History of Ancient Rome begins in a small village in central Italy; this unassuming village would grow into a small metropolis, conquer and control all of Italy, southern Europe, the Middle East, and Egypt, and find itself, by the start of AD time, the most powerful and largest empire in the world. They managed what no other people had managed before: the ruled the entire world under a single administration for a considerable amount of time. This imperial rule, which extended from Great Britain to Egypt, from Spain to Mesopotamia, was a period of remarkable peace. The Romans – citizens of ancient Rome, would look to their empire as the instrument that brought law and justice to the rest of the world; in some sense, the relative peace and stability they brought to the world did support this view.
They were, however, a military state, and they ruled over this vast territory by maintaining a strong military presence in subject countries. An immensely practical people, the Romans devoted much of their brilliance to military strategy and technology, administration, and law, all in support of the vast world government that they built.
Ancient Rome, however, was responsible for more than just military and administrative genius. Culturally, the Romans had a slight inferiority complex in regards to the Greeks, who had begun their city-states only a few centuries before the rise of the Roman republic. The Romans, however, derived much of their culture from the Greeks: art, architecture, philosophy, and even religion. However, the Romans changed much of this culture, adapting it to their own particular world view and practical needs. It is this changed Greek culture, which we call Graeco-Roman culture, that was handed down to the European civilizations in late antiquity and the Renaissance.
People have lived in Italy for a long time, because Italy is a fairly fertile area, but the time when Rome was powerful did not begin until after the greatest power of Egypt and Greece.
History of Ancient Rome is usually divided into three main periods: before the rise of Rome, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. The Empire is usually divided up according to who was emperor.
- Before the rise of Rome:
- Stone Age (to 3000 BC)
- Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BC-1000 BC)
- Etruscans (ca. 1000 BC-500 BC)
- Roman Republic:
- The early period (ca. 500 BC-300 BC)
- The Punic Wars (ca. 275 BC-146 BC)
- The Civil Wars (ca. 146 BC-30 BC)
- Roman Empire:
- The Julio-Claudians (30 BC-68 AD)
- The Flavians (69 AD-96 AD)
- The Five Good Emperors (96 AD-161 AD)
- The Severans (161 AD-235 AD)
- The Third Century Crisis
- Constantine and his family (312 AD-363 AD)
- The Theodosians (363 AD-450 AD)
- The Fall of Rome (476 AD)
- After the fall of Rome:
- The Ostrogoths
- The Visigoths
- The Franks
- The Vandals
- The Byzantines
- The Lombards, the Pope, and Islam