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At its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres.

) was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa and Asia.

The city of Rome was the largest city in the world The 500-year-old republic which preceded it was severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict, during which Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC.

This arrangement was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine the Great, who defeated his rivals and became the sole ruler of the empire in 324.

Constantine subsequently established a second capital city in Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople.

A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus.

Commodus' assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious.The Sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths and again in 455 by the Vandals accelerated the Western Empire's decay, while the deposition of the emperor, Romulus Augustulus, in 476 by Odoacer, is generally accepted to mark the end of the empire in the west.However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire only ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos, in 480.The Senate then appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors.The empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line.Under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus.

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