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The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire is an ancient empire that existed about two thousand years ago. Its vast region stretched from England to Africa and from Syria to Spain. Its capital was Rome. It is believed that one in every four people on the earth lived and died under the Roman Empire. Many modern countries of today were once part of the Roman Empire. The list includes England, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. The language of the Roman Empire was Latin. The western part of the Roman Empire lasted for almost 500 years, and the eastern part that includes modern Greece and Turkey, called the Byzantine Empire, lasted for about a thousand years more.

Before it became the Roman Empire, the area was considered as Roman Republic. Roman Republic lasted for about 500 years and ended with the start of Roman Empire. The first Emperor of Rome was Julius Caesar. He was appointed as a perpetual dictator in 44 BC. Although many historians account this as a start of the Roman Empire; however, others consider the victory of Caesar's heir Octavian at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, and the Roman Senate's granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus in 27 BC as the start of Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was ruled by many emperors. Some of the notable emperors are, Julius Caesar, August, Hadrian and Caracalla.

In order to control their large empire, the Romans developed important ideas about law and government. Many Emperors had absolute control, and could do as they pleased. When the Emperor died, his favorite friend or son often became the next Emperor. After a while, military took over the weak Emperors. Military started picking one of their generals and appointed him as the next Emperor. The Romans Emperors also fought many wars against other countries and forced them to speak Latin.

The Romans were not very civilized compared to today's standards. They enjoyed watching violent sports, races between chariots pulled by horses, and fights between men using weapons. Unlike modern sports, the fighters were often really killed in these fights. The Romans made significant contribution to the modern society in many areas including architecture, city planning, foundation of law and government and art and literature. The Romans built many large buildings, aqueducts to carry water, and very good stone bridges and roads. Some of these things can still be seen today. Many famous writers were born in Roman Empire, including Horace, Juvenal, Martial, Ovid, Cicero and Virgil.

The end of the Roman Empire is sometimes placed around 476 AD, when the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustus, was deposed and not replaced. The Western Roman Empire declined and fell apart in the course of the 5th century. The Eastern Roman Empire, known today as the Byzantine Empire, preserved Greco-Roman legal and cultural traditions for another millennium, until its eventual collapse with the conquest of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1453.
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Question 1
Who was the first emperor of Rome?
A. OctavianB. Julius Caesar
C. CaracallaD. Augustus
Question 2
What was the capital of the Roman Empire?
A. VeniceB. Genoa
C. AthensD. Rome
Question 3
How many years did Roman Republic last?
A. for about 500 yearsB. for about 2,000 years
C. for about 50 yearsD. for about 100 years
Question 4
Which of the following countries was once part of the Roman Empire?
A. NorwayB. Denmark
C. FranceD. Germany
Question 5
What was the language of the Roman Empire?
A. FrenchB. Greek
C. EnglishD. Latin
Question 6
Which two modern countries were once parts of the Eastern Roman Empire?
A. Greece and SpainB. Greece and Turkey
C. France and GermanyD. Egypt and England
Question 7
Who was the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire?
A. CiceroB. Julius Caesar
C. HadrianD. Romulus Augustus
Question 8
Which of the following facts about the Romans is NOT correct?
A. They enjoyed watching violent sports.B. They built many large buildings, good stone bridges, and roads.
C. They were very civilized people.D. They made significant contribution to the modern society in many areas including architecture, art, and literature.
Question 9
When did the Eastern Roman Empire collapse?
A. in 1453B. in 1234
C. in 1560D. in 1400
Question 10
When was Julius Caesar appointed as a dictator of Rome?
A. in 404 BCB. in 44 BC
C. in 31 BCD. in 27 BC
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