When Did the Roman Empire Start and End?

The Roman Empire was an ancient civilisation that was once the most widespread political and social force in the entire west. Its legendary power appears in a large portion of Europe’s country’s history, with them ruling the land for nearly a thousand years.

The Start of the Empire

Before the Empire, the Roman Republic existed, governing the land for 500 years. The republic expanded its land during its reign, starting from Rome out the rest of Italy as well as other foreign areas. However, the republic’s authority soon started to fade due to its incapability to adjust to the expanding empire. With the overwhelming difference between the rich and the poor, a new practice took place where the army was paid with gold. This resulted in soldiers no longer fighting for the republic, but rather their generals. Julius Caesar, a military leader, took this opportunity and seized control, becoming dictator of Rome that dismantled the government. His order to the Senate to make him dictator for life was the last straw, resulting in his assassination in 44 BCE. However, the senator’s plan was all in vain as the crumbling Roman Republic finally died along with Caesar, transforming the entire expanse into the Roman Empire. 

The End of the Empire

The empire is famous worldwide as one of the greatest civilisations in history. But it is also famed for its end, famously named ‘The Fall of Rome.’ There are many different factors that contributed to its end, all blending together to create the unstable ruling that let Rome crumble. The Empire’s military, a once domineering army, became a draining factor.

Military spending was astronomical, which left little money for anything else in the empire. The loss in battles resulted in more soldiers to be hired to keep control over land, with more and more money spent. But even with more money being spent, the loss of battles grew, and the land control lessened, causing more vulnerability particularly with the Western Empire.

Due to military spending, slavery was a key factor in keeping the Empire afloat. However, new laws banned slavery, which increased unemployment and decreases the empire’s finance even more.

The hardship caused a stir in the people, with a new religion being introduced to the area, more and more civilians lost their faith in the Emperor, who was once seen as a God, and turned to Christianity.

Losing the people’s faith in the Emperor triggered the corruption, political dispute, and power to all weakened. Emperors were constantly murdered and replaced, with the Senate attempting to gain more control.

All these leaks in the empire triggered the overall fall. Invaders soon crossed the border, taking over Roman lands such as Greece and France. In 476 A.D. the Germanic general, Odovacar, conquered Augustulus Romulus, the very last Roman Emperor to exist. Which officially ended the Roman Empire once and for all.

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