Roman Empire
Rise and Fall Map

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The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire animated map

When did the Roman Republic rise to become a world empire? How many countries and territories did it conquer or control? How long did its persecution of Christians last? In what year did the last remnants of the Roman Empire finally fall?

753 B.C.
The founding of Rome, that would ultimately lead to the rise of the Roman Empire, occurs by Romulus and Remus. Romulus reigns from 753 to 715 B.C.

509 B.C.
The Roman Republic begins.

508 B.C.
The creation of the office of Pontifex Maximus (high priest) occurs after stripping power from the Roman consuls.

c. 390 B.C.
The Gauls defeat the Roman army at the battle of the Allia. They are the first enemy to sack the city of Rome.

312 B.C.
Work begins on the Appian Way, a road that would help Rome become a world empire!

Rome's Largest Stadium
Why was Roman citizenship so prized?
Picture of St. Peter's Square

241 B.C.
Sardinia and Corsica become the first Roman provinces following the defeat of Carthage.

63 B.C.
Roman troops occupy Palestine (Judea). Jerusalem falls.

40 B.C.
The Roman Senate appoints Herod the Great as King of Judea. It will take three years, however, before he and Rome will conquer Jerusalem and place him on the throne.

30 B.C.
Antony and Cleopatra commit suicide. Egypt becomes a province of Rome.

27 B.C.
The Roman Republic ends. Augustus becomes Rome's first Emperor and rules to 14 A.D.

64 A.D.
Emperor Nero begins Rome's first persecution of Christians.

70 A.D.
General (later Emperor) Titus destroys Jerusalem's second temple (also known as Herod's temple) beginning on the 9th of Ab (Hebrew month).

96 to 180 A.D.
Reign of the 'Five Good Emperors' (Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius), also known as the Pax Romana. During their rule, Rome reaches its height of power.

117 A.D.
The Roman Empire reaches its largest extent under Emperor Trajan.

284 to 305 A.D.
The last, and most vicious, persecution of Christians by the Romans occurs during the reign of Diocletian.

306 to 337 A.D.
Constantine the Great reigns. In 313 A.D., his Edict of Milan legalizes Christianity and ends the Roman state sanctioned persecution of Christians.

330 A.D.
Constantine makes Byzantium (renamed Constantinople after his death) the imperial capital.

379 to 395 A.D.
Emperor Theodosius I reunites the Empire under his rule.

380 A.D.
Christianity becomes the official state religion of the Roman Empire.

395 A.D.
After the death of Emperor Theodosius his two sons split the Roman kingdom. Arcadius rules the Eastern part of the Empire (also known as the Byzantine) from 395 to 408 A.D. and Honorius rules the Western part from 395 to 423 A.D.

410 A.D.
Alaric, King of the Visigoths, sacks the city of Rome. This is the first sacking since around 390 B.C.

476 A.D.
The Western Empire collapses. General Odoacer of the Heruli forces Emperor Romulus Augustus to abdicate. Odoacer becomes the first barbarian King of Italy.

527 to 565 A.D.
Reign of Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian I. Reconquered many of the Western Empire's former lands (Italy, Africa, southern Hispania, etc.). Justinian considers himself "priest and king."

800 A.D.
During Mass on Christmas Day, in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Pope crowns Charlemagne (King of the Franks and Lombards) as Emperor. This is the first time in history a Pope crowns a Roman Emperor.

962 A.D.
The Pope crowns Otto the Great (king of Germany since 936 and Italy since 961) the first Holy Roman Emperor.

1453 A.D.
The Eastern (Byzantine) Empire falls with the death of Emperor Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks.

The Roman Empire existed from 753 B.C.
to its final demise in 1453 A.D.
This is a span of more than 2,200 years!

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Picture of the Circus Maximus
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