Roman Empire

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Historical map of Roman empire at its greatest extent

The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum, Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων) was an ancient civilization with large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean in Europe, Africa and Asia.


  • The Roman came into the Promised Land that had become less and less as promised. The rich got along quite well with the foreign occupation; it provided protection from desperate peasants and patriotic resistance fighters. It provided protection from prophets who could be labeled "agitators" now, without any qualms.
    • Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope (1959), in Man on His Own (1970), p. 121
  • Few empires in history have achieved either the geographical size or the integrative capacities of the Roman commonwealth. None have combined scale and unity like the Romans—not to mention longevity. No empire could peer back over so many centuries of unbroken greatness, advertised everywhere the eye wandered in the forum.
    • Kyle Harper, Prologue to The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the Fate of an Empire] (2017), p. 2 of 2019 pbk edition

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