Rome: Republic, monarchy and empire

Torbjørn L. Knutsen, Martin Hall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The Roman Republic expanded and evolved into the Roman Empire. Institutions and impulses from this evolution conditioned nations, shaped states and affected the nature of modern interstate history; indeed, effects of ancient Rome - the Republic as well as the Empire - are still visible in the ordering institutions and in the conflict lines of contemporary International Relations. This chapter, first, sketches the origins and expansion of the Roman Republic, observing that Rome's victory in the Punic Wars set the Republic on the road to Empire. Next, the chapter indicates the contours of a vast literature that addresses Roman expansionism, before it identifies a 'military-agricultural complex' as both a main driving force of Republican expansionism and a solvent of the Republican system of government. Finally, the chapter discusses the lingering impact of Rome on law, politics, religion and education of the Great Powers in general and the United States in particular. The history of the Roman Empire adds contrast depth to the study of interstate relations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Historical International Relations
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781351168953
ISBN (Print)9781351168960
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 29

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science


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