Today this essay is about the Empire that was not only strong, large, and famous but also the most long-lived Empire. As the name suggests, it all started in Rome- a city founded in 753 BCE by Romelus– a man that Romans believed to be born by the union of an earthly princess Mars (the God of war in ancient Roman religion) and Rhea Silvia (daughter of a king). The city of ancient Rome covered an area of more than two million square miles ranging from the Mediterranean Gulf to western Europe. The ancient Romans followed the Etruscan and Phoenicians civilization but with the expansion, the city started getting more influenced by the Greeks. Only seven kings managed to rule the ancient Rome, the first one obviously being the founder of the city Romelus. Those who came after him were Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martius, L.Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Tarquinius Superbus. After them, the monarchy could not go or long and the city consisting of mostly farmers overthrew the monarchy and turned the famous city into a republic. A senate was formed, the council was made of people who represented the wishes of the citizens. The Republic proved successful and lucky, and this is the time when it succeeded in conquering the Mediterranean. Rome grew and strengthened more under the people than it did under the kings.
However, after ruling for about five centuries the republic started getting weak and disrupted due to internal factors like civil wars and other menaces. Hostilities started arising among the member of the government and all started fighting for power which gave rise to blocs. From among those struggling for power emerged a general who fortunately made Gaul (the area of Western European Civilization) a part of ancient Rome. This event won him huge wealth and soldiers. He was none other than the famous Julias Ceasar (widely recognized as the leader of Ancient Rome). The senate of Rome feared him and his power. Things heated up with time and a civil war occurred between Julius Ceasar and his political rivals. The former came out victorious and became the first dictator of Rome. He was assassinated by his rivals and succeeded by his nephew Octavian (widely famous as Augustus Ceasar– the founder of the Roman Empire). Augustus also used to refer to himself as Princeps meaning the first citizen. Hence, the empire was also termed as Principate according to some experts.
The Roman Empire holds a fascinating history and that is why it is one of the most remembered and famous empires of all time. The first emperor converted the democratic state into an authoritative state by letting the emperor have almost all the powers. The emperor had the full right to make decisions, form and veto laws, or even run the army. Under good and bad governance and emperors, the empire kept running. At the start, it gave a lot of peace to the people but we all know monarchy is never loved for long. The empire is also known as the Julio-Claudian Dynasty as after Augustus his family members or relatives from the Claudian family succeeded him. Over time, under the emperors, the empire covered almost all of the cities of Europe, the Middle East, and even the countries at the Northern Seashore of Africa. They dominated the European Continent including Britain.
The Roman Empire did not only expanded its territories but also helped to bring economic and cultural development in the area. For the first two centuries, it is believed that citizens enjoyed the utmost peace and success. Following are some of the achievements gained by the Roman Empire
- A road System was built by the emperors which helped the trade to flourish. The road system helped in the movability of the military too. The Romans built 50,000 miles of highway solely for military purposes. The roads were known to be solid, concrete, efficient, strong, and straight. The network of well-built roads helped the empire in conquesting a lot of areas. The first Roman Road was known as Appian Way which means ‘queen of the Roads’. The system also helped in spreading Roman Citizenship and people from other provinces started settling there. The well-built roads and cities showed how the roman empire also succeeded in the field of technology.
- The Ancient Roman Empire holds some very serious large number of myths. It is widely believed that people in ancient Rome only lived for an average of 30-35 years. It was accepted that a norman person would not live past the age of 40. This is why the majority of the kings hold power at the age of 20 or less as it was considered half of their average life span during that time.
- The Romans lived a very modern life. Their lifestyle was as per standard of that time. The wealthy lived an extravagant life in big houses with luxurious furniture and a number of slaves/servants around. On the other hand, the poor lived a totally opposite life.
- It was the 26th Biggest Empire in the world that lived for a very long period.
- The family system was the same as we witness today in many parts o the world. The man served as the head of the house who had the power to make all decisions. On the other hand, the duty of the women was to run the house and take care of the family members. However, as compared to some other ancient societies the ancient Roman women enjoyed some privileges. They had the freedom to get an education, become priests, engage in business, and even own some property.
- The Romans made a great contribution to literature and produced many great writers, authors, philosophers, and poets of the centuries. The Roman Writers were greatly influenced by Greek literature. Some of the famous names from Roman Literature are Virgil, Plautus, Lucretius, Propertius, Lucan, Persicus, and Horace.
- The Romans gave life to the arts and architecture. The Roman Empire had some brilliant and talented minds who changed the world of arts and architecture. The unreal structures of Thermae of Rome and other awe-inspiring churches such as Baalbek (ancient Roman Temple currently in Lebanon), Maison Cree (Roman Temple currently in France), Patheon in Rome, and many others serve as the finest examples of extraordinary architecture. In the Roman Empire, brilliant paintings and portraits of the ancestors of the rulers and the powerful rulers themselves could be seen in both private and public buildings.
- Before the Roman Empire established, the majority of the people were Atheists. However, with the expansion of the Roman empire, a new belief system of Christianity spread across all the communities and cities.
There is no one reason for the decline of a very prominent empire. Historians give majority of reasons that became the cause of the decline of the longest-ruling empire. Corruption, Splurging, the uprising of the citizens against emperors, military spending, downfall in economy e4eand technological advancement, competition for power and money, civil wars, and above all the Barbarian invasion were the main reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire.
Clashes started emerging between the emperors and the senate. As soon as Christianity came, the emperor was no longer respected as God and his authority started getting challenged. Bribery was becoming common as people started paying to become emperors. Citizens had complaints with the government that they spend too much on the military and less on the people which started creating gaps between both. Culturally too, the empire started dividing between the Latin and the Greeks. A civil war broke out in Italy that caught the attention of the Roman army and they left the borders without security which gave the barbarians and foreigners the chance to attack and capture. Hence Rome started losing territories at the hand of the Barbarians especially the Goths ( Germanic People). The last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus got deposed by a German Barbarian who later claimed itself the king of Italy.