Roman soldiers march out of a fortTwo thousand years ago, the Romans ruled most of Europe and beyond. The Roman Empire stretched from Britain to the Middle East. It included all the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. About 60 million people lived under Roman rule. The Romans governed their empire well and protected it from other invaders. They built roads, aqueducts and fine buildings in the lands they conquered. The mighty Roman Empire lasted for hundreds of years.
The rise of Rome
Early Rome was ruled by kings, but in 510 BC the people decided to establish a republic. Rome would now governed by a small group of citizens called senators, who were elected by the people. Gradually, Rome became more powerful, conquering surrounding territories. By 264 BC, it controlled most of Italy.
In the 2nd century AD, around a fifth of the world's population lived under Roman rule.
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