The roman Empire was established after the 500-year-old Roman Republic destabilised through a series of civil wars. Several events marked the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator in 44 BC; the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; and the granting of the honorific Augustus to Octavian by the Roman Senate 27 BC.
The Empire stretched over most of what is now Europe including Britain (not Scotland), Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Germany, Egypt, and the north coast of Africa.
Because of the Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed.
There are many places across Europe where the remains of what was the great Roman Empire still remains, one of the most remarkable right here on our doorstep; Hadrian's Wall plays a huge part in the Roman heritage of Britain and can tell us a lot about what went on in Britain almost 2000 years ago! Find out more about the Roman Empire and Roman Britannia in this weeks blog posts...