Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 September 2020
In antiquity, Rome was the City while imperium Romanum the power of Rome. However, after the Constitutio Antoniniana of 212 CE and the nearly universal extension of Roman citizenship, the legal status of its citizen was accompanied by an adherence to the civic and imperial models set out by Tertullian (De pallio IV.1) under the term Romanitas. The term Romania first came to be used for all Roman territory around 330 CE.1 This explains why today the word “Rome” is used for both the city and the Empire. Nonetheless, we need to distinguish between the two when discussing its future. In effect, when historians speak about the end of Rome, they are referring mainly to the end of the Roman Empire in the West. However, as John Bury pointed out over a century ago, such a thing did not exist.2 What existed was only the pars occidentalis of the Roman Empire, but when that disappeared at the end of the fifth century, the Roman Empire continued to survive in and around Constantinople.