Essay about Roman Empire

1513 Words Oct 5th, 2014 7 Pages
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors, and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The 500 year old republic which preceded it was severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict, during which Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavian's power was now unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new …show more content…
The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared Emperor by the Roman Senate over a fifty year period. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the Empire was successfully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four Emperors rule the Empire at once. The division was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I, who defeated his rivals and became the sole ruler of east and west. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital of the east to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honor. It remained the capital of the east until its demise in 1453. Constantine also adopted Christianity which later became the official state religion of the Empire. Following the death of Theodosius I, the last Emperor to rule a united Empire, the dominion of the Empire was gradually eroded by abuses of power, civil wars, barbarian migrations and invasions, military reforms and economic depression. The Sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths and again in 455 by the Vandals accelerated the Western Empire's decay, while the deposition of the Emperor Romulus Augustulus in 476 by Odoacer is generally accepted to mark the end of the Empire in the west. The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another thousand years, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks

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