Philosophical Europe ||| The Political Progress ||| European Witness ||| EU News
European Forum ||| Special Homages: Meister Eckhart / David Copperfield
From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
IX. THE EARLY EMPIRE: THE WORLD UNDER ROMAN RULE, 31 B.C.-l80 A.D.
» Contents of this ChapterAugustus, 31 B.C.-l4 A.D. * The Successors of Augustus, 14-96 A.D. * The "Good Emperors," 96-180 A.D. * The Provinces of the Roman Empire * The Roman Law and the Latin Language * The Municipalities of the Roman Empire * Economic and Social Conditions in the First and Second Centuries * The Graeco-Roman World
AUGUSTUS, 31 B.C.-l4 A.D.
THE EARLY EMPIRE, 31 B.C.-180 A.D.
The period of two hundred and eleven years, between the accession of Augustus and the death of Marcus Aurelius, is known as the Early Empire. As we shall now learn, it was a time of settled government and of internal tranquillity. Except for a brief period of anarchy at the close of the reign of Nero, it was also a time of regular succession to the throne. Nearly all the emperors were vigorous and capable rulers. The peace and prosperity which they gave to the Roman world amply justify—if justification be needed—the change from republic to empire.
THE NEW RULER
Few persons have set their stamp more indelibly on the pages of history than Octavian, whom we may now call by his more familiar name Augustus ("Majestic"). Augustus was no military genius to dazzle the world with his achievements. He was a cool and passionless statesman who took advantage of a memorable opportunity to remake the Roman state, and who succeeded in the attempt. Absolute power, which destroys weaker men, with Augustus brought out the nobler elements of character. From the successful leader of a party he became the wise and impartial ruler of an empire.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy