In the late fourth century, the Roman Empire went from being one of the largest empires in the world, to ruin. Rome's success initially started off due to its network of overland trade routes. Initially, it established the Republic in 500 BCE which was governed by a Senate. It wouldn't have its first emperor until 27BC. Three and a half centuries later, the Roman Empire stretched to the Mediterranean Sea; and was ever expanding. Around 300 BCE, the expanding empire gained control of Italy by defeating the Samnium tribes and also gained control of the eastern Mediterranean by winning the wars against the Hellenistic kingdoms. As Rome successfully created their empire, it led to the failure of the Republic as a system of government. The Romans also had advances in technologies, creating arches, concrete, and aqueducts. The Roman state continue to prosper for two and a half centuries after Emperor Augustus's reforms. However, after the third century came along, Rome began to crumble. Many factors would contribute to the its fall, such as taxation, military failures, governments, religions, and even natural disasters and climate changes. .
The four early wars of conquest and the consequent rise of Roman power altered Roman society, and also sowed the seeds of Rome's decline. It gained its wealth from every new conquest, which contributed to their increase in wealth. The Roman Empire consisted of lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, causing it to develop an internal trade route, going around the Mediterranean from the North to East (Duran). In order to increase political and economic domain, the Roman began to extend their infrastructure. Their network of roads, canals, aqueducts, and other communications utilities stretched all around the Mediterranean. The only people in Rome who prospered from the four conquests were Rome's elite class. These were the landowning aristocrats who made up the Senate (Duran).