Pax Romana

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For about 200 years during the Greek / Roman Empire, there was a period of time known as the Pax Romana. Pax Romana is literally translated as ‘the Roman Peace”. This period of time was between the reign of Augustus Caesar through the death of Marcus Aurelius. Pax Romana is defined by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, as “the terms of peace imposed by ancient Rome on its dominions or any state of peace imposed by a strong nation on weaker or defeated nations” (Random House, 2006). This 200 year period which brought many changes to the Roman Empire and was a time for unity, peace, and national stability. The Pax Romana was started by Augustus Caesar, born Gaius Octavius – the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar. After the assassination of Julius Caesar by members of the Roman Senate, Octavius eventually won full rule over the Roman Empire from his rivals. Most notably, his victory over all of Rome was finalized when Octavius defeated his former ally, Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium (Greer & Lewis, p. 119). Octavius changed his name to Augustus Caesar as he took supreme control over the Roman Empire and was given the ‘authority of tribune’ which gave him the ultimate power of veto over the senate. He became Rome’s first true Emperor and ruled until his death 45 years later in A.D. 14 (Kreis, 2001). This period of time was so important to the empire, because it represented a time to restore peace to, reform and reconstruct the Roman Empire. Augustus quietly retained the ultimate control over the senate and the Roman government, but kept the appearances of being confined by the government’s constraints (Greer & Lewis, p. 121). Augustus was successfully able to unite all of the different conquered city-states of the Roman Empire under one rule by allowing each to retain their own identity – yet encouraging them to adopt the Roman rule. This was a huge driving force for the success of his reign over the empire as it inadvertently...
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