC
• Collapse of the Western
Roman Empire
476 AD
Ancient Rome
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
ancient Rome
Periods
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Roman Kingdom
753–509 BC
Roman Republic
509–27 BC
Roman Empire
27 BC – AD 395
Principate
Dominate
Western
AD 395–476
Eastern
AD 395–1453
Timeline
Roman Constitution
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Constitution of the Kingdom
Constitution of the Republic
Constitution of the Empire
Constitution of the Late Empire
Senate
Legislative assemblies
Executive magistrates
Precedent and law
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Roman law
Ius
Imperium
Mos maiorum
Collegiality
Auctoritas
Roman citizenship
Cursus honorum
Senatus consultum
Senatus consultum ultimum
Assemblies
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Centuriate
Curiate
Plebeian
Tribal
Ordinary magistrates
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Consul
Praetor
Quaestor
Promagistrate
Aedile
Tribune
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Censor
Governor
Extraordinary magistrates
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Dictator
Magister equitum
Consular tribune
Rex
Triumviri
Decemviri
Titles and honours
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Emperor
Legatus
Dux
Officium
Praefectus
Vicarius
Vigintisexviri
Lictor
Magister militum
Imperator
Princeps senatus
Pontifex maximus
Augustus
Caesar
Tetrarch
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Other countries
Atlas
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In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in
the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD,
encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the
western empire.[1] The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula,
conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its
name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The
Roman empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still
ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants (roughly 20% of the world's
population[2]) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.[3]
In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a Classical
Republic and then to an increasingly autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and
assimilation, it eventually dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the
Balkans, Crimea and much of the Middle East, including Levant and parts of Mesopotamia and
Arabia. It is often grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, and their similar
cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world.
Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, religion, society, technology, law,
politics, government, warfare, art, literature, architecture and engineering. Rome professionalised
and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for
modern republics[4][5][6] such as the United States and France. It achieved impressive technological
and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as
well as the construction of large monuments, palaces, and public facilities.
By the end of the Republic (27 BC), Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and
beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North
Africa. The Roman Empire emerged with the end of the Republic and the dictatorship of Augustus
Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It
would become the longest conflict in human history, and have major lasting effects and
consequences for both empires.
Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak. It stretched from the entire Mediterranean
Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in
the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil
wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor.[7][8][9] Splinter states, such as the
Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century.
Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the
empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century. This splintering is a
landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark
Ages" of Europe. The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a
power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens
of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most commonly referred to as the "Byzantine
Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity
and the nation it grew into.[10]
Contents
1Founding myth
2Kingdom
3Republic
3.1Punic Wars
4Late Republic
4.1Marius and Sulla
4.2Caesar and the First Triumvirate
4.3Octavian and the Second Triumvirate
5Empire – the Principate
5.1Julio-Claudian dynasty
5.1.1Augustus
5.1.2From Tiberius to Nero
5.2Flavian dynasty
5.2.1Vespasian
5.2.2Titus and Domitian
5.3Nerva–Antonine dynasty
5.3.1Trajan
5.3.2From Hadrian to Commodus
5.4Severan dynasty
5.4.1Septimius Severus
5.4.2From Caracalla to Alexander Severus
5.5Crisis of the Third Century
6Empire – the Dominate
6.1Diocletian
6.2Constantine and Christianity
7Fall of the Western Roman Empire
8Society
8.1Law
8.2Class structure
8.3Education
8.4Government
8.5Military
8.6Economy
8.7Family
9Culture
9.1Language
9.2Religion
9.3Ethics and morality
9.4Art, music and literature
9.5Cuisine
9.6Games and recreation
10Technology
11Legacy
12Historiography
12.1In Roman times
12.2In modern times
13See also
14Notes
15References
16Further reading
17External links
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