The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire was a vast entity that stretched from the eastern Mediterranean to Britain. Lancaster lay near its northern frontier.

The empire emerged after an unstable period in the history of the Roman Republic. The end of that era is associated with three figures well known from Shakespeare’s writings: Octavian (the adopted son of Julius Caesar), Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the battle of Actium, off the coast of Greece, which considerably heightened his power. The Roman senate deemed him Augustus in 27 BC, and this is considered to be the start of the Roman empire.

The Roman Empire under Trajan

The Roman Empire under Trajan. Courtesy Tataryn, Wikimedia Commons

View larger image as jpg file or PDF doc (You can use the Zoom feature of your browser or reader to make the image larger.)

The extent of the empire varied; it reached its peak under Emperor Trajan, who died in 117. We encounter a reference to Trajan on one of the inscriptions from Roman Lancaster that we examine in the next step (1.6).

Can you find a ‘significant event’ that occurred during Roman times in addition to those which we have discussed in relation to Lancaster?

Please post a comment about the event describing its impact in a sentence. If you wish, you could also share a link to webpage about the event.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Lancaster Castle and Northern English History: The View from the Stronghold

Lancaster University