Claudius was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Antonia Minor, he was born at Lugdunum in the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37. Claudius' infirmity saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns, his survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an efficient administrator, he was an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, issued up to twenty edicts a day, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign by elements of the nobility.
Claudius was forced to shore up his position. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend. After his death in 54, his grand-nephew, step-son, adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor, his 13-year reign would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years. He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi, Julii Caesares, the Claudii Nerones, he was a great-nephew of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through Tiberius' brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony. Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at Lugdunum, he had two older siblings and Livilla. His mother, may have had two other children who died young, his maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus' sister, he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus' third wife, Tiberius Claudius Nero.
During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the appearance that Augustus was Claudius' paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania from illness. Claudius was left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried; when Claudius' disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, used him as a standard for stupidity, she seems to have passed her son off to his grandmother Livia for a number of years. Livia was a little kinder, but often sent him short, angry letters of reproof, he was put under the care of a "former mule-driver" to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus.
He spent a lot of his time with the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. Expectations about his future began to increase, his work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars, either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar. In either case, it was far too early for such an account, may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant, his mother and grandmother put a stop to it, this may have convinced them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line; when he returned to the narrative in life, Claudius skipped over the wars of the Second Triumvirate altogether. But the damage was done, his family pushed him into the background; when the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the Imperial clan in 8 BC, Claudius' name was inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes and Lucius, Germanicus' children.
There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades and that he did not appear at all. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius—then aged 23—appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the new Emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius was snubbed. Since the new Emperor was no more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the Imperial family, it seems that from early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death, the equites, or knights, chose
Agrippina the Younger
Agrippina the Younger referred to as Agrippina Minor was a Roman empress and one of the more prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Her father was Germanicus, a popular general and one-time heir apparent to the Roman Empire under Tiberius, she was the younger sister of Caligula, as well as the niece and fourth wife of Claudius. Both ancient and modern sources describe Agrippina's personality as ruthless, ambitious and domineering. Physically she was a reputable woman. Many ancient historians accuse Agrippina of poisoning her husband Claudius. In AD 59 Agrippina was executed on the orders of the emperor Nero. Agrippina was the first daughter and fourth living child of Germanicus, she had three elder brothers, Nero Caesar, Drusus Caesar and the future Emperor Caligula, two younger sisters, Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla. Agrippina's two elder brothers and her mother were victims of the intrigues of the Praetorian Prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus, she was the namesake of her mother. Agrippina the Elder was remembered as a modest and heroic matron, the second daughter and fourth child of Julia the Elder and the statesman Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
The father of Julia the Elder was the Emperor Augustus, Julia was his only natural child from his second marriage to Scribonia, who had close blood relations with Pompey the Great and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Maternally, Agrippina descended directly from Augustus. Germanicus, Agrippina's father, was a popular general and politician, his mother was Antonia Minor and his father was the general Nero Claudius Drusus. He was Antonia Minor's first child. Germanicus had two younger siblings. Claudius was third husband. Antonia Minor was a daughter to Octavia the Younger by her second marriage to triumvir Mark Antony, Octavia was the second eldest sister and full-blooded sister of Augustus. Germanicus' father, Drusus the Elder, was the second son of the Empress Livia Drusilla by her first marriage to praetor Tiberius Nero, was the Emperor Tiberius's younger brother and Augustus's stepson. In the year 9, Augustus ordered and forced Tiberius to adopt Germanicus, who happened to be Tiberius's nephew, as his son and heir.
Germanicus was a favorite of his great-uncle Augustus, who hoped that Germanicus would succeed his uncle Tiberius, Augustus's own adopted son and heir. This in turn meant that Tiberius was Agrippina's adoptive grandfather in addition to her paternal great-uncle. Agrippina was born on 6 November in AD 15, or 14, at Oppidum Ubiorum, a Roman outpost on the Rhine River located in present-day Cologne, Germany. A second sister Julia Drusilla was born on 16 September 16 in Germany; as a small child, Agrippina travelled with her parents throughout Germany until she and her siblings returned to Rome to live with and be raised by their maternal grandmother Antonia. Her parents departed for Syria in 18 to conduct official duties, according to Tacitus, the third and youngest sister was born en route on the island of Lesbos, namely Julia Livilla in March 18. In October of AD 19, Germanicus died in Antioch. Germanicus' death caused much public grief in Rome, gave rise to rumors that he had been murdered by Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso and Munatia Plancina on the orders of Tiberius, as his widow Agrippina the Elder returned to Rome with his ashes.
Agrippina the Younger was thereafter supervised by her mother, her paternal grandmother Antonia Minor, her great-grandmother, all of them notable and powerful figures from whom she learnt how to survive. She lived on the Palatine Hill in Rome, her great-uncle Tiberius had become emperor and the head of the family after the death of Augustus in 14. After her thirteenth birthday in 28, Tiberius arranged for Agrippina to marry her paternal first cousin once removed Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and ordered the marriage to be celebrated in Rome. Domitius came from a distinguished family of consular rank. Through his mother Antonia Major, Domitius was a great nephew of Augustus, first cousin to Claudius, first cousin once removed to Agrippina and Caligula, he had two sisters. Domitia Lepida the Younger was the mother of the Empress Valeria Messalina. Antonia Major was the elder sister to Antonia Minor, the first daughter of Octavia Minor and Mark Antony. According to Suetonius, Domitius was a wealthy man with a despicable and dishonest character, according to Suetonius, was "a man, in every aspect of his life detestable" and served as consul in 32.
Agrippina and Domitius lived between Rome. Not much is known about the relationship between them. Tiberius died on March 16, AD 37, Agrippina's only surviving brother, became the new emperor. Being the emperor's sister gave Agrippina some influence. Agrippina and her younger sisters Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla received various honours from their brother, which included but were not limited to: They were given the rights of the Vestal Virgins like the freedom to view public games from the upper seats in the stadium. Coins were issued depicting images of his sisters. Roman coins like these were never issued beforehand; the coins depicted Caligula on one side and his sisters on the oppos
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company known as Walt Disney or Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. It is the world's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, ahead of NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia. Disney was founded on October 16, 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio; the company established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into live-action film production and theme parks. Since the 1980s, Disney has created and acquired corporate divisions in order to market more mature content than is associated with its flagship family-oriented brands; the company is known for its film studio division, Walt Disney Studios, which includes Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios. Disney's other main divisions are Disney Parks and Products, Disney Media Networks, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.
Disney owns and operates the ABC broadcast network. The company has been a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1991. Cartoon character Mickey Mouse, created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, is one of the world's most recognizable characters, serves as the company's official mascot. In early 1923, Kansas City, animator Walt Disney created a short film entitled Alice's Wonderland, which featured child actress Virginia Davis interacting with animated characters. After the bankruptcy in 1923 of his previous firm, Laugh-O-Gram Studio, Disney moved to Hollywood to join his brother, Roy O. Disney. Film distributor Margaret J. Winkler of M. J. Winkler Productions contacted Disney with plans to distribute a whole series of Alice Comedies purchased for $1,500 per reel with Disney as a production partner. Walt and Roy Disney formed Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio that same year. More animated films followed after Alice. In January 1926, with the completion of the Disney studio on Hyperion Street, the Disney Brothers Studio's name was changed to the Walt Disney Studio.
After the demise of the Alice comedies, Disney developed an all-cartoon series starring his first original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, distributed by Winkler Pictures through Universal Pictures. The distributor owned Oswald, so Disney only made a few hundred dollars. Disney completed 26 Oswald shorts before losing the contract in February 1928, due to a legal loophole, when Winkler's husband Charles Mintz took over their distribution company. After failing to take over the Disney Studio, Mintz hired away four of Disney's primary animators to start his own animation studio, Snappy Comedies. In 1928, to recover from the loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney came up with the idea of a mouse character named Mortimer while on a train headed to California, drawing up a few simple drawings; the mouse was renamed Mickey Mouse and starred in several Disney produced films. Ub Iwerks refined Disney's initial design of Mickey Mouse. Disney's first sound film Steamboat Willie, a cartoon starring Mickey, was released on November 18, 1928 through Pat Powers' distribution company.
It was the first Mickey Mouse sound cartoon released, but the third to be created, behind Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho. Steamboat Willie was an immediate smash hit, its initial success was attributed not just to Mickey's appeal as a character, but to the fact that it was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound. Disney used Pat Powers' Cinephone system, created by Powers using Lee de Forest's Phonofilm system. Steamboat Willie premiered at B. S. Moss's Colony Theater in New York City, now The Broadway Theatre. Disney's Plane Crazy and The Gallopin' Gaucho were retrofitted with synchronized sound tracks and re-released in 1929. Disney continued to produce cartoons with Mickey Mouse and other characters, began the Silly Symphony series with Columbia Pictures signing on as Symphonies distributor in August 1929. In September 1929, theater manager Harry Woodin requested permission to start a Mickey Mouse Club which Walt approved. In November, test comics strips were sent to King Features, who requested additional samples to show to the publisher, William Randolph Hearst.
On December 16, the Walt Disney Studios partnership was reorganized as a corporation with the name of Walt Disney Productions, Limited with a merchandising division, Walt Disney Enterprises, two subsidiaries, Disney Film Recording Company and Liled Realty and Investment Company for real estate holdings. Walt and his wife held Roy owned 40 % of WD Productions. On December 30, King Features signed its first newspaper, New York Mirror, to publish the Mickey Mouse comic strip with Walt's permission. In 1932, Disney signed an exclusive contract with Technicolor to produce cartoons in color, beginning with Flowers and Trees. Disney released cartoons through Powers' Celebrity Pictures, Columbia Pictures, United Artists; the popularity of the Mickey Mouse series allowed Disney to plan for his first feature-length animation. The feature film Walt
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, it employs over 20,950 staff in total. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time and fixed-contract staff are included; the BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee, charged to all British households and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up; the fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has funded the BBC World Service, which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, online services in Arabic and Persian.
Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd, which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd. From its inception, through the Second World War, to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture, it is known colloquially as "The Beeb", "Auntie", or a combination of both. Britain's first live public broadcast from the Marconi factory in Chelmsford took place in June 1920, it was sponsored by the Daily Mail's Lord Northcliffe and featured the famous Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The Melba broadcast caught the people's imagination and marked a turning point in the British public's attitude to radio. However, this public enthusiasm was not shared in official circles where such broadcasts were held to interfere with important military and civil communications. By late 1920, pressure from these quarters and uneasiness among the staff of the licensing authority, the General Post Office, was sufficient to lead to a ban on further Chelmsford broadcasts.
But by 1922, the GPO had received nearly 100 broadcast licence requests and moved to rescind its ban in the wake of a petition by 63 wireless societies with over 3,000 members. Anxious to avoid the same chaotic expansion experienced in the United States, the GPO proposed that it would issue a single broadcasting licence to a company jointly owned by a consortium of leading wireless receiver manufactures, to be known as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd. John Reith, a Scottish Calvinist, was appointed its General Manager in December 1922 a few weeks after the company made its first official broadcast; the company was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets from approved domestic manufacturers. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform and entertain"; the financial arrangements soon proved inadequate. Set sales were disappointing as amateurs made their own receivers and listeners bought rival unlicensed sets. By mid-1923, discussions between the GPO and the BBC had become deadlocked and the Postmaster-General commissioned a review of broadcasting by the Sykes Committee.
The Committee recommended a short term reorganisation of licence fees with improved enforcement in order to address the BBC's immediate financial distress, an increased share of the licence revenue split between it and the GPO. This was to be followed by a simple 10 shillings licence fee with no royalty once the wireless manufactures protection expired; the BBC's broadcasting monopoly was made explicit for the duration of its current broadcast licence, as was the prohibition on advertising. The BBC was banned from presenting news bulletins before 19.00 and was required to source all news from external wire services. Mid-1925 found the future of broadcasting under further consideration, this time by the Crawford committee. By now, the BBC, under Reith's leadership, had forged a consensus favouring a continuation of the unified broadcasting service, but more money was still required to finance rapid expansion. Wireless manufacturers were anxious to exit the loss making consortium with Reith keen that the BBC be seen as a public service rather than a commercial enterprise.
The recommendations of the Crawford Committee were published in March the following year and were still under consideration by the GPO when the 1926 general strike broke out in May. The strike temporarily interrupted newspaper production, with restrictions on news bulletins waived, the BBC became the primary source of news for the duration of the crisis; the crisis placed the BBC in a delicate position. On one hand Reith was acutely aware that the Government might exercise its right to commandeer the BBC at any time as a mouthpiece of the Government if the BBC were to step out of line, but on the other he was anxious to maintain public trust by appearing to be acting independently; the Government was divided on how to handle the BBC but ended up trusting Reith, whose opposition to the strike mirrored the PM's own. Thus the BBC was granted sufficient leeway to pursue the Government's objectives in a manner of its own choosing; the resulting coverage of both striker and government viewpoints impressed millions of listeners who were unaware that the PM had broadcast to the nation from Reith's home, using one of Reith's sound bites inserted at the last moment
Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role in the self-definition of Western civilisation; that tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form. From its origins in the theatre of ancient Greece 2500 years ago, from which there survives only a fraction of the work of Aeschylus and Euripides, as well as a large number of fragments from other poets. A long line of philosophers—which includes Plato, Saint Augustine, Hume, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Freud, Camus and Deleuze—have analysed, speculated upon, criticised the genre. In the wake of Aristotle's Poetics, tragedy has been used to make genre distinctions, whether at the scale of poetry in general or at the scale of the drama.
In the modern era, tragedy has been defined against drama, the tragicomic, epic theatre. Drama, in the narrow sense, cuts across the traditional division between comedy and tragedy in an anti- or a-generic deterritorialisation from the mid-19th century onwards. Both Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal define their epic theatre projects against models of tragedy. Taxidou, reads epic theatre as an incorporation of tragic functions and its treatments of mourning and speculation; the word "tragedy" appears to have been used to describe different phenomena at different times. It derives from Classical Greek τραγῳδία, contracted from trag-aoidiā = "goat song", which comes from tragos = "he-goat" and aeidein = "to sing". Scholars suspect this may be traced to a time when a goat was either the prize in a competition of choral dancing or was that around which a chorus danced prior to the animal's ritual sacrifice. In another view on the etymology, Athenaeus of Naucratis says that the original form of the word was trygodia from trygos and ode, because those events were first introduced during grape harvest.
Writing in 335 BCE, Aristotle provides the earliest-surviving explanation for the origin of the dramatic art form in his Poetics, in which he argues that tragedy developed from the improvisations of the leader of choral dithyrambs: Anyway, arising from an improvisatory beginning, grew little by little, as developed whatever of it had appeared. In the same work, Aristotle attempts to provide a scholastic definition of what tragedy is: Tragedy is an enactment of a deed, important and complete, of magnitude, by means of language enriched, each used separately in the different parts: it is enacted, not recited, through pity and fear it effects relief to such emotions. There is some dissent to the dithyrambic origins of tragedy based on the differences between the shapes of their choruses and styles of dancing. A common descent from pre-Hellenic fertility and burial rites has been suggested. Friedrich Nietzsche discussed the origins of Greek tragedy in his early book The Birth of Tragedy. Here, he suggests the name originates in the use of a chorus of goat-like satyrs in the original dithyrambs from which the tragic genre developed.
Scott Scullion writes: There is abundant evidence for tragoidia understood as "song for the prize goat". The best-known evidence is Horace, Ars poetica 220-24. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in the 5th century have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides. Athenian tragedies
Prince Hamlet is the title role and protagonist of William Shakespeare's c. 1600 tragedy Hamlet. He is the Prince of Denmark, nephew to the usurping Claudius, son of King Hamlet, the previous King of Denmark. At the beginning of the play, he struggles with whether, how, to avenge the murder of his father, struggles with his own sanity along the way. By the end of the tragedy, Hamlet has caused the deaths of Polonius, Laertes and two acquaintances of his from the University of Wittenberg Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, he is indirectly involved in the deaths of his love Ophelia and of his mother Gertrude. The play opens with Hamlet depressed over the recent death of his father, King Hamlet, his uncle Claudius' ascension to the throne and hasty marriage to Hamlet's mother Gertrude. One night, his father's ghost appears to him and tells him that Claudius murdered him in order to usurp the throne, commands his son to avenge his death. Claudius sends for two of Hamlet's friends from Wittenberg, to find out what is causing Hamlet so much pain.
Claudius and his advisor Polonius persuade Ophelia—Polonius' daughter and Hamlet's love interest—to speak with Hamlet while they secretly listen. Hamlet enters. Ophelia greets him, offers to return his remembrances, upon which Hamlet questions her honesty and tells her to "get thee to a nunnery." Hamlet devises a test to see whether Claudius is guilty: he hires a group of actors to perform a play about the murder of a king in front of the royal court, has Horatio gauge Claudius' reaction. Claudius demands the play be stopped half through; when Claudius leaves the audience upset, Hamlet knows that the ghost was telling the truth. He follows Claudius into his chambers in order to kill him, but stops when he sees his uncle praying. A second attempt on Claudius' life ends in Polonius' accidental death. Claudius, now fearing for his life, sends Hamlet to England, accompanied by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Alone, Claudius discloses that he is sending Hamlet to his death. Prior to embarking for England, Hamlet hides Polonius' body revealing its location to the King.
Meanwhile, her father's death has driven Ophelia insane with grief, Claudius convinces her brother Laertes that Hamlet is to blame. He proposes a fencing match between the two. Laertes informs the king that he will further poison the tip of his sword so that a mere scratch would mean certain death. Claudius plans to offer Hamlet poisoned wine. Gertrude enters to report. In the Elsinore churchyard, two "clowns" represented as "gravediggers", enter to prepare Ophelia's grave. Hamlet arrives with Horatio and banters with one of them, who unearths the skull of a jester whom Hamlet once knew, Yorick. Ophelia's funeral procession approaches. Hamlet interrupts, grief for Ophelia, he and Laertes grapple. That day, Hamlet tells Horatio how he escaped death on his journey, disclosing that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern have been sent to their deaths instead. A courtier, interrupts to invite Hamlet to fence with Laertes. Despite Horatio's warnings, Hamlet accepts and the match begins. After several rounds, Gertrude toasts Hamlet, accidentally drinking the wine Claudius poisoned.
Between bouts, Laertes pierces Hamlet with his poisoned blade. Gertrude, in her dying breath, announces that she has been poisoned. In his dying moments, Laertes reveals Claudius' plot. Hamlet stabs Claudius with the poisoned sword, forces him to drink from his own poisoned cup to make sure he dies. In his final moments, Hamlet names Prince Fortinbras of Norway as the probable heir to the throne. Horatio attempts to kill himself with the same poisoned wine, but it was stopped by Hamlet, so he will be the only one left alive to give a full account of the story, he wills the throne of Denmark to Fortinbras before dying. The most straightforward view sees Hamlet as seeking truth in order to be certain that he is justified in carrying out the revenge called for by a ghost that claims to be the spirit of his father; the 1948 movie with Laurence Olivier in the title role is introduced by a voiceover: "This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind." T. S. Eliot offers a similar view of Hamlet's character in his critical essay, "Hamlet and His Problems".
He states, "We find Shakespeare's'Hamlet' not in the action, not in any quotations that we might select, so much as in an unmistakable tone...". Others see Hamlet as a person charged with a duty that he both knows and feels is right, yet is unwilling to carry out. In this view, his efforts to satisfy himself on Claudius' guilt and his failure to act when he can are evidence of this unwillingness, Hamlet berates himself for his inability to carry out his task. After observing a play-actor performing a scene, he notes that the actor was moved to tears in the passion of the story and compares this passion for an ancient Greek character, Hecuba, in light of his own situation: O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion, Could force his soul so to his own conceit That from her working all his visage wan'd.
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