The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

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Rome was one of the greatest empires of the ancient world. The early Roman

state was founded in 509 B.C. after the Romans drove out the hated Etruscan King,

Tarquinius Priscus. By this time Rome had already grown froma cluster of small villages

to a small city. Little did the settlers know that this was the beginning of one of the

greatest and largest empires ever known.

After Rome established itself, they were determined to never again be ruled by a

monarch. The Romans set up a government called a republic. They thought a republic

would keep any individuals from gaining too much power. Rome adapted the government

to fit the need of the people it served. It also developed the military power to not only

conquer Italy, but the entire Mediterranean World.

The early republic power was controlled by the patricians, the land holding upper

class. In the event of a war, the senate might elect a dictator who ruled for only six

months in the time of the emergency; thus Julius Ceaser emerged. He was an able

commander who led conquest for Rome. After nine years of fighting, he finally

conquered Gaul. Pompey then grew jealous of Ceaser’s achievement and had the senate

order him to disband his forces and return home to Rome, Ceaser secretly crossed the

Ribucon and killed Pompey then entered Rome. After crushing many rebellions, Ceaser

forced the senate to make him dictator. He then launched many reforms such as public

work programs and giving land to the poor. According to legend, those in the senate

murdered Ceaser on March 15. Ceasers grandnephew, Octavian and Marc Anthony

joined forces to capture his killers. However, bitter fueds grew and it soon became a

battle for power.

Although the exact cause of the fall of the Roman Empire is unknown, there are

three believed contributions to it. The first is the military is assumed due to massive

attacks of German tribes. Another reason was a political and...
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