Rome has consistently provided the inspiration, the imagery, and the vocabulary for all the European empires.
Rome began in the seventh century B.C. as a small city-state of farmers and tradesman occupying a territory of a few square miles on the lower Tiber.
By the first century B.C., most of what had survived of the empire of Alexander the great had fallen into roman hands.
The Roman empire
Rome had become a republic, unlike the Greek city-states on which it was loosely modeled, in no sense was it a democracy.
The empire of the roman Republic might have benefited mostly the patricians, the consuls, and the proconsuls who commanded the legions and whose power and wealth derived from their success in battle.
The full force of roman expansion had stopped by the time Julius Caesar seized effective control of the senate in the first century B.C.
Julius Caesar seized control of the Roman senate in the first century B.C.
Caesar had conquered Gaul in a spectacular if brutal campaign in 58-51 B.C.
In 52, Pompey, who as sole consul was in effective control of the Senate, fearful of Caesar’s growing power and obvious autocratic ambitions, attempted to prevent him from returning to Rome as consul.