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By Michael Burgan

The impact of the Roman Empire has been common and profound, maybe extra so than the other empire or civilization. This quantity starts off with a short precis of the Roman Empire and gives an account of the realm and this geographic sector within the years major as much as the empire.

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Out With the Old Gods Theodosius was the last emperor to reign over both the eastern and western halves of the empire. He established Christianity as the official state religion and closed the old Roman temples. Changes in the West With the death of Theodosius in 395, the empire once again split in two, this time for good. The trend of a strengthening eastern empire and declining western one continued. By now Milan, in the northern part of the Italian peninsula, served as the main home of the western emperor, since it was closer to the borderlands that faced frequent foreign attack.

Opposite The Ruins of Pompeii In 79, the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying several cities, including Pompeii, a seaside resort near Rome. The ash preserved the city in remarkable condition, and archaeologists have learned much about life in ancient Rome from studying Pompeii. Three Men Vie to Be Emperor Three men with ties to Caesar emerged to compete for his position. Marc Antony (c. ) had been one of Caesar’s trusted aides. Lepidus (d. c. ) had served in Caesar’s government. The third man was the only one with family ties: Octavian was Caesar’s grandnephew, and in his will Caesar also adopted him as his son.

He was only 14 years old at the time, and his mother Julia Mamaea (d. 235) and his grandmother actually ran the government. ” He also says the two Julias were the best Roman “emperors” since Marcus Aurelius. They turned to the Senate for support and guidance, restoring some of the influence it had lost under Septimius. During most of the Severan Dynasty the army had been at the center of imperial concerns. Keeping the forces strong—especially on the frontiers—and loyal were the keys to holding on to power.

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