When Did Ancient Rome Split

When Did Ancient Rome Split?
When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BCE and seized supreme power, the Romans changed their government from a republic to an empire. This marked the end of Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. It was by no means the end for the two branches which were to form two distinct states. From the moment when Julius Caesar and his descendant, Augustus, assumed control there were gradual, but accumulating differences between East and West Rome. Augustus set up a system of government that favored the Western Roman Empire and administered it with his own norms. This manifested itself in a number of ways.
Over time, the differences between the Eastern and Western Roman Empires increased in both government and economy. The East was seen as the richer and more powerful, while the West was struggling to keep up. Power struggles ensued, leaving Rome to be divided in 286 CE with the Gaul speaking western part of the empire taking the name of the Western Roman Empire, while the Greco-speaking eastern part took the name of the Eastern Roman Empire. Over time, the differences between the two empires increased significantly, to the point where the two branches were completely different in terms of politics, economics, and culture.
The Eastern Empire, or more commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, was largely Greek in identity, and ruled from Constantinople, today’s Istanbul. In contrast, the Western Empire was centered in Rome and spoke Latin. The Western Empire was more democratic in nature, while the Eastern had an autocratic government controlled by the Emperor and his court.
Crucial to this divide was the choice of language for official documents. Latin was chosen for the Western Roman Empire, while Greek was kept for the Eastern Empire. Consequently, the Eastern Roman Empire kept its cultural identity much longer, while the Western Roman Empire gradually lost its Greco-Roman heritage.
The cause of this great separation was not only political, but also religious. In the West, Christianity was embraced while the East clung to their traditional beliefs. The pope in Rome gradually became a powerful figure, while in the East the Church remained loyal to the Emperor. This led to a sense of unity among the people of the Western Empire, and fueled a strong feeling of patriotism and loyalty to the State.
This divide was widened until the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE and the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453 CE. Rome was no longer a unified state, but two separate and distinct entities. Though the two empires eventually parted ways, the legacy of Rome’s legacy still rings true today.

Economy of Ancient Rome

The Roman Empire was a period of strong economic growth, with the various regions of the Mediterranean and beyond being highly developed. The city of Rome itself was the heart of the economy, and the main reason for its wealth was its strategic location at the center of the Mediterranean Sea. It was the main hub for trade routes, and due to its geographical position, it received goods from all over the empire as well as from outside world.
Trade was mainly conducted through the use of coins, and the largest trading partner was Egypt. This created an abundance of gold and silver which was in high demand in the Mediterranean and beyond, resulting in an increase in the economy. Rome’s other major contribution was the development of aqueducts and roads which allowed goods to travel further and faster throughout the empire. This enabled the Roman Empire to move goods and commodities from one part of the empire to another faster, increasing profits from trading.
Rome was also able to capitalize on its intellectual resources, such as its vast library and expert scholars who could act as advisors. This allowed the city to stay ahead of other cities in terms of technological and social advances. Additionally, Rome had access to the knowledge of the ancient Hellenistic world which meant the city could learn from the Greeks and apply their knowledge to Roman technology.
As Rome expanded its empire, it utilized its new resources in order to build upon its economy. This included setting up colonies which could be used to provide resources and also as trading partners with other parts of the empire. As Rome conquered new lands, it was able to increase its own wealth and power, which then helped secure its political and cultural destiny.

Culture of Ancient Rome

The Roman Empire was deeply rooted in cultural customs and traditions, which were adopted from people of different cultures. This unique blend of classical and pre-modern cultures created a unique culture in Rome. Religion played a major role in Roman culture, as they strongly believed in and followed the pantheon of gods, which was a combination of Roman, Greek, and Etruscan gods. Religion was so important in Rome and its citizens that many rituals and festivals revolved around praising the gods or seeking their favor or guidance.
Additionally, music was a major part of everyday life in Rome. From the wealthy patricians to the humble plebeians all enjoyed music. There were theaters dedicated to the performing arts, and many musicians played instruments like the lyre, flute, and drums. Music was an essential part of religious ceremonies, as well as other entertainment such as gladiator fights.
Despite the diversity of its citizens, the people of Ancient Rome had a strong sense of Roman identity. This strong identity was expressed through their gods, festivals, art, architecture, and politics. Symbols such as the Eagle representing power and the Wolf representing family were commonly used in public monuments and artwork. Public works such as aqueducts, amphitheaters, and monuments served as a reminder of the strength and greatness of the Roman Empire.
Ancient Roman culture was incredibly influential in the Western world. Its main contribution was its language, Latin, which is still used in many parts of the world in both speech and writing. It also established much of the infrastructure that is still found in many cities today, such as roads, aqueducts, and civic centers. Its art and religion continued to influence those in future generations, especially in its sculpture and traditional values.

Government of Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome had a complicated system of government, with a variety of officials and institutions. Power was distributed among different classes within society, and depended on their relationship to the government. At the apex of the Roman government was the Emperor, who had supreme power over all decisions and activities within the empire.
Below the Emperor there were two other classes of individuals – the Senate and the People. The Senate was made up of the upper classes, and its members were responsible for making decisions about laws and matters of foreign policy. The Plebeians made up the vast majority of the population, and though they had few political rights, they did have the power to vote for certain representatives to the Senate.
In addition to the Senate and Plebeian class, there were also a range of lower officials. Officials such as tax collectors, judges, and military leaders all served the citizens of Rome. Therefore, it would be an inaccurate assessment to simply state that Rome had an autocratic government; Rome had a system of government with checks and balances between the different governing bodies.

Literature of Ancient Rome

Ancient Roman literature is as varied and fascinating as the Roman culture it represents. Its roots lie in Greco-Roman literature, with the Latin language being heavily influenced by Greek literature, resulting in writings that mix both language and culture. Roman literature is known for its poetic quality, its vivid descriptions, and its vivid imagination.
Roman literature experienced a golden age during the height of the Roman Empire, when writers such as Virgil, Ovid, Horace, and Cicero wrote some of the most influential works of the period. These writers tackled a range of topics from politics and morality to love and religion. In addition to poetry, writers during this period wrote about history, philosophy, and social life.
The most popular genre during this period was satire, with writers such as Juvenal and Martial writing humorous and sometimes scathing works. Their writings provided insight into the everyday lives of Romans, and the combination of satirical humor and hard-hitting truth resonated deeply with Roman citizens. Writers such as Pliny, Suetonius, and Tacitus wrote more serious works focused on Roman politics and history.

Legacy of Ancient Rome

The Roman Empire left an enduring mark on the world, in terms of political, legal, and cultural influences. Their government was influential in the development of democracy and many European countries, as well as its impact on the Roman Catholic Church.
The Romans also left their mark in terms of artistic and architectural achievements. This includes the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Amphitheater in Rome. The Roman Empire also left an imprint on the world in terms of literature, with ancient authors such as Virgil, Cicero, and Ovid leaving a lasting legacy.
The Roman Empire also left a great legacy in terms of language and culture. Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire, is still used today in many parts of the world, particularly in the Catholic Church. Furthermore, Roman culture continues to influence our society today, from the art to the traditional values that are still held dear.
The legacy of Rome is vast and far-reaching, and continues to affect the world today. As a testament to the legacy of the Roman Empire, the Colosseum still stands in Rome today and continues to be a reminder of the powerful empire that once dominated Western civilization.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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