The Hebrew or Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar used today predominantly for Jewish religious observances. It determines the dates for Jewish holidays and the appropriate public reading of Torah portions and daily Psalm readings, among many ceremonial uses. In Israel, it is used for religious purposes, provides a time frame for agriculture and is an official calendar for civil purposes, although the latter usage has been declining in favor of the Gregorian calendar; the present Hebrew calendar is the product including a Babylonian influence. Until the Tannaitic period, the calendar employed a new crescent moon, with an additional month added every two or three years to correct for the difference between twelve lunar months and the solar year; the year in which it was added was based on observation of natural agriculture-related events in ancient Israel. Through the Amoraic period and into the Geonic period, this system was displaced by the mathematical rules used today; the principles and rules were codified by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah in the 12th century.
Maimonides' work replaced counting "years since the destruction of the Temple" with the modern creation-era Anno Mundi. The Hebrew lunar year is about eleven days shorter than the solar year and uses the 19-year Metonic cycle to bring it into line with the solar year, with the addition of an intercalary month every two or three years, for a total of seven times per 19 years. With this intercalation, the average Hebrew calendar year is longer by about 6 minutes and 40 seconds than the current mean tropical year, so that every 217 years the Hebrew calendar will fall a day behind the current mean tropical year; the era used. As with Anno Domini, the words or abbreviation for Anno Mundi for the era should properly precede the date rather than follow it. AM 5779 began at sunset on 9 September 2018 and will end at sunset on 29 September 2019; the Jewish day is of no fixed length. The Jewish day is modeled on the reference to "...there was evening and there was morning..." in the creation account in the first chapter of Genesis.
Based on the classic rabbinic interpretation of this text, a day in the rabbinic Hebrew calendar runs from sunset to the next sunset. Halachically, a day ends and a new one starts when three stars are visible in the sky; the time between true sunset and the time when the three stars are visible is known as'bein hashmashot', there are differences of opinion as to which day it falls into for some uses. This may be relevant, for example, in determining the date of birth of a child born during that gap. There is no clock in the Jewish scheme. Though the civil clock, including the one in use in Israel, incorporates local adoptions of various conventions such as time zones, standard times and daylight saving, these have no place in the Jewish scheme; the civil clock is used only as a reference point – in expressions such as: "Shabbat starts at...". The steady progression of sunset around the world and seasonal changes results in gradual civil time changes from one day to the next based on observable astronomical phenomena and not on man-made laws and conventions.
In Judaism, an hour is defined as 1/12 of the time from sunrise to sunset, so, during the winter, an hour can be much less than 60 minutes, during the summer, it can be much more than 60 minutes. This proportional hour is known as a sha'ah z'manit. A Jewish hour is divided into parts. A part is 1/18 minute; the ultimate ancestor of the helek was a small Babylonian time period called a barleycorn, itself equal to 1/72 of a Babylonian time degree. These measures are not used for everyday purposes. Instead of the international date line convention, there are varying opinions as to where the day changes. One opinion uses the antimeridian of Jerusalem. Other opinions exist as well; the weekdays proceed to Saturday, Shabbat. Since some calculations use division, a remainder of 0 signifies Saturday. While calculations of days and years are based on fixed hours equal to 1/24 of a day, the beginning of each halachic day is based on the local time of sunset; the end of the Shabbat and other Jewish holidays is based on nightfall which occurs some amount of time 42 to 72 minutes, after sunset.
According to Maimonides, nightfall occurs. By the 17th century, this had become three-second-magnitude stars; the modern definition is when the center of the sun is 7° below the geometric horizon, somewhat than civil twilight at 6°. The beginning of the daytime portion of each day is determined both by sunrise. Most halachic times are based on some combination of these four times and vary from day to day throughout the year and vary depending on location; the daytime hours are divided into Sha'oth Zemaniyoth or "Halachic hours" by taking the time between sunrise and sunset or between dawn and nightfall and dividing it into 12 equal hours. The nighttime hours are s
An Olympiad is a period of four years associated with the Olympic Games of the Ancient Greeks. Although the Ancient Olympic Games were established during Archaic Greece, it was not until the Hellenistic period, beginning with Ephorus, that the Olympiad was used as a calendar epoch. Converting to the modern BC/AD dating system the first Olympiad began in the summer of 776 BC and lasted until the summer of 772 BC, when the second Olympiad would begin with the commencement of the next games. By extrapolation to the Gregorian calendar, the 3rd year of the 699th Olympiad will begin in mid-summer 2019. A modern Olympiad refers to a four-year period beginning on the opening of the Olympic Games for the summer sports; the first modern Olympiad began in 1896, the second in 1900, so on. The ancient and modern Olympiads would have synchronised had there been a year zero between the Olympiad of 4 BC and the one of 4 AD, but as the Gregorian calendar goes directly from 1 BC to 1 AD, the ancient Olympic cycle now lags the modern cycle by one year.
An ancient Olympiad was a period of four years grouped together, counting inclusively as the ancients did. Each ancient Olympic year overlapped onto two of our modern reckoning of BC or AD years, from midsummer to midsummer. Example: Olympiad 140, year 1 = 220/219 BC. Therefore, the games would have been held in July/August of 220 BC and held the next time in July/August of 216 BC, after four olympic years had been completed; the sophist Hippias was the first writer to publish a list of victors of the Olympic Games, by the time of Eratosthenes, it was agreed that the first Olympic games had happened during the summer of 776 BC. The combination of victor lists and calculations from 776 BC onwards enabled Greek historians to use the Olympiads as a way of reckoning time that did not depend on the time reckonings of one of the city-states; the first to do so was Timaeus of Tauromenium in the third century BC. Since for events of the early history of the games the reckoning was used in retrospect, some of the dates given by historian for events before the 5th century BC are unreliable.
In the 2nd century AD, Phlegon of Tralles summarised the events of each Olympiad in a book called Olympiads, an extract from this has been preserved by the Byzantine writer Photius. Christian chroniclers continued to use this Greek system of dating as a way of synchronising biblical events with Greek and Roman history. In the 3rd century AD, Sextus Julius Africanus compiled a list of Olympic victors up to 217 BC, this list has been preserved in the Chronicle of Eusebius. Early historians sometimes used the names of Olympic victors as a method of dating events to a specific year. For instance, Thucydides says in his account of the year 428 BC: "It was the Olympiad in which the Rhodian Dorieus gained his second victory". Dionysius of Halicarnassus dates the foundation of Rome to the first year of the seventh Olympiad, 752/1 BC. Since Rome was founded on April 21, in the last half of the ancient Olympic year, it would be 751 BC specifically. In Book 1 chapter 75 Dionysius states: "... Romulus, the first ruler of the city, began his reign in the first year of the seventh Olympiad, when Charops at Athens was in the first year of his ten-year term as archon."
Diodorus Siculus dates the Persian invasion of Greece to 480 BC: "Calliades was archon in Athens, the Romans made Spurius Cassius and Proculus Verginius Tricostus consuls, the Eleians celebrated the Seventy-fifth Olympiad, that in which Astylus of Syracuse won the stadion. It was in this year that king Xerxes made his campaign against Greece." Jerome, in his Latin translation of the Chronicle of Eusebius, dates the birth of Jesus Christ to year 3 of Olympiad 194, the 42nd year of the reign of the emperor Augustus, which equates to the year 2 BC. An Olympiad started with the holding of the games, which occurred on the first or second full moon after the summer solstice, in what we call July or August; the games were therefore a new years festival. In 776 BC this occurred on either July 23 or August 21.. Though the games were held without interruption, on more than one occasion they were held by others than the Eleians; the Eleians declared such games Anolympiads, but it is assumed the winners were recorded.
During the 3rd century AD, records of the games are so scanty that historians are not certain whether after 261 they were still held every four years. During the early years of the Olympiad, any physical benefit deriving from a sport was banned; some winners were recorded though, until the last Olympiad of 393AD. In 394, Roman Emperor Theodosius. Though it would have been possible to continue the reckoning by just counting four-year periods, by the middle of the 5th century AD reckoning by Olympiads had become disused; the modern Olympiad is a period of four years, beginning at the opening of the Olympic Summer Games and ending at the opening of the next. The Olympiads are numbered consecutively from the first Games of the Olympiad celebrated in Athens in 1896; the XXXI Olympiad began on August 5, 2016 and will end on July 24, 2020. The Summer Olympics are more referred to as the Games of the Olympiad; the first poster to announce the games using this term was the one for the 1932 Summer Olympics, in Los Angeles, using the phrase: Call to the games of the Xth Olympiad Note, that the official numbering of the Winter Olympics does
6th century BC
The 6th century BC started the first day of 600 BC and ended the last day of 501 BC. This century represents the peak of a period in human history popularly known as Axial Age; this period saw the emergence of five major thought streams springing from five great thinkers in different parts of the world: Buddha and Mahavira in India, Zoroaster in Persia, Pythagoras in Greece and Confucius in China. Pāṇini, in India, composed a grammar for Sanskrit, in this century or later; this is the oldest still known grammar of any language. In Western Asia, the first half of this century was dominated by the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean empire, which had risen to power late in the previous century after rebelling against Assyrian rule; the Kingdom of Judah came to an end in 586 BC when Babylonian forces under Nebuchadnezzar II captured Jerusalem, removed most of its population to their own lands. Babylonian rule was ended in the 540s by Cyrus; the Persian Empire continued to expand and grew into the greatest empire the world had known at the time.
In Iron Age Europe, the Celtic expansion was in progress. China was in the Autumn period. Mediterranean: Beginning of Greek philosophy, flourishes during the 5th century BC The late Hallstatt culture period in Eastern and Central Europe, the late Bronze Age in Northern Europe East Asia: the Spring and Autumn period. Confucianism and Moism flourish. Laozi founds Taoism West Asia: During the Persian empire, Zoroaster, a.k.a. Zarathustra, founded Zoroastrianism, a dualistic philosophy; this was the time of the Babylonian captivity of the ancient Jews. Ancient India: the Buddha and Mahavira found Buddhism and Jainism The decline of the Olmec civilization in Central America Mid-6th century BC: Foundation of Temple of Olympian Zeus. 598 BC: Jehoiachin succeeds Jehoiakim as King of Judah. 16 March 597 BC: Babylonians capture Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king. 595 BC: Psammetichus II succeeds Necho II as King of Egypt. 594 BC: Solon appointed Archon of Athens. 590 BC: Egyptian army sacks Napata, compelling the Cushite court to move to a more secure location at Meroe near the sixth Cataract.
589 BC: Apries succeeds Psammetichus II as King of Egypt. 588 BC: Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon begins siege of Jerusalem. The conquerors destroy exile the land's remaining inhabitants. Babylonian Captivity for the Jews begins. 586 BC: death of King Ding of Zhou, King of the Zhou Dynasty of China 28 May 585 BC: A solar eclipse occurs as predicted by Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares. This leads to a truce; this is one of the cardinal dates. 585 BC/584 BC: Astyages succeeds Cyaxares as King of the Medes. 585 BC: King Jian of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty. 583 BC: The Babylonians begin a siege against Tyre. 582 BC: Pythian Games founded at Delphi. 580 BC: Cambyses I succeeds Cyrus I as King of Anshan and head of the Achaemenid dynasty. 580 BC: Isthmian Games founded at Corinth 579 BC: Servius Tullius succeeds the assassinated Lucius Tarquinius Priscus as King of Rome. 573 BC: Nemean Games founded at Nemea. 572 BC: Death of King Jian of Zhou, King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. 571 BC: King Ling of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China.
570 BC: Amasis II succeeds Apries as King of Egypt. 570 BC: Pythagoras of Samos is born. 570 BC: End of the Babylonian siege against the city of Tyre with a partial victory by the Babylonians. It was the longest siege of the city in history, lasting 13 years. 568 BC: Amtalqa succeeds his brother Aspelta as King of Kush. 562 BC: Amel-Marduk succeeds Nebuchadnezzar as King of Babylon. 560 BC: Neriglissar succeeds Amel-Marduk as King of Babylon. 560 BC/561 BC: Croesus becomes King of Lydia. 560 BC: Pisistratus seizes the Acropolis of Athens and declares himself tyrant. He is deposed in the same year. 550s BC: Carthage conquers Sicily and Corsica. 559 BC: King Cambyses I of Anshan dies and is succeeded by his son Cyrus II the Great. 558 BC: Hegesias removed as Archon of Athens. 558 BC: The Chinese state of Jin defeats its rival Qin in battle. 556 BC: Pisistratus is exiled from Athens to Euboea. 556 BC: Labashi-Marduk succeeds Neriglissar as King of Babylon. 556 BC/555 BC: Nabonidus succeeds Labashi-Marduk as King of Babylon.
550 BC: Abdera is destroyed by the Thracians. 550 BC: Cyrus II the Great overthrows Astyages of the Medes, establishing the Persian Empire. 550 BC: The Late Mumun Period begins in the Korean peninsula. 547 BC: Croesus, Lydian King, is defeated by Cyrus of Persia near the River Halys. 546 BC: Cyrus of Persia completes his conquest of Lydia, makes Pasargadae his capital. 544 BC: People of Teos migrate to Abdera, Thrace to escape the yoke of Persia. 544 BC: King Jing of Zhou becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. 543 BC: Prince Vijaya establishes a Sinhalese dynasty of Sri Lanka. 543 BC: Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens, purifies the island of Delos. 540 BC: Greek city of Elea of southern Italy founded. 540 BC: Persians conquer Lycian city of Xanthos, now in southern Turkey. 539 BC: Babylon is conquered by Cyrus the Great, defeating Nabonidus. 538 BC: Return of some Jews from Babylonian exile who build the Second Temple about fifty years after the destruction of the First Temple, from 520 BC–516 BC. 537 BC: Jews transported to Babylon are allowed to return to Jerusalem, bringing to a close the Babylonian captivity.
536 BC: According to tradition, the Biblical prophet Daniel receives an angelic visitor
Vikram Samvat. It uses solar sidereal years; the Vikram Samvat is notable because many medieval era inscriptions use it. It is said to be named after the legendary king Vikramaditya, but the term "Vikrama Samvat" does not appear in the historical records before the 9th century, rather the same calendaring system is found by other names such as Krita and Malava. In the colonial era scholarship, the era was believed to be based on the commemoration of King Vikramaditya expelling the Sakas from Ujjain; however epigraphical evidence and scholarship suggest that this theory has no historical basis and likely was an error. Starting in the 9th century and thereafter, epigraphical artwork uses Vikrama-Samvat, suggesting that sometime around the 9th-century, the Hindu calendar era, in use became popular as Vikram Samvat, while Buddhist and Jain epigraphy continued to use an era based on the Buddha or the Mahavira. According to popular tradition, the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas.
Kalakacharya Kathanaka by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri gives the following account: Gandharvasena, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati, the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan. Despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated; the defeated king retired to the forest. His son, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana. On, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away from the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the "Vikrama era"; the Ujjain calendar started around 58–56 BCE, the subsequent Shaka era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana. The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE; the earlier sources call this era by various names, including Kṛṭa, the era of the Malava tribe, or Samvat. The earliest known inscription that calls the era "Vikrama" is from 842 CE.
This inscription of Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena was found at Dholpur, is dated Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda. The earliest known inscription that associates this era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971 CE; the earliest literary work that connects the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha by the Jain author Amitagati. For this reason, multiple authors believe that the Vikram Samvat was not started by Vikramaditya, who might be a purely legendary king or the title adopted by a king who renamed the era after himself. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya, changed the name of the era to "Vikrama Samvat". According to Rudolf Hoernlé, the king responsible for this change was Yashodharman: Hoernlé believed that he conquered Kashmir, is the same person as the "Harsha Vikramaditya" mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini. Earlier, some scholars believed that the Vikrama Samavat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian king King Azes.
However, this was disputed by Robert Bracey following the discovery of an inscription of Vijayamitra, dated in two eras. The theory seems to be now discredited by Falk and Bennett, who place the inception of the Azes era in 47–46 BCE; the traditional New Year of Vikram Samvat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes, participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year, coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Burma, Kerala, Manipur, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. In addition to Nepal, the Vikram Samvat calendar is recognized in North and East India, in Gujarat among Hindus. Hindu religious festivals are based on a Luni-Solar calendar, not Solar calendar, based on Vikram Samvat. In North India, the new year in Vikram Samvat starts from the first day of Chaitra Skukla paksha. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Buddha's Birthday, it commemorates the birth and passing of Gautama Buddha on the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.
Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays fall in the same month of the Bengali and Theravada Buddhist calendars, are related through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. In Gujarat, the day after Diwali is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar, the first day of the month Kartik; the Vikrami era is an ancient calendar and has been used by Hindus and Sikhs. It is one of the several regional Hindu calendars that have been in use on the Indian subcontinent, it is based on twelve synodical lunar months and 365 solar days; the lunar new year starts on the new moon in the month of Chaitra. This day, known as Chaitra Sukhladi, is a restricted holiday in India; the Vikrami Samvat has been in use in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times, remains in use by the Hindus in north, w
Indian national calendar
The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Shalivahana Shaka calendar. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, in news broadcasts by All India Radio and in calendars and communications issued by the Government of India; the Saka calendar is used in Java and Bali among Indonesian Hindus. Nyepi, the "Day of Silence", is a celebration of the Saka new year in Bali. Nepal's Nepal Sambat evolved from the Saka calendar. Prior to colonization, the Philippines used to apply the Saka calendar as well as suggested by the Laguna Copperplate Inscription; the term may ambiguously refer to the Hindu calendar. The historic Shalivahana era calendar is still used, it has years. The calendar months follow the signs of the tropical zodiac rather than the sidereal zodiac used with the Hindu calendar. Chaitra has 30 days and starts on March 22, except in leap years, when it has 31 days and starts on March 21; the months in the first half of the year all have 31 days, to take into account the slower movement of the sun across the ecliptic at this time.
The names of the months are derived from older, Hindu lunisolar calendars, so variations in spelling exist, there is a possible source of confusion as to what calendar a date belongs to. Years are counted in the Saka era. To determine leap years, add 78 to the Saka year – if the result is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar the Saka year is a leap year as well, its structure is just like the Persian calendar. Senior Indian Astrophysicist Meghnad Saha was the head of the Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Other members of the Committee were: A. C. Banerjee, K. K. Daftari, J. S. Karandikar, Gorakh Prasad, R. V. Vaidya and N. C. Lahiri, it was Saha's effort. The task before the Committee was to prepare an accurate calendar based on scientific study, which could be adopted uniformly throughout India, it was a mammoth task. The Committee had to undertake a detailed study of different calendars prevalent in different parts of the country. There were thirty different calendars.
The task was further complicated by the fact that religion and local sentiments were integral to those calendars. India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his preface to the Report of the Committee, published in 1955, wrote: “They represent past political divisions in the country.... Now that we have attained Independence, it is desirable that there should be a certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic and other purposes, this should be done on a scientific approach to this problem.” Usage started at 1 Chaitra 1879, Saka Era, or 22 March 1957. Report of the Calendar Reform Committee – online link. Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History by E. G. Richards, 1998, pp. 184–185. Calendars and their History Indian Calendars Positional astronomy in India Indian National Calendar abstract
500s BC (decade)
509 BC—Overthrow of Roman monarchy, beginning of Republican period. First pair of consuls elected. Tarquinian conspiracy formed, but discovered and the conspirators executed. Forces of Veii and Tarquinii, led by the deposed king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus defeated in the Battle of Silva Arsia by the Roman army. Consul Publius Valerius Publicola celebrates the first republican triumph on 1 March. September 13, 509 BC—The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Rome's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September. 508 BC—War between Rome and Clusium 508 BC—War between Clusium and Aricia 508 BC—Office of Pontifex Maximus created in Rome. 508 BC—Cleisthenes reorganizes Athens. He creates a local unit to serve as the basis of his political system. Citizenship is linked to the deme, for each deme keeps the roll of those within its jurisdiction, who are admitted to citizenship, he groups all the demes into ten tribes, which thus form the link between the demes and the central government. The central government includes an assembly of all citizens and a new council of five hundred members.
This is a early form of democracy. 507 BC—Cleisthenes, Greek reformer, takes power and increases democracy. 506 BC—Battle of Boju: during the Spring and Autumn period of Ancient China, the forces of the State of Wu under commander and strategist Sun Tzu defeat the forces of Chu, destroying the Chu capital of Ying and forcing King Zhao of Chu to flee. 505 BC–504 BC—War between Rome and the Sabines. 503 BC-502 BC-The Latin towns of Pometia and Cora, with the assistance of the Aurunci, unsuccessfully revolt against Rome. December 4, 502 BC—Solar eclipse darkens Egypt 502 BC—Naxos rebels against Persian domination sparking the Ionian Revolt. 501 BC—Naxos is attacked by the Persian Empire. 501 BC—In response to threats by the Sabines, Rome creates the office of dictator. 501 BC—Confucius is appointed governor of Chung-tu. 501 BC—Gadir is captured by Carthage. 500 BC—Bantu-speaking people migrate into south-west Uganda from the west. 500 BC—Refugees from Teos resettle Abdera. 500 BC—Darius I of Persia proclaims that Aramaic be the official language of the western half of his empire.
500 BC—Signifies the end of the Nordic Bronze Age civilization in Oscar Montelius periodization system and begins the Pre-Roman Iron Age. 500 BC—Foundation of first republic in Vaishali Bihar India. C. 500 BC—She-Wolf, with late 15th century or early 16th century additions, is made. It is now kept at the Museo Capitolino in Rome. 500 BC—World population: 100,000,000 85,000,000 in Eastern hemisphere, 15,000,000 in Western Hemisphere Mesoamerica. C. 500 BC—Vulca makes Apollo of Veii, from Portonaccio Temple. It is now kept at Museo Nazionale di Villa Rome. C. 500 BC—Yayoi period starts in Ancient Japan. C. 500 BC—Oldest known Zapotec writing. 500 BC - The Olmecs establish Monte Albán, the sacred city, continue building pyramids. Founded toward the end of the Middle Formative period at around 500 BC, by the Terminal Formative Monte Albán had become the capital of a large-scale expansionist polity that dominated much of the Oaxacan highlands and interacted with other Mesoamerican regional states such as Teotihuacan to the north.
The Gutaii tribe began in Middle and Southern Africa. C. 500 BC—Heraclitus, Greek philosopher Mahavir, Last Tirthankar Siddharta Gautama, Founder of Buddhism c. 585–501 BC—Pythagoras, mathematician Lucretia, Roman noblewoman Lucius Junius Brutus, Roman consul Aruns Tarquinius, Roman prince Shen Yin Shu, general of Chu Titus Junius Brutus, Roman noble and monarchist conspirator Tiberius Junius Brutus, Roman noble and monarchist conspirator
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and 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 following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. 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. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. 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 collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; 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, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; 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. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. 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, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi