The Roman Empire

In the Roman Empire

roman empireThe Roman Empire refers to the dominion of the Romans in the 8th Century BC until the Roman destruction of the western empires.

Rome, which was the capital of the Roman Empire for a long time, was the founding legend, and founded on 21 April 753 BC by Romulus. The forms of government changed over time, from the sovereignty over the republic, to empire. It experienced its greatest expansion under the leadership of Emperor Trajan.

At this time the empire stretched across three continents and around the Mediterranean: From Gaul and much of Britain, to the areas of the Black Sea (Bosporan Kingdom). So that Rome controlled the entire Mediterranean and a large part of the then known European world. The Roman Empire was divided by the reign of the kings, until the late antiquity into provinces, until the Romans in the 3rd Century BC, started to extend their dominion over the Italian Radius (first province was Sicily).

For the administration of the Roman Empire, the cities of the empire were responsible and organized as semi-autonomous communities and the citizens were mainly responsible for tax collection.

In the Roman Empire Latin was, although there were other languages, the official language. Not surprising is therefore, that Latin was still considered throughout Western and Central Europe, even after the fall of Rome until the Baroque period as the language of the educated.

emperor augustus octavianOctavian, the honor of the name Augustus (“the Exalted ” has been awarded, is regarded today as the first Roman emperor. He wanted – just like Caesar – to secure the supremacy of the Roman Empire, but tried, unlike Caesar, not to achieve this goal by using an anti-republican dictatorship. But to let the republican constitution formally exist in their old form and secured his position by simply taking over already existing offices. Furthermore, he assumed command of the important border provinces where many legions were stationed. Since he had removed the republican-minded senators of Rome together with their family during the long civil war, after the death of Caesar, he managed to convince the Senate to recognize his reign. The Roman Senate saw the “princeps”, the “first citizen of the state” in Octavian. For this reason, the Constitution, that differs substantially from the old republican constitution is also called ” principality “.

Even in the Roman Empire that began with the reign of Augustus, many facilities of the res publica (“the public thing”) remained. These offices were, however, went from political decision options to more or less purely administrative offices.

roman empire

During the 5 Century, the Roman Empire gradually fell apart in the west. Especially the advance of the Huns had triggered a domino effect in the western part of the Roman Empire that changed the political division of Europe completely.

The Roman Empire gradually lost control over the western provinces after the battle of Adrianople which was the greatest defeat of the Roman Empire in 378th. The Teutons, Vandals, Franks and Goths conquered large parts of Spain and Gaul until the middle of the 5th Century.

The Roman Empire lost its ancient Roman character after the Visigoths looted the city of Rome in 410. Although the Eastern Roman Empire with its capital in Constantinople remained constitutionally until the 15th century – the internal structures change so much after about 640 that its justifiable to basically speak of it as the Byzantine Empire. As well as the beginning of the Medieval times in the east.

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