Roman Empire Timeline Explained

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Although the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 AD (via history), never to rise again, in the east the Byzantine Empire, as the Eastern Roman Empire became known , lasted almost a thousand years. During the reign of Emperor Justinian I, which lasted from 527 to 656 AD, according to the National Gallery of Art, the Church of Hagia Sophia was built, which remains one of the most impressive structures and most famous ever built by mankind. Even as various tribes of barbarians staged subsequent invasions of Italy, Islam began to take hold and, as the so-called Holy Roman Empire spread across much of central Europe, Byzantium was strong and stable.

But in the 14th century, an ever larger and more powerful Ottoman sultanate threatened Byzantium, and finally, after a brutal siege lasting nearly two months, Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, fell to Sultan Mehmed II on May 29. 1453, by Britannica. For all intents and purposes, that was the final end of Rome then.

That said, much of Rome’s architecture lives in ruins and its influence is felt in the buildings and monuments erected over the following centuries. Roman law and its republican approach to government are still very much alive in many countries today. Latin, the language of the Romans, has greatly influenced many modern languages. And of course, the Roman spread of Christianity had a permanent effect on history and on the lives of billions of Christians. In some respects, therefore, the chronology of Rome still persists.

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