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The Extent of the Roman Empire
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

The Extent of the Roman Empire

Time has seen the rise and fall of a number of great empires - the Babylonian, the Assyrian, the Egyptian, and lastly, the Persian. Regardless of the size or skill of their army or the capabilities of their leaders, all of these empires...
Roman Empire
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire, at its height (c. 117 CE), was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization. By 285 CE the empire had grown too vast to be ruled from the central government at Rome and so was divided by Emperor...
Gallienus
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Gallienus

Gallienus was Roman emperor from 253 to 268 CE. Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, the eldest son of Emperor Valerian, was named co-emperor by his father in 253 CE. He was one of many who would claim the throne over the next two decades...
Caracalla
Definitionby Patrick Hurley

Caracalla

Caracalla was Roman emperor from 211 to 217 CE. Born Lucius Septimius Bassianus, son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, he became co-ruler with his father in 198 CE and sole ruler after the death of his father in 211 CE and of his brother...
Interview: Barry Strauss on Ten Caesars
Interviewby James Blake Wiener

Interview: Barry Strauss on Ten Caesars

Dr. Barry Strauss' Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine tells the epic story of the Roman Empire from its rise to its eastern reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and...
Wu Zetian
Definitionby Emily Mark

Wu Zetian

Empress Wu Zetian (Empress Consort Wu, Wu Hou, Wu Mei Niang, Mei-Niang, and Wu Zhao, l. 624-705 CE, r. 690-704 CE) was the only female emperor of Imperial China. She reigned during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and was one of the most effective...
Faces of Roman Emperors: Nerva to the Severan Dynasty
Image Galleryby Arienne King

Faces of Roman Emperors: Nerva to the Severan Dynasty

A series of facial reconstructions of Roman emperors from the Nerva-Antonine Dynasty (96 CE-192 CE), the Year of the Five Emperors (193 CE) and the Severan Dynasty (193-235 CE). These photorealistic reconstructions are only best guesses at...
Rome under the Julio-Claudian Dynasty
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

Rome under the Julio-Claudian Dynasty

The Julio-Claudians were the first dynasty to rule the Roman Empire. After the death of the dictator-for-life Julius Caesar in 44 BCE, his adopted son Octavian - later to become known as Augustus (r. 27 BCE - 14 CE) - fought a civil war against...
Western Roman Empire
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Western Roman Empire

The Western Roman Empire is the modern-day term for the western half of the Roman Empire after it was divided in two by the emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305 CE) in c. 285/286 CE. The Romans themselves did not use this term. At its height (c...
Ancient China
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient China

Ancient China produced what has become the oldest extant culture in the world. The name 'China' comes from the Sanskrit Cina (derived from the name of the Chinese Qin Dynasty, pronounced 'Chin') which was translated as 'Cin' by the Persians...
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