6. Roman Empire
The Roman Empire included most of what would now be considered Western Europe. The empire was conquered by the Roman Army and a Roman way of life was established in these conquered countries. The main countries conquered were England/Wales (then known as Britannia), Spain (Hispania), France (Gaul or Gallia), Greece (Achaea), the Middle East (Judea) and the North African coastal region. While Rome is possibly the greatest empire, you just can’t ignore some scariness. Criminals, slaves and others were forced to fight each other to the death in gladiatorial games. Some of the most evil men were Roman – Caligula, Nero and others. Christians were first, and horribly, targeted for persecution as a group, by the emperor Nero, in 64 AD. Some were torn apart by dogs, others burnt alive as human torches. At first they were ruled by divine kings, then they became a republic (perhaps their greatest period) before finally becoming an empire. How a group of farmers, who started off fending off wolves to protect their livestock, eventually became the greatest empire in all history is the stuff of legends. Coupled with an excellent military and administrative system, the Roman Empire, or rather ancient Rome, is also one of the longest-lasting. Counting from its founding to the fall of the Byzantine Empire, ancient Rome lasted for a whopping 2,214 years!