The Roman Empire is a playable civilization in Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome. The Romans controlled the empire from modern day Italy in the city of Rome, which was once one of the largest cities in the world. At its highest peak the empire extended across large areas of Europe, some of North Africa and Asia Minor. The Romans in the game are primarily an offensive civilization but they also work well under defensive strategies due to their cheaper cost of constructing buildings and fortifications. Due to their availability to powerful Iron Agetechnologies, they are a formidable fighting machine in most games since they produce some of the finest Infantry from the Barracks.
The city of Rome was founded several thousand years ago and became a Republic in 509 BC. It quickly became a major power and controlled much of the Mediterranean after defeating Carthage. After several power struggles Rome became an Empire with the first Roman emperor being Augustus Caesar. The Roman Empire had the strongest and the most disciplined army in its time and was the dominant power in the area. One major feat of the Empire besides defeating Carthage was defeating Greece who were a major military power, one of the reasons the Romans thought they were descendants of the people of Troy, which was a city that was sacked and had most of its population massacred by the Greeks around 1200 B.C. At its height it was a vast empire that ruled most of Europe, North Africa and the Middle-East at its pinnacle between 44 BC and 180 AD, often known as Pax Romana, or Roman Peace. The Roman Empire eventually began to decline as its bureaucrats became very ineffective, invasions from various Germanic tribes and the Huns increased and numerous civil wars began across the empire. The Roman Empire was split into an Eastern and Western half by Emperor Diocletian in 293 as the empire was seen as too big for one person to rule. A second capital was made in Byzantium. The Western Empire fell in 476 while the Eastern Half, called the Byzantine Empire, survived another thousand years. The Byzantines were toppled by the Turks in 1453.