The Roman Empire

Senatus populusque Romanus (SPQR) translates as Senate and People of Rome

27 BC – 476 AD

The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum) was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors, and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa, and Asia. 

The 500 year old republic which preceded it was severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict, during which Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC. 

Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. 

Octavian's power was now unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus, effectively marking the end of the Roman Republic.

The Roman Empire at it greatest extent. image: Tataryn77/wikipedia

Adapted from

Roman Empire. (2014, November 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:34, November 15, 2014, from