Sunday, 2 September 2012


Octavian changed his title later on to Emperor Augustus. He was the first Roman emperor and managed to reign till AD 14. The republic was never abolished. Augustus cleverly used a number of legally held offices and it gave him the control and power over the state and army. While doing so the republic slowly but surely faded away. However, the Senate and traditional institution remained.

Augustus was a great ruler and his armies kept pushing the boundaries further until the borders of the empire reached the Danube.  While Augustus was successful the following rulers Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero were scandalous and did not have Augustus’s restrain. Also they all paid with life it only affected Rome itself and not the empire. The empire prospered as a result of Pax Romana (Roman Peace).  This meant Roman law enforcement, Roman rods, and Roman genius for building and engineering.

Another reason for the stabilization of Rome was further grants of citizenship to provincials. On e features not to be admired was the so called “bread and circuses”. It meant to keep the city crowd happy with doles and entertainment. The entertainments were mainly gladiatorial games and other murderous shows.



On a whole Augustus successors took his advice and did not expand the empire any more. The only exception was conquering Britain which begun in 43 AD. It was during the reign of Claudius.  They occupied an area roughly of England and Wales. At first they had to defeat a revolt but the upper-class Britains started to wear toga, lived in villas, and followed the way of Roman’s life.

Nero was related to Caesar and Augustus and reigned form AD54 till 68. He was Roman’s last emperor. The word Caesar continued to be used as a title such Tsar and Kaiser came form it. After Nero there were several contestants for the title. Vespasian was a self-made man and restored order. His programme made him popular. He started to build the Colosseum and several other public buildings.



The Flavian dynasty which included Vespasian, Titus and Domitian finished with the murder of Domitian. He was a tyrannical rule although his achievements were impressive. Then began the age of the Antonines from AD 96 and lasted till 192.  This era is always looked upon as the Golden Age of the Roman Empire. During its time it had five good rulers. They were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The remarkable rule of the Antonines era was that the Emperor does not appoint a man who was a close relative of his but in his view the most able man available. During the ruling of conqueror-emperor Trajan the Roman Empire reached its greatest extent.

The fall of the Roman Empire came when Marcus Aurelius who ruled from 161-180, done away with the Antonine rule of not appointing a close relative but choose the ablest man known. Marcus Aurelius made his own son, Commodus as a successor. Commodus ruled from 180 till 1192. He was a great tyrant and was murdered. This murder ended the Antonine line. When Commodus died civil wars broken out and it was only the start to the terrible and disastrous 3rd century.

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