Roman Empire

Roman Empire


Background of Roman Civilization
The history of Rome is an extraordinary story that spans thousands of years. It's a story that describes a small village that grows in size, strength, and importance to become the largest empire the world had ever seen up to that point. At its peak, Rome embraced between one-sixth and one-fourth of the whole world's population, and it stretched from Britain to the deserts of the Middle East.

Understanding the history of Rome is important to understanding global history for the last 2,000 years. This lesson offers a general timeline of the rise and fall of Rome, important facts about the empire, its conquests, its culture, an overview of the contributions made by Rome to world history, and the legacy of the empire that can still be seen today.

A Timeline of Roman History
Famously, Rome began in 753 BCE. 1,229 years later, the last Roman emperor in the Italian peninsula was deposed and the empire came to an end (at least the western half of it, as the eastern half persisted in various forms until 1453). During that time, Rome underwent many changes in its government and way of life. This timeline lists important dates and try to summarize why each event was significant. We'll look at the date, the event in question, and the story behind it.

Date Event The Story
753 BCE The founding of Rome Legend has it that on the 21st of April, brothers Romulus and Remus founded Rome. Romulus eventually kills Remus to become the first king and names the city after himself.
509 BCE The Republic begins After the last of seven kings, Rome begins the Republic period during which it is ruled by senators and has a constitution.
218 BCE Hannibal invades Hannibal of Carthage attacks Rome and invades Italy during the Second Punic War.
73 BCE Spartacus slave uprising Spartacus, a gladiator, leads an army of slaves in a series of battles. Spartacus and his men were caught and crucified.
45 BCE Julius Caesar becomes a dictator After Julius Caesar wins the civil war, he establishes himself as a dictator for life and supreme ruler of Rome, thus ending the Roman Republic.
44 BCE The death of Julius Caesar On March 15th, known today as the Ides of March, Caesar is assassinated on the steps of the Senate by factions wishing to bring back the Republic.
27 BCE The Roman Empire begins Even though Caesar was a dictator, the first leader to call himself ''Emperor'' or Augustus was Octavius.
64 CE The Great Fire of Rome Most of the city is destroyed in a vast fire. Emperor Nero has often been blamed, but modern scholarship doubts this.
80 CE Building of the Colosseum One of the most iconic ancient buildings in Rome, the completion of the structure was a massive celebration.
122 CE Hadrian's Wall A wall was built across the North of England and marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.
306 CE Constantine becomes emperor This marks a change in the way that Christians were treated in Rome. Constantine himself became a Christian.
380 CE Christianity becomes the official religion This will have an effect on the rest of European history to the present day.
395 CE Rome splits In an effort to make administration of the vast empire easier, Rome becomes two separate empires (Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire) with two capitals and two rulers.
410 CE The attack of the Visigoths This marks the beginning of the fatal weakening of Rome that would lead to its downfall.
476 CE The end of the Western Roman Empire The last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus is deposed and the Middle Ages begin.

Roman Empire Timeline
Timeline Description: The Roman Empire was one of the greatest civilizations in history. It began in Rome in 753 BC. Rome controlled over two million square miles stretching from the Rhine River to Egypt and from Britain to Asia Minor. This timeline highlights the major events in the history of Ancient Rome. This timeline goes from 753 BC to 27 BC and then from 64 AD to 1453 AD.

753 BC Rome is founded
Rome was founded by Romulus. Romulus was the first of the seven Roman kings. The original name of Rome was Roma.

509 BC Rome becomes a Republic
The last king is expelled and Rome is now ruled by senators. There is a constitution with laws and Rome becomes a complex republican government.

218 BC Hannibal invades Italy
Hannibal leads the Carthage army to attack Italy. This becomes part of the Second Punic War.

45 BC Julius Caesar becomes the first dictator of Rome
Julius Caesar defeats Pompey in a civil war. He becomes the supreme ruler of Rome. This is the end of the Roman Republic. He hires Sosigenes, an Egyptian astronomer, to work out a new 12 month calendar.


44 BC Julius Caesar is assassinated
Julius Caesar is assassinated on the Ides of March by Marcus Brutus. They hope to bring back the republic, but civil war breaks out instead.

27 BC Roman Empire begins
Octavius appoints himself "Augustus", which means the first emperor.

64 Much of Rome burns
Nero set fire to Rome and blames the Christians for it.

80 Colosseum is built
The Colosseum was built in 80 AD. The completion of the Colosseum was celebrated with 100 days of games. The Romans invade Scotland.

122 Hadrian Wall is built
The Hadrian Wall was built in 122 AD. It was a long wall built across northern England in an effort to keep the barbarians out.

306 Constantine becomes Emperor in 306 AD
Rome becomes a Christian empire. Before this, Rome persecuted the Christians. Constantius dies. His son Constantine is the new vice-emperor of Galerius.

380 Christianity
Theodosius I proclaims Christianity as the sole religion of the Roman Empire in 380 AD.

395 Rome splits
In 395 AD, Rome split into two empires - the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. Each side had a ruler in charge of it. The Roman Empire was split by Theodosius.

410 The Visigoths sack Rome
This was the first time in 800 years that the city of Rome has fallen to an enemy. It was a huge uproar.

476 End of the Western Roman Empire and the fall of Ancient Rome
The last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus is defeated by the German Goth Odoacer. This is the start of the Dark Ages in Europe.

1453 The Byzantine Empire ends
The Byzantine Empire comes to an end as it falls to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople in 1453 A.D. It is renamed Istanbul in 1930.
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10 key Roman dates you need to know

Roman Empire
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