The History of Rome

Rome was founded in 753 BC. At the time, Rome was ruled by kings, in a monarchal system. After this time period known as the Ancient Roman period, the Roman Republic was formed in 509 BC. The Roman Republic provided for a more representative government. During Rome 's existence, its people conquered many neighboring lands, eventually controlling them and becoming a major power of the Mediterranean world. Lands conquered included Sicily, Spain, North Africa, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Judea, Egypt, and Gaul.

Roman imperialism created a huge gap in wealth and social classes within Rome . With such power and wealth, there was great economic as well as social conflict. The noblemen of Rome were fighting for more wealth as small farm owners suffered when large plantations were being formed with slaves. The Roman nobles were now fighting for greed and personal wealth creating lots of problems in Rome . This eventually led to a civil war in 133 BC.

In 49 BC Julius Caesar challenged the old leaders of the Roman Republic and eventually defeated them. He then became dictator of Rome until 44 BC when he was assassinated by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus . Caesar wanted to transform the Roman State but his time was too short. The two assassins, after killing Caesar, hoped to restore the republic with the old aristocracy, but there was too much chaos for this to happen. The people as well as the military would not allow this.

Rome needed a strong leader, reformed government, military and state in order to maintain their power. Caesars followers, Mark Antony, who was also his longtime military deputy and great nephew Octavian defeated Brutus and Longinus in 42 BC. Following this defeat, the two followers turned against each other and Octavian became the victor as well as master of Rome and successor to Caesar in 30 BC. In 27 BC he was named Augustus, in other words, supreme ruler. From 509 BC to 27 BC Rome had been formally known as the Roman Republic .

With the victory of being supreme ruler, Octavian still had a number of problems to resolve in Rome . Problems that needed to be resolved included demobilizing the huge army, creating loyalty, integrating cultures and politics of the inhabited Italian peninsula, and finally reducing civil unrest. In order to do so, Octavian decided to reform the Roman Republic into a new form of monarchy. The newly formed monarchy and state was known as the Roman Empire . There was much peace, stability, and prosperity during the Augustan Age which lasted until his death in AD 14.

During the first two centuries of the Roman Empire , many lands were acquired and the Empire flourished. Following Augustus, most of the emperors ruled the land very competently, and sensibly allowing the Empire to continue its success. In the 3 rd century AD, there was economic and military turmoil, creating instability in the political system.

In AD 312, the famous Constantine took over the empire. At the time the empire split into two sections, the western and eastern empires. Constantine first took over the western portion then united the two under his leadership. Constantine resolved many of the problems caused by the turmoil in the late 3 rd century. Theodosius I ended up being the last emperor of the united Roman Empire in AD 379. At the end of his rule, he left the eastern empire to one son, Arcadius and the western empire to his other son, Honorius.

Following the final separation of the Roman Empire , the Eastern Empire remained strong and prosperous and the Western Empire saw its steady fall. The Western Empire had a weak, impoverished government, due to many factors. It saw its final fall in AD 476.

Although the empire had split and declined, the Roman legacy still remains. Following the fall, many political structures changed and cities fell. The Greco-Roman culture remained for a while, and then diminished. In the 15 th century, the Renaissance period, the Greco-Roman civilization and culture was revived. Roman culture also began being replicated and studied in the 19 th century by various other cultures. The final decline of the Roman Empire , did not completely diminish all that remained of the culture. Roman history, politics, culture, and civilization still exist today in some way, shape or form.