Ancient Rome was an important and powerful civilization that ruled in Europe for nearly 1000 years. The culture of ancient Rome spread throughout Europe during its rule. As a result, the culture of Rome still has influence in the Western world today. Much Western culture comes from ancient Rome, especially in areas such as government, engineering, architecture, language, and literature.
Rome as the Republic came to power for the first time. This meant that the leaders of Rome, such as the senators, were elected officials who served for a limited time, not kings who were born under the leadership and ruled for life. They had complex written laws, constitution and a balance of powers. These concepts played a very important role in forming future democratic governments like the United States. The Republic would rule Rome from about 509 BC to 45 BC, for hundreds of years.
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The Roman Empire
In 45 BC Julius Caesar captured the Roman Republic and made himself the supreme dictator. This was the end of the republic. A few years later, in 27 BC, Caesar Augustus became the first Roman emperor and this was the beginning of the Roman Empire. Most of the lower-level government remained the same, but now the emperor had supreme power.
As the Roman Empire grew, it became more difficult to manage the city of Rome. Eventually, the Roman leaders decided to divide Rome into two kingdoms. There was a Western Roman Empire and Rome was ruled out of the city. The second was the Eastern Roman Empire and out of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul in Turkey). The Eastern Roman Empire was known as the Byzantium or Byzantine Empire.
Fall of Rome
The fall of Rome usually refers to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It fell in 476 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire, would rule parts of Eastern Europe for another 1000 years.
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