Tuesday, October 15, 2013 3:15:49 PM
I'll nitpick with Modwain`s nitpick:
The people of what we now call the Byzantine empire called it the Roman empire. A reduced version, but still the Roman empire. The east/west division was intended to be administrative, not a split into two empires. So it`s not entirely unreasonable to say that the Roman empire existed until about 560 years ago, in one sense.