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The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire The city-state of Rome became a Republic in 509 BC The Republic won an overseas empire beginning with the Punic Wars The Second Punic War was both a defining moment and a turning point in Roman history much like the Second World War was for the United States The Roman campaign in Spain was as significant for Rome as the American campaign in Europe in 1944-45 After the Second Punic War the Roman republic was supreme throughout the Mediterranean By the end of the first century BC Rome controlled almost all of the known world the Mediterranean Basin And its system of government changed from that of a Republic to an autocracy with the creation of the Principite under the first emperor Augustus Caesar With Caesar began the two centuries of the Pax Romana During this time the Roman Empire became a commonwealth of states and not a collection of conquered provinces Rome except for ParthiaPersia no longer had any organized threats on its frontiers The real threat came from the unorganized Barbarian tribes whose conquest added nothing to the Empire The Empire was strategically defensive rather than offensive The decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries AD provides an unsettling parallel to the late twentieth century in certain respects The Rise of the Roman Empire can be contributed to many factors Those factors would include strength in the military society leadership religious and architectural aspects of the Roman Empire To start with the rapid expansion and the incredible success of the Roman Empire was largely due to the Roman army It was first formed to defend the city of Rome but it went on to conquer a vast empire The early Roman army was made up of volunteers but soldiers that joined up for 20-25 years became paid professionals People from lands conquered by Romans were also recruited
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