[This can be perceived as to present a Shia perspective:]
Have you heard about Allama Ali Kourani? He is a Lebanese Shia scholar and is arguably the most authoritative scholar in Shia world, if not the entire Muslim Ummah, on traditions regarding the appearance of Imam al-Mahdi and the state of the world before and after his coming. He has authored several scholarly books on this topic among others. Here's the list of his works on his official website: www.alameli.net/books. There you can also access his articles and interviews.
Among his works, I have personally studied his book, عَصرُ الظُّهور or Era of The Appearance (a Farsi translation actually). In this book, he discusses the conditions of the world before and after coming of the Promised Mahdi, (whom, he, as a Twelver Shia, identifies with Muhammad ibn Hasan, al-Mahdi who is believed by Shias to be currently in Occultation), and also the role and conditions of different factions involved in the developments and conflicts of the End Time.
Among these different groups, he does focus on the role of "Romans" in traditions whom he identifies as corresponding to the modern Europe and the West in general with respect to substantial similarities that he views between these two non-contemporary civilizations. This is based on the consideration that the “Romans” of the Byzantine Empire comprised a "Christian" empire that, as we know, were hostile towards Islam and Muslims as early as the time when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) established Islam in Medina. So identifying the essential features of the Roman Empire as
- A dominant "Christian" faith/culture
- An attitude of vicious hostility towards Islam and Muslims,
- The general geographical location/orientation of the Romans towards Mid-East (as the central locus of Islam), and
- Their tyrannical and infidel nature,
we can identify the modern equivalents of Romans as the Modern Western Civilization for the Roman Christianity later came to completely dominate this civilization that has been, in turn, especially in the contemporary era, a steady source of oppression and plight for Muslims, ultimately extending its dominance over the entire Islamic Ummah through colonialist/imperialist aggressions and occupations that took place over the last century (except Persia that, according to Kourani, was miraculously liberated from Western domination by the Islamic Revolution of 1979 led by a Shia cleric Imam Khomeini, interestingly this development itself being considered realization of one of the End Time predictions).
Indeed, if we also consider the prophecies by Prophet Muhammad and Shia Imams (notably Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad al-Baqir and Ja’far as-Sadiq) that predict muslims suffering from horrendous, prolonged calamities and chaos in the hand of their enemies in the period before the coming of promised Mahdi, and then look at the current situation of the Muslim Ummah and the primary oppressors, we will be inevitably led to Western Civilization.
This was a summary of Kourani's understanding of the identity and role of "Romans" in the greater context of End Time traditions.
I highly recommend you to study his works, not only for the scholarly nature of his studies but also for their crucial relevance to the conditions of our time. Kourani, along with many other Shia scholars and laymen, as I alluded above, holds that we are drawing very close to the coming of the promised Mahdi for many of the End Time prophecies have been materializing over the last century especially the recent three decades. More interestingly, in the context of the development of recent years, Shia End Time scholars view ISIS terrorist insurgents in Iraq and Syria as a prelude to the rise of Sufyani a predicted evil leader who will be supported by the "Romans" and the "Jews" of the End Time and will fatally fight against Imam al-Mahdi. They also view the rise of the Houthis a Shia revolutionary group in Yemen, to be a prelude to the predicted rise of an influential Shia leader referred to as "Seyyed Yamani" who will rise to fight against the enemies of Imam al-Mahdi and join his army.