Ancient Rome was characterized by three distinct periods—the Roman Kingdom (from the eight to the sixth century B.C.E.), the Roman Republic (from the sixth to the first century B.C.E.), and the Roman Empire (from the first century B.C.E. to the fifth century A.D. for the Western Roman Empire and to the fifteenth century in the Eastern Roman Empire). How Rome evolved from a monarchy to an oligarchic republic and then to an autocratic empire will be the subject of this unit. During these three phases, innovative ideas about government, law, art, philosophy, and architecture became prominent facets of Roman society—and remain relevant in modern times. However, many of these new ideas emerged during periods of political instability and continuous warfare. In this unit, we will study the creation of republican Rome and the rise of the Roman Empire, while also paying special attention to the violent and volatile nature of this ancient polity. We will also examine the major features of Roman society and culture.