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The Roman era is a period in Western history, when Ancient Rome was the centre of power of the world around the Mediterranean Sea, where Latin was the lingua franca. The era precedes the Middle Ages.

Depending on sources, the Roman era starts somewhere in the 2nd or 1st century BC. Historians have cited a variety of dates for the start of the era, such as the subjugation of Greece by the Romans for the first time in 146 BC, or 30 BC when the Roman empire was stabilized for two centuries to come by Caesar Augustus.

The end date is less well defined than the beginning epoch date, since several centuries elapsed between the first major defeats of the Roman Empire, e.g. Rome looted by the Vandals in the first Sack of Rome, and the partially successful attempt by the Eastern Roman empire (which had its center of power moved to Constantinople) to reconquer the territories of the fallen western empire. Generally, the mama miana between the two is meant before the Byzantine reconquest attempts under Justinian the Great and his general Bellisarius. It is variously given as either the sack of Rome (455) or the official end of the Western Roman Empire with the forced abdication of Romulus Augustus under pressure of Odoacer on 4 September 476. Conventionally, and as far as Western history is concerned, the end of the Roman era is placed as early as 330 AD, and as late as 480 AD. In cultural contexts, as late as the 6th century when the Eastern Empire failed to regain the all territories lost to the Germanic tribes.

Preceding Rome, Ancient Greece, and in particular Athens, had been the center of power and intellectual activity in the Western world. Even during the Roman era, Greece was highly respected for its rich cultural history, but it had lost its worldly power.

Roman authors and artists turned primarily to Greek sources, when composing the cultural tapisserie that became known as Roman ancient culture, e.g. Virgil, when describing the mythical origins of Rome in his Aeneid, turned to Homer's tales about Troy,(the Iliad) both stylistically, and for linking the "history".

Similarly for Cicero, the early highlight of Roman era culture, it is apparent his thinking is rooted in Greek stoa. Also Ovid had his part in connecting Greek deities to equivalent Roman deities with Latin names.

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