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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...
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...
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 Warfare
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Roman Warfare

Roman warfare was remarkably successful over many centuries and across many territories. This was due to several important factors. Italy was a peninsula not easily attacked, there was a huge pool of fighting men to draw upon, a disciplined...
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
Articleby Donald L. Wasson

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

To many historians, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE has always been viewed as the end of the ancient world and the onset of the Middle Ages, often improperly called the Dark Ages, despite Petrarch's assertion. Since...
Byzantine Empire
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire, often called the Eastern Roman Empire or simply Byzantium, existed from 330 to 1453. With its capital founded at Constantinople by Constantine I (r. 306-337), the Empire varied in size over the centuries, at one time...
The Ideology of the Holy Roman Empire
Articleby Isaac Toman Grief

The Ideology of the Holy Roman Empire

"The Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire," wrote Voltaire, and this interpretation still dominates the popular imagination, so the Holy Roman Empire is treated as a bad joke, a pale parody of the glory of Rome...
Empire of Nicaea
Definitionby Michael Goodyear

Empire of Nicaea

The Empire of Nicaea was a successor state to the Byzantine Empire, or rather a Byzantine Empire in exile lasting from 1204 to 1261 CE. The Empire of Nicaea was founded in the aftermath of the sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade...
Holy Roman Empire
Definitionby Simon Duits

Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire officially lasted from 962 to 1806. It was one of Europe’s largest medieval and early modern states, but its power base was unstable and continually shifting. The Holy Roman Empire was not a unitary state, but a confederation...
Ancient Persia
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persia

Persia (roughly modern-day Iran) is among the oldest inhabited regions in the world. Archaeological sites in the country have established human habitation dating back 100,000 years to the Paleolithic Age with semi-permanent settlements (most...
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