The dates surrounding the Roman Empire vary based upon different definitions of the word empire. The earliest recorded knowledge of Roman cities dates back to 753 B.C., but many use 201 B.C. The traditional date for the fall of the empire is 476 A.D. after the last emperor's death.
There is debate as to the beginning date of the Roman Empire. Though there are records dating back to 753 B.C., the Romans did not possess any additional territory or provinces until after the first war with Carthage in 241 B.C. A narrower date range that the majority of scholars agree upon is directly after the Punic War in 201 B.C. as a general starting point to signify the beginning of the Roman Empire.