No single culture has affected the development of the modern world as deeply as the Romans. In law, architecture and language the heritage of Rome is so strong in Europe today that some academics claim that the Roman Empire has never really gone away. This course will examine the four centuries in which the Roman Empire ruled the west and ask why it left such an enduring legacy. It will argue that the main success of the Roman Empire was to cause peoples from Egypt to Britain to believe that they were every bit as Roman as their conquerors. Thus we examine the evolution of an empire ruled by Rome to a very different kind of Roman Empire – an empire of Romans. It is because the people of the empire believed they were Romans that Rome lived on long after the military power once used to enforce imperial rule had withered away. We will see how the Roman Empire was formed, and how it evolved. We examine the Empire in peace and in crisis and see not just how Rome influenced the peoples of the provinces, but also the contribution of the different civilizations ruled by Rome to the culture of the Empire as a whole. This course is broad in scope, and combines the latest developments in archaeology and historical thinking to provide an ideal introduction and overview of ancient Rome, what the empire meant to its subjects and what it still means to us today.