The Roman Empire was the successor state to the Roman Republic and a continuation of its culture, civilization, and military power, which it handled through an Imperial autocracy. At its largest extent, the Roman Empire completely encompassed the Mediterranean Sea and controlled territories in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
After nearly four-hundred years, the Empire fragmented into two distinct governments - the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire - before finally collapsing, in the West, in 476 CE. The Eastern Roman Empire would continue to rule until to Fall of Constantinople in 1453.
- "They have taken from us, from Roma, but now is not the time to respond. We must regroup. Plan. Prepare for what is sure to come."
- ―A Liberatore on the future of Rome, 42 BCE.[src]
One of Caligula's successors, Nero, was renowned for his supposed tyranny and extravagnace. It is rumored that he intentionally started the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE in order to build his lavish Golden Palace. Nero committed suicide in 68 CE, ending the Julio-Claudian dynasty of emperors.
The Flavian dynasty of emperors was founded by Vespasian, who ruled from 69 CE to 79 CE. He undertook several great construction projects, including the Colosseum, a large amphitheatre built atop a Isu Temple. He was succeeded by his son, Titus, who crushed a Jewish rebellion and sacked Jerusalem.
Eventually, due to its vast size, it was decided that the Empire should fragment in order to better govern it various territories. Divided between the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire, the two bodies continued to co-exist until the Sack of Rome, and the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE. The Eastern Roman Empire continued, however for almost another 1,000 years before it too saw its capital, Constantinople, conquered, this time by the rising-Ottoman Empire, in 1453.