II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Classical Civilizations, 300 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > b. The Mediterranean Basin
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
b. The Mediterranean Basin
 
Imperial unification of the Mediterranean basin came gradually and was associated with a single imperial system.  1
The ROMAN EMPIRE (See Geography and Climate) began as a republican city-state in Italy around 500 B.C.E. By the end of the 2nd century B.C.E. it had gained control of all of Italy, Greece, and the Iberian Peninsula. By the 1st century C.E. it controlled all of the Mediterranean basin and much of western Europe. This unity lasted until the fall of Rome to nomadic invaders in the fifth century, although this invasion had been preceded by a long period of loss of control in many areas and a formal division of the Empire into eastern and western sections. The tradition of Roman unity provided a strong sense of identity to western civilization but also contributed to ideas of empire in eastern Europe.  2
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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