Their greatness endured From Republic to Empire , and despite the constant wars, the periphery was afire.
The wild tribes, from the North, Barbarians challenged the millennium's hegemon.
The empire required Absolutum Dominium, Control of every life; Pater familias: Emperor to his kin.
Husbands and wives, Slaves and gladiators, Peasants and lords; Farmers and warriors, and, artisans and craftsmen might exist, but they did not live. It was only by the kiss of death, or freedom granted by their master.
The empire owned every moment and every breath. It would abide no strife. Gladiators and slaves did not even exist or live, but rather they were permitted to serve.
An individual's future was not allowed, unless by decree; only by the pleasure of the empire.
Citizens were entertained by the servile gladiators battle; acting out great events, their lives determined by the crowd's roar.
With the scars over the hearts, and minds seeking only leisure and pleasure, and arranged violence, Romans raised praise to a god named Mars who reveled in a warrior's blood lust and the dying in wars.
(with appreciations to JDelano for style and format suggestions)