The Roman Empire was a phase of the ancient Roman civilization with the typical autocratic form of government. The earlier Roman Republic had been weakened and destroyed by the conflict between Sulla and Gaius Marius, which was followed by the civil war against Pompey lead by Gaius Julius Caesar. During all these fights hundreds of senators had fallen in battle, subsequently been executed, murdered, or had commited a suicide. The Roman Senate had been refilled by devoted friends of the First Triumvirate, and later on, by followers of the Second Triumvirate. At last, Octavian (later renamed as Augustus) defeated his opponent Mark Antony and completed this gradual destruction by completely reorganizing the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
“Roman Empire” can also be known as “Imperium Romanum”, probably the best-known Latin expression where the word imperium simply means “territory”; the Roman Empire represents that part of the world under Roman rule.
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. In its territorial peak after the conquest of Dacia by Trajan, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 5 900 000 km2 (2,300,000 sq.mi.) of land surface, thereby being one of the largest empires during classical antiquity.
There were several reasons for the decline of Roman Empire. They are all interweaved with each other. Decline in morals and values, public health problems, political corruption, unemployment, inflation, urban decay, inferior technology, military spending. All these facts had contributed to the fall of one of the greatest ancient civilisations – Ancient Rome.
Roman Empire divided up according to an emperor:
– Julio-Claudians (30 BC-68 AD)
– Flavians (69 AD-96 AD)
– The Five Good Emperors (96 AD-161 AD)
– Severans (161 AD-235 AD)
– The Third Century Crisis
– Constantine and his family (312 AD-363 AD)
– Theodosians (363 AD-450 AD)
– Fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD)
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent under the rule of Trajan.