Octavian was believed to be the first official Roman emperor of Rome. He was the successor of Caesar who gained control and command of the entire Roman Empire when Caesar was assassinated. More so, he was given the title Augustus by the senate and the “people life tribuneship. ” His reign commenced the Pax Romana or the “long period of peace. ” During this time, Rome was at its peak in terms of territories wherein its borders have reached Asia and other Western nations.
Furthermore, Augustus “organized provincial government and the army, rebuilt Rome, and patronized the arts and letters. ” Because there was peace and order throughout the empire, the development of the city whether politically, or economically was very apparent. In a nutshell, Rome under the rule of Augustus was prosperous and harmonious. But when Augustus died, the serene and wealthy seemed to have faded. Many believed that Nero’s supremacy and dictatorship caused the “great fire of Rome” which had significantly damaged the splendor of Rome.
Also, this was the period when Nero ordered the prosecution of many Christians because their religion did not allow giving “divine honors to emperors. ” After Nero, there were several others who became emperors of Rome who pursued the expansion of the territory and influence of Rome. One of them was Hadrian who built the Hadrian wall to protect the empire from the barbarians. This flawed trend continued on to the 3rd century.
Then, Diocletian took power wherein he reformed the government and restored social order. Later on, he was succeeded by Constantine who ended religious discrimination and aided Christianity to flourish throughout the Roman Empire. After his death, the empire was divided again into “East and West” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia).
“The Roman Empire. ” 2007. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 3 March 2009 <http://www. infoplease. com/ce6/world/A0860803. html>