A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus.
In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian.
It was ruled, not by emperors, but by annually elected magistrates (Roman Consuls above all) in conjunction with the Senate.
Occasionally, successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator (commander), and this is the origin of the word emperor (and empire) since this title (among others) was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession.
Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire.
With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire finally collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD.The Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages.In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC.Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.The Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453.Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe.Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture.Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC.You will then be sent a link via email to verify your account.If you are not a member or are having any other problems, please contact customer support.