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Roman Empire

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Roman Empire

27  BC  – 395  AD
395 – 480 (Wastren)
395 – 1453 (Eastren)
The Roman Empire in 117 AD, at its greatest extent at the time o Trajan's daith (its vassals in pink).[1]
The Roman Empire in 117 AD, at its greatest extent at the time o Trajan's daith (its vassals in pink).[1]
CaipitalRoum (27 BC – AD 410)

Mediolanum (286–402, Wastren)
Augusta Treverorum
Ravenna (402–476, Wastren)
Nicomedia (286–330, Eastren)
Constantinople (330–1453, Eastren)

Syracuse (663–669, Eastren)
Common leids
GovrenmentMixed, functionally absolute monarchy
• 27  BC  – AD 14
Augustus (first)
• 98–117
• 284–305
• 306–337
Constantine I
• 379–395
Theodosius I[n 2]
• 474–480
Julius Nepos[n 3]
• 527–565
Justinian I
• 976–1025
Basil II
• 1449–1453
Constantine XI[n 4]
Historical eraClessical era tae Late Middle Ages
32–30 BC
30–2 BC
• Constantinople
becomes capital
• Final East Wast divide
• Reconquest o Constantinople
29 May 1453
25 BC[2][3]2,750,000 km2 (1,060,000 sq mi)
AD 117[2][4]5,000,000 km2 (1,900,000 sq mi)
AD 390[2]4,400,000 km2 (1,700,000 sq mi)
• 25 BC[2][3]
CurrencySestertius,[n 5] Aureus, Solidus, Nomisma
Precedit bi
Succeedit bi
Roman Republic
Wastren Roman Empire
Eastren Roman Empire

The Roman Empire (or Impire) wis a gey muckle empire wi its caipital in Roum, ringed ower bi an emperor. The first emperor o Rome wis Octavian, efter cried Augustus, frae the year 27 BC. Afore that, Rome haed been a republic ringed ower bi a cooncil cried the "Senate".

The Roman Empire wis maist muckle whan ringed ower bi Trajan ben the year 117. Efter him, Hadrian shapit it less muckle, an shapit Hadrian's waw ben the nor o Ingland.

Mony modren kintras are on land that wis aince pairt o the Roman Empire, includin Ingland, Spain, Portugal, Fraunce, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Egyp, an the north coast o Africae. The leid o the Roman Empire wis Laitin. The wastren pairt o the Roman Empire conteena'd for nearhaund 1000 year, an the eastren pairt, includin Greece an Turkey, conteena'd for aboot a thoosand year mair. The eastren pairt wis cried the Byzantine Empire - fer the auld name o the kintra - wi a caipital at Constantinople.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Augustus o Prima Porta
(early 1st century AD)

Roum haed began expandin shortly efter the foondin o the republic in the 6t century BC, tho it did nae expand ootside the Italian Peninsula till the 3rd century BC. Then, it wis an "empire" lang afore it haed an emperor.[5][6][7][8] The Roman Republic wis nae a naition-state in the modren sense, but a network o touns left tae rule themsels (tho wi varyin degrees o unthirldom frae the Roman Senate) an provinces admeenistert bi militar commanders. It wis ruled, nae bi emperors, but bi annually electit magistrates (Roman Consuls abuin aw) in conjunction wi the senate.[9] For various raisons, the 1st century BC wis a time o poleetical an militar upheaval, that ultimately led tae rule bi emperors.[6][10][11][12] The consuls' militar pouer restit in the Roman legal concept o imperium, that leeterally means "command" (tho teepically in a militar sense).[13] Occasionally, successfu consuls wad gien the honourar teetle imperator (commander), an this is the oreegin o the wird emperor (an empire) syne this teetle (amang ithers) wis ayeweys bestowed tae the early emperors upon thair accession.[14]

Rome suffered a lang series o internal conflicts, conspeeracies an ceevil wars frae the late seicont century BC onwart, while greatly extendin its pouer ayont Italy. This wus the period o the Creesis o the Roman Republic. Taewart the end o this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar wis briefly perpetual dictator afore bein assassinatit. The faction o his assassins wis driven frae Roum an defeatit at the Battle o Philippi in 42 BC bi an airmy led bi Mark Antony an Caesar's adoptit son Octavian. Antony an Octavian's diveesion o the Roman warld atween themsels did nae last an Octavian's forces defeatit thae o Antony an Cleopatra at the Battle o Actium in 31 BC. In 27 BC the Senate an Fowk o Roum made Octavian princeps ("first ceetizen") wi proconsular imperium, sicweys beginnin the Principate (the first epoch o Roman imperial history, uisually datit frae 27 BC tae AD 284), an gae him the name "Augustus" ("the veneratit"). Tho the auld constitutional machinery remeened in place, Augustus cam tae predominate it. Awtho the republic stuid in name, contemporaries o Augustus knew it wis juist a veil an that Augustus haed aw meaninfu authority in Roum.[15] Syne his rule endit a century o ceevil wars an begoud an unprecedentit period o peace an prosperity, he wis sae luved that he cam tae hauld the pouer o a monarch de facto if nae de jure. In the years o his rule, a new constitutional order emerged (in pairt organically an in pairt bi design), sae that, upon his daith, this new constitutional order operatit as afore whan Tiberius wis acceptit as the new emperor. The 200 year that begoud wi Augustus's rule is tradeetionally regairdit as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). In this period, the cohesion o the empire wis fordered bi a degree o social stability an economic prosperity that Roum haed niver afore experienced. Uprisins in the provinces war infrequent, but pit doun "mercilessly an swiftly" whan thay occurred.[16] The saxty years o Jewish–Roman wars in the seicont hauf o the 1st century an the first hauf o the 2nt century war exceptional in thair duration an veeolence.[17]

The success o Augustus in establishin principles o dynastic succession wis leemitit bi his ootleevin a nummer o talentit potential heirs. The Julio-Claudian dynasty lastit for fower mair emperors—Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius an Nero—afore it yieldit in 69 AD tae the strife-torn Year o Fower Emperors, frae which Vespasian emerged as veector. Vespasian becam the foonder o the brief Flavian dynasty, tae be follaed bi the Nerva–Antonine dynasty that produced the "Five Good Emperors": Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius an the filosofically-inclined Marcus Aurelius. In the view o the Greek historian Dio Cassius, a contemporary observer, the accession o the emperor Commodus in 180 AD merkit the strynd "frae a kinrick o gowd tae ane o roust an airn".[18]

In 212, in the ring o Caracalla, Roman ceetizenship wis grantit tae aw freeborn indwallers o the empire. But despite this gestur o universality, the Severan dynasty wis camsteirie—an emperor's ring wis endit routinely bi his murther or execution—an, follaein its collapse, the Roman Empire wis engulfed bi the Creesis o the Third Century, a period o invasions, ceevil strife, economic disorder, an plague.[19] In definin historical epochs, this creesis is whiles viewed as merkin the transeetion frae Clessical Antiquity tae Late Antiquity. Aurelian (reigned 270–275) brocht the empire back frae the brink an stabilised it. Diocletian completit the wirk o fully restorin the empire, but declined the role o princeps an becam the first emperor tae be addressed regularly as domine, "master" or "laird".[20] This merked the end o the Principate, an the beginnin o the Dominate.

Diocletian dividit the empire intae fower regions, ilk ruled bi a separate emperor, the Tetrarchy.[21] Confident that he fixed the disorders that war plaguin Roum, he abdicatit alang wi his co-emperor, an the Tetrarchy suin collapsed. Order wis eventually restored bi Constantine the Great, that becam the first emperor tae convert tae Christianity, an that established Constantinople as the new caipital o the eastren empire. In the decades o the Constantinian an Valentinian dynasties, the empire wis dividit alang an east–wast axis, wi dual pouer centres in Constantinople an Roum. The ring o Julian, that attemptit tae restore Clessical Roman an Hellenistic releegion, anly briefly interruptit the succession o Christian emperors. Theodosius I, the last emperor tae rule ower baith East an Wast, dee'd in 395 AD efter makkin Christianity the offeecial releegion o the empire.[22]

The Wastren Roman Empire begoud tae disintegrate in the early 5t century. The empire in the East—eften kent as the Byzantine Empire, but referred tae in its time as the Roman Empire or bi various ither names—haed a different fate. It survived for awmaist a millennium efter the faw o its Wastren coonterpairt an becam the maist stable Christian realm in the Middle Ages.

Society[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Roman Empire wis remerkably multicultural, wi "a rather astonishing cohesive capacity" tae creaut a sense o shared identity while encompassin diverse fowks within its poleetical seestem ower a lang span o time.[23] The Roman attention tae creautin public monuments an communal spaces appen tae aw—sic as forums, amphitheatres, racetracks an baths—helped foster a sense o "Romanness".[24]

Roman society haed multiple, owerlappin social hierarchies that modren concepts o "cless" mey nae represent accurately.[25] The twz decades o ceevil war frae that Augustus rose tae sole pouer left tradeetional society in Roum in a state o confuision an upheaval,[26] but did nae effect an immediate redistribution o walth an social pouer. Frae the perspective o the lawer clesses, a peak wis merely addit tae the social pyramid.[27] Personal relationships—patronage, friendship (amicitia), faimily, mairiage—conteena'd tae influence the wirkins o politics an govrenment, as thay haed in the Republic.[28] Bi the time o Nero, houiver, it wis nae unusual tae find a umwhile sclave that wis richer nor a freeborn ceetizen, or an equestrian that exercised greater pouer nor a senator.[29]

The blurrin or diffuision o the Republic's mair rigid hierarchies led tae increased social mobility unner the Empire,[30][31] baith upwart an dounwart, tae an extent that exceedit that o aw ither weel-documentit auncient societies.[32] Weemen, freedmen, an sclaves haed opportunities tae profit an exercise influence in weys previously less available tae them.[33] Social life in the Empire, pairteecularly for thae that's personal resoorces war leemitit, wis forder fostered bi a proleeferation o voluntar associations an confraternities (collegia an sodalitates) formed for various purposes: perfessional an tred guilds, veterans' groups, releegious sodalities, drinkin an dinin clubs,[34] performing airts troupes,[35] an buirial societies.[36]

Govrenment an militar[eedit | eedit soorce]

Central govrenment[eedit | eedit soorce]

The dominance o the emperor wis based on the consolidation o certaint pouers frae several republican offices, includin the inviolability o the tribunes o the fowk an the authority o the censors tae manipulate the hierarchy o Roman society.[37] The emperor an aw made himsel the central releegious authority as Pontifex Maximus, an centralised the richt tae declare war, ratifee treaties, an negotiate wi furrin leaders.[38] While thir functions war clearly defined in the Principate, the emperor's pouers ower time becam less constitutional an mair monarchical, culminatin in the Dominate.[39]

Militar[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Roman empire unner Hadrian (ruled 117–138) shawin the location o the Roman legions deployed in AD 125

The sodgers o the Imperial Roman airmy war perfaisionals that volunteered for 20 year o active duty an five as reserves. The transeetion tae a perfaisional militar haed began in the late Republic, an wis ane o the mony profoond shifts awey frae republicanism, unner that an airmy o conscripts haed exercised thair responsibilities as ceetizens in defendin the hameland in a campaign against a specific threit. For Imperial Rome, the militar wis a full-time career in itsel.[40]

The primar mission o the Roman militar o the early empire wis tae preserve the Pax Romana.[41] The three major divisions o the military war:

  • the gairison at Roum, that includes baith the Praetorians an the vigiles that functioned as polis an firefechters;
  • the provincial airmy, comprisin the Roman legions an the auxiliaries providit bi the provinces (auxilia);
  • the navy.

Daily life[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the ceety o Rome, maist fowk leeved in multistory flats (insulae) that war eften dirty an nae sauf. Public facilities—sic as baths (thermae), toilets that war flushed wi rinnin watter (latrinae), conveniently locatit basins or elaborate foontains (nymphea) deliveringfresh watter,[42] an lairge-scale enterteenments siv as chariot races an gladiator combat—war aimed primarily at the common fowk that leeved in the insulae.[43] Seemilar facilities war constructit in ceeties ootthrou the Empire, an some o the best-preserved Roman structurs are in Spain, soothren Fraunce, an northren Africae.

Fuid[eedit | eedit soorce]

Maist flats in Roum lackit kitchens, tho a charcoal brazier coud be uised for rudimentary cuikery.[44][45] Prepared fuid wis sauld at pubs an bars, inns, an fuid staws (tabernae, cauponae, popinae, thermopolia).[46] Cairyoot an restaurant dinin war for the lawer clesses; fine dinin coud be socht anly at preevat dinner pairties in a few hooses wi a chef (archimagirus) an trained kitchen staff,[47] or at banquets hostit bi social clubs (collegia).[48]

Maist fowk wad hae consumed at least 70% o thair daily calories in the form o cereals an legumes.[49] Puls (pottage) wis conseedert the aboreeginal fuid o the Romans.[50][51] The basic grain pottage coud be elaboratit wi chappit vegetables, bits o meat, cheese, or yerbs tae produce dishes seemilar tae polenta or risotto.[52]

Notes[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Ither weys o referrin tae the "Roman Empire" amang the Romans an Greeks themselves includit Res publica Romana or Imperium Romanorum (an aa in Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν ῬωμαίωνBasileía tôn Rhōmaíōn – ["Dominion (Leeterally 'kinrick' but an aa interpretit as 'empire') o the Romans"]) an Romania. Res publica means Roman "commonweel" an can refer to baith the Republican an the Imperial eras. Imperium Romanum (or Romanorum) refers tae the territorial extent o Roman authority. Populus Romanus ("the Roman fowk") wis/is eften uised tae indicate the Roman state in matters involvin ither naitions. The term Romania, ineetially a colloquial term for the empire's territory as well as a collective name for its indwallers, appears in Greek an Laitin soorces frae the 4t century onwart an wis eventually carried ower tae the Eastren Roman Empire (see R. L. Wolff, "Romania: The Latin Empire of Constantinople" in Speculum 23 (1948), pp. 1–34 an especially pp. 2–3).
  2. The final emperor tae rule ower aw o the Roman Empire's territories afore its conversion tae a diarchy.
  3. Offeecially the final emperor o the Wastren empire.
  4. Last emperor o the Eastren (Byzantine) empire.
  5. Abbreviatit "HS". Prices an values are uisually expressed in sesterces.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Bennett, Julian (1997). Trajan: Optimus Princeps : a Life and Times. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-16524-2.. Fig. 1. Regions east o the Euphrates river war held anerly in the years 116–117.
  2. a b c Taagepera, Rein (1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D". Social Science History. Duke University Press. 3 (3/4): 125. doi:10.2307/1170959. JSTOR 1170959.
  3. Durand, John D. (1977). "Historical Estimates of World Population: An Evaluation". Population and Development Review. 3 (3): 253. doi:10.2307/1971891. JSTOR 1971891.
  4. Turchin, Peter; Adams, Jonathan M.; Hall, Thomas D (2006). "East-West Orientation of Historical Empires" (PDF). Journal of world-systems research. 12 (2): 222. ISSN 1076-156X. Archived frae the original (PDF) on 17 Mey 2016. Retrieved 6 Februar 2016.
  5. Kelly, pp. 4ff.
  6. a b Nicolet, pp. 1, 15
  7. Brennan, T. Corey (2000) The Praetorship in the Roman Republic. Oxford University Press. p. 605.
  8. Peachin, pp. 39–40.
  9. Potter (2009), p. 179.
  10. Hekster, Olivier and Kaizer, Ted (2011). Preface to Frontiers in the Roman World. Proceedings of the Ninth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Durhan, 16–19 April 2009). Brill. p. viii.
  11. Lintott, Andrew (1999) The Constitution of the Roman Republic. Oxford University Press. p. 114
  12. Eder, W. (1993) "The Augustan Principate as Binding Link," in Between Republic and Empire. University of California Press. p. 98. ISBN 0520084470.
  13. Richardson, John (2011) "Fines provinciae", in Frontiers in the Roman World. Brill. p. 10.
  14. Richardson, John (2011) "Fines provinciae", in Frontiers in the Roman World. Brill. pp. 1–2.
  15. Syme, Ronald (1939) The Roman Revolution. Oford: Oxford University Press. pp. 3–4.
  16. Boatwright, Mary T. (2000) Hadrian and the Cities of the Roman Empire. Princeton University Press. p. 4.
  17. Potter (2009), p. 571.
  18. Dio Cassius 72.36.4, Loeb edeetion translatit E. Cary
  19. Brown, P., The World of Late Antiquity, London 1971, p. 22.
  20. Adrian Goldsworth, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (Yale University Press, 2009), pp. 405–415.
  21. Potter, David. The Roman Empire at Bay. 296–98.
  22. Starr, Chester G. (1974) A History of the Ancient World, Second Edition. Oxford University Press. pp. 670–678.
  23. Peachin, p. 12.
  24. Peachin, p. 16.
  25. Peachin, p. 9.
  26. Garnsey, Peter and Saller, Richard (1987) The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture. University of California Press. pp. 107–111.
  27. Noreña, Carlos F. (2011) Imperial Ideals in the Roman West: Representation, Circulation, Power. Cambridge University Press. p. 7.
  28. Peachin, pp. 4–5.
  29. Winterling, pp. 11, 21.
  30. Saller, Richard P. (1982, 2002) Personal Patronage under the Early Empire. Cambridge University Press. pp. 123, 176, 183
  31. Duncan, Anne (2006) Performance and Identity in the Classical World. Cambridge University Press. p. 164.
  32. Reinhold, Meyer (2002) Studies in Classical History and Society. Oxford University Press. pp. 25ff. and 42.
  33. Boardman, p. 18.
  34. Peachin, pp. 17, 20.
  35. Millar, pp. 81–82
  36. Carroll, Maureen (2006) Spirits of the Dead: Roman Funerary Commemoration in Western Europe. Oxford University Press. pp. 45–46.
  37. Abbott, p. 354
  38. Abbott, p. 345
  39. Abbott, p. 341
  40. Edmondson, pp. 111–112.
  41. Hekster, Olivier J. (2007) "Fighting for Rome: The Emperor as a Military Leader," in Impact of the Roman Army (200 BC–AD 476). Brill. p. 96.
  42. Longfellow, Brenda (2011) Roman Imperialism and Civic Patronage: Form, Meaning and Ideology in Monumental Fountain Complexes. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0521194938
  43. Jones, Mark Wilson (2000) Principles of Roman Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  44. Stambaugh, pp. 144, 178
  45. Hinds, Kathryn (2010) Everyday Life in the Roman Empire. Marshall Cavendish. p. 90.
  46. Holleran, p. 136ff.
  47. Gagarin, p. 299.
  48. Faas, Patrick (1994, 2005) Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome. University of Chicago Press. p. 29.
  49. Boardman, p. 681.
  50. Pliny the Elder, Natural History 19.83–84; Emily Gowers, The Loaded Table: Representation of Food in Roman Literature (Oxford University Press, 1993, 2003), p. 17
  51. Gagarin, p. 198.
  52. Stambaugh, p. 144.

Soorces[eedit | eedit soorce]