The Roman Empire
Rome was a democracy by the year 133 B.C. however, in less than a hundred years later, it was under an emperor. The economic stagnation, military dissension (rise of private armies), slave revolt created a political upheaval that resulted in the fall of the republic or Roman revolution. Another factor was the financial burden imposed on the different provinces especially Lusitania and Spain which revolted against the Roman tax collectors. The imperial system involved the arbitrary and autocratic use of power. The republic system experienced painful and violent transition from oligarchy to autocracy. The political and social issues were major catalysts to disruption of the late republic.
First Triumvirate and the Battle of Actium
The First Triumvirate was one of the steps towards the fall of the republic. Licinius, Julius Caesar, and Pompeius Magnus were three who combined their influence to seize power in Rome (Fredet 34). It is Caesar was the most influential of these political leaders and controlled a larger part of the empire. Caesar went ahead to rule a ten-year dictatorship period. He resolved to reconstitute as the divine king of Rome. The alliance between Mark Antony, Marcus Lepidus, and Octavian was the second Triumvirate that took place after 38 BC Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C and Rome fell into a civil war (Fredet 34). Mark Antony, Cleopatra queen of Egypt and Lepidus divided Rome into three administrative provinces (Si and Hook 12). However, it was during the Battle of Actium that the Roman Octavian won against Antony and his allies.
Marcus, Octavian and Lepidus Alliance
The coalition formed a strong belligerent where Mark was a commanding general where Lepidus, a Roman statesman. The three came together to stop the fighting after a civil war broke after Caesar’s assassination. Antonio summoned Queen Cleopatra so that she could answer charges of aiding his enemies. Cleopatra got a chance to seduce Antonius and convinced him to travel to Alexandria, Egypt (Roller 71). On return to Rome, Antonius married Octavian’s sister Octavia that intended to mend the strained differences with Octavian. The triumvirate relationship did not last for long. At the same time, Antonius separated with Octavia to join Cleopatra in Egypt (Roller72). Octavian declared war against Antonio after rumors went out that Antonius wanted to deliver Roman Empire into the hands of the aliens (Si and Hook 112). Octavian prevailed due to brilliant military commanders who managed to suppress Antoniou’s disastrous military campaigns.
Evolution of Augustus
During Octavian 40-year rule led to the establishment of a political structure that led to the Roman imperial government over the next centuries. Octavian took control of many provinces and nationalized the army to make it loyal to the emperor and state. Octavian renamed himself to ‘Augustus’ meaning blessed by gods. He reshaped the city of Rome through massive building projects. It led to song and poems writers to sing his praises and the new Rome. The Participate from 29 BCE to 14CE was arguably the first and most successful of all Roman emperors due to peace, prosperity as well as the expansion of the Roman Empire.
The Arrangements of 27 BCE and 23 BCE
Rome was the already the most powerful and richest city around the Mediterranean world as at first century B.C. It was Octavian or Augustus rule that Rome experienced further transformation into a truly imperial city. Rome transformed from modest brick and local stone into a metropolitan city made of marble (Everitt 45). The people enjoyed improving food and water supply system as well as public amenities. The monuments and high-tech infrastructures made Rome a worthy imperial capital.
Octavian did not change the governance during his rule. However, after coming to power in 27 B.C, the Senate conferred Augustus the government and life of people in all provinces. Augustus managed to unite with high offices, tribunes, the consulate as well as the army. In so doing Augustus achieved same results as Julius Caesar in centralizing powers but employed methods that attracted less opposition from the population (Everitt 49). The Senate had little powers and worked at the prerogative of the emperor. The provinces began to gain peace after years of war and autocratic rule. The economy developed through improves communication means, Latin literature, and intellectual growth.
Military and Fiscal Reforms under Augustus
Augustus gave grants to the towns, improved taxation system. The money collected was essential in developing public works that opened up the empire through roads. The private armies combined to form a national and loyal military. He protected Rome from foreign attack be it African or European countries. The close empire relation improved along military where vehicles and horses were the official correspondents.
The Praetorian Guard/ Vigils & the German Frontier
The Praetorian Guard developed from the republican army commander, the Consul named Waspraetor. After ending the civil war, Augustus established the Empire in the year 27 B.C. Augustus managed to bring together his Praetorian cohorts and the rival armies he already defeated (Everitt 49). The army became the Praetorian Guard whose primary role was to protect the Emperor and his family members. The guards were not involved in maintaining law and order in Rome but were left to Urban Cohorts. The Praetorian Guards protected Rome from barbarian and the German frontier that was a constant threat to the empire.
Augustus had a difficult time in settling his succession. The Senate conferred to him a fixed 10-year rule. The emperor could not transmit the powers to another at his death, but he had the permission during his lifetime to appoint a man of choice to succeed him. Augustus invested in his stepson Tiberius after his grandsons Lucius and Gaius Caesar died. After his death in AD 14, Tiberius finally had the proconsular and tribunician powers over Rome.
Everitt, Anthony. Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor. New York: Random House, 2006. Print.
Fredet, Peter. Ancient History: From the Dispersion of the Sons of Noe to the Battle of Actium and Change Of... the Roman Republic into an Empire. S.l.: FORGOTTEN BOOKS, 2015. Print.
Roller, Duane W. Cleopatra: A Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Sheppard, Si, and Christa Hook. Actium 31 Bc: Downfall of Antony and Cleopatra. Oxford: Osprey, 2009. Print