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Difference Between the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire

The history of Rome is extensive and at the same time thrilling. With an ancient population of Sabines, Latins, and Estruscans, the city was the capital city of the Roman Empire, the Roman Kingdom, and the Roman Republic. It has since received the ovation of an Alpha City worldwide. Despite sharing a capital city, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire differed in various ways. 

What is the Roman Republic?

Dating from 509BC to 27BC, this was the era that began with the overthrow of the Roman Kingdom and ended with the establishment of the Roman Empire. At this period, the Roman society was a cultural mix of Greek, Latin, and Etruscan elements. Rome’s control barriers also expanded to hegemony and the entire Mediterranean region. Its political system was an oligarchy, with few powerful families controlled the main magistracies, who had legislative, military, judiciary, religious and executive powers. 

Despite the common political and social crisis the republic underwent, it was resilient and always overcame the obstacles.  The final blow, however, occurred after the defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra which saw the senate grant Octavian extraordinary powers hence ending the Republic.  

What is the Roman Empire?

Ruled by emperors, this was the post republican period of ancient Rome from 27 BC to 476 AD around North America, Europe, and West Asia. During this period, Rome saw a period of stability, for the first two centuries and reached its greatest territorial expanse.   The absolute monarchy governance was used during this period. Despite this, the empire’s existence was threatened after the Palmyrene Empire and the Gallic Empire broke away from the Roman state and small empires led the empire. 

The empire was however reunited under Aurelian, whereby two imperial courts were set up. The Western Roman Empire would finally collapse, while the Eastern Roman Empire survived. 

Similarities between the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire

  • Both had Rome as the capital


Differences between the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire

Rule period

While the Roman Republic ruled from 509BC to 27BC, the Roman Empire ruled from 27 BC to 476 AD. 

Official languages

The Roman Republic used Latin as the official language while the Roman Empire used Latin and Greek as the official languages. 

Religion

While the Roman Republic practiced the Roman polytheism religion, the Roman Empire practiced the Imperial cult driven polytheism. 

Governance  type

In the Roman Empire, the constitutional republic governance was used. On the other hand, absolute monarchy governance was used in the Roman Empire. 

Preceded by

While the Roman Republic was preceded by the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Empire was preceded by the Roman Republic. 

Succeeded by

The Roman Republic was succeeded by the Roman Empire while the Roman Empire was succeeded by the Western and Eastern Roman Empire. 

The Roman Republic vs. the Roman Empire: Comparison Table

Summary of the Roman Republic vs. the Roman Empire

The Roman Republic ruled from 509BC to 27BC and used the constitutional republic governance style. The regime was preceded by the Roman Kingdom and succeeded by the Roman Empire. On the other hand, the Roman Empire ruled from 27 BC to 476 AD and used the absolute monarchy governance style was used. It was preceded by the Roman Republic and succeeded by the Western and Eastern Roman Empire. 


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References :


[0]Harriet Flower. The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic. Cambridge University Press, 2014. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=7SOjAwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=difference+between+roman+republic+and+the+roman+empire&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJzcPCmJPoAhVKThUIHRLuB1YQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20roman%20republic%20and%20the%20roman%20empire&f=false

[1]Robert M & Rosentein N. A Companion to the Roman Republic. John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2011. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=C4rmmvFAKjoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=difference+between+roman+republic+and+the+roman+empire&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJzcPCmJPoAhVKThUIHRLuB1YQ6AEINjAC#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20roman%20republic%20and%20the%20roman%20empire&f=false

[2]Robert M & Rosentein N. A Companion to the Roman Republic. John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2011. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=C4rmmvFAKjoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=difference+between+roman+republic+and+the+roman+empire&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjJzcPCmJPoAhVKThUIHRLuB1YQ6AEINjAC#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20roman%20republic%20and%20the%20roman%20empire&f=false

[3]Image credit: bhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/58558794@N07/5954921224

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Extent_of_the_Roman_Republic_and_the_Roman_Empire_between_218_BC_and_117_AD.png

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