The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum) was an ancient civilization on Earth that was one of the fore bearers of the modern human civilization that now inhabits Earth. It existed from the 1st century BC until September 4, 476 when the final Western Roman Emperor was deposed. The capital of the Empire was the city of Rome, and the state succeeded the Roman Republic, which had lasted from the 5th to the 1st centuries BCE.
However, after reaching its greatest extent, the Empire began a long, slow decline. The city of Rome was sacked in 410 by the Visigoths, during the reign of Emperor Honorius, and subsequently fell before the end of the century. Almost 2,000 years later, during the Borg Incursion of 2366-2367, Captain Jean-Luc Picard wondered if Honorius was truly cognizant of the fact that his Empire was collapsing while his capital was being sacked. (TNG episode: "The Best of Both Worlds")
The Roman Empire played a major role in the history of Earth, with its influences in areas such as culture, law, language, government, and architecture continuing into the 24th century.
Both the Williams and Kirk families on Earth were very interested in Roman history, to the point that some family members named their children after Roman historical figures. (ENT - Rise of the Federation novel: A Choice of Futures and TOS novel: Home is the Hunter)
On the planet 892-IV, or Magna Roma, the culture developed a parallel Roman Empire, which did not fall and existed for at least 20 centuries. This parallel Empire reached a level of technology similar to that of 20th century Earth by the time the USS Enterprise visited the planet in 2268. (TOS episode: "Bread and Circuses")
After the visit of the USS Enterprise to Pollux II, it was theorized that the Beings had visited other worlds in addition to Earth, such as Vulcan and perhaps Romulus as well. This theory provided a possible reason why Romulan culture was so similar to the culture of the Roman Empire. (Startrek.com article Strange Relations: Romulans and Vulcans)
- Roman Empire article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.
- Roman Empire article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.