Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus, the sons of Mars, who were brought up by a wolf. Following a fight, Romulus killed his brother and became the first king of Rome. Historians assume the Etruscans settled in the area and named it Roma.
Full citizens, males over 15 who were descended from the original tribes of Rome, could vote. Two consuls, the highest positions in the government, were elected by a senate of wealthy patricians. Dictators could be appointed by the Senate and consuls in time of crisis. These dictators had all the power.
The three Punic Wars, lasting nearly a century, were fought between Rome and Carthage over who would control trade in the Mediterranean Sea. Although Rome won all three wars, the great Carthaginian general, Hannibal, invaded Italy in the Second Punic War and scored great victories before his eventual defeat.
Julius Caesar rose to power through his alliance with Pompey and Crassus. They offered him financial and political support which helped him build a bigger more successful military. Envy and concern over Caesar's power led Senators Longinus and Brutus to assassinate Caesar on the Ides of March 44 BCE.
Pax Romana was 260 year period of relative peace and minimal expansion in the Roman Empire.
Augustus met with Antony and Lepidus to form the Second Triumvirate., which completely cut off the Senate from power. The Roman Empire was divided between Augustus and Antony. In the Empire all political power was held by the Emperor rather than the wealthy Senate of the Republic. Wealth was spread around more evenly in the Empire which made it richer with more growth, more rights for citizens and better life for all.
Jesus had twelve disciples, apostles, who were his students and representatives. One of these apostles, Paul, traveled far ministerering to both Jewish and Roman people. His letters have had enormous influence on Christianity. The aroma rulers opposed early Christians because they felt threatened. They believed themselves to be part Gods.
The Jewish people rebelled against the Roman rule. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed by Romans in 70 AD and Jewish people were sold into slavery or exiled.
This agreement made Christianity a welcome and soon dominate religion of the Roman Empire. The Edict gave Christians religious freedom. Constantine approved of Christianity after having a vision before a victorious battle for control of the Western Roman Empire.
Constantinople, named after Constantine, became the new capital of the Roman Empire. It was closer to the center of the Empire. Surrounded by water, it was easily defended. Nova Roma led to the ultimate separation of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires.
Emperor Theodosius I made Christianity the Empires sole authorized religion.
Four factors weakened the Roman Empire
1. Changing nature of external threat to borders
2. Frequent civil wars among claimants to the throne
3. Migration and settlement of barbaric populations within the borders
4. Gradual demise of Empire's manpower
The Roman Empire fell due to invasions, inflation, corruption and political failure