Founding of Rome
Rome began in the 8th century BC as a small farming village along the Tiber River. By 281 BC, the Roman Republic had conquered most of Italy. They then went to war with Carthage in the three Punic Wars, during which they came close to defeat at the hands of Hannibal, before eventually defeating him and going on to conquer large parts of North Africa and Spain. For the next two hundred years, the Romans continued to take over large amounts of land as a republic until 31 BC, when Augustus assumed the role of emperor, establishing the Roman Empire.
Fall of the Roman Empire
Centuries later, the empire would face invasions from various foreign nations, including the Persians as well as barbarian tribes like the Huns and Goths, before eventually collapsing in 476 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire managed to survive as the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire, before eventually losing most of its lands in the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Italy to the Arabs' emerging Islamic Caliphate in the 7th century. The Byzantine Empire would continue to face invasions from the Arabs, Crusaders, Mongols and Turks for centuries before it was eventually annexed in 1453 by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, which claimed to be the successor to both the Roman Empire and the Islamic Caliphate.