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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.
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DEIFICATION OF AUGUSTUS
Even during the lifetime of Augustus worship had been offered to him by the provincials. After his death the Senate gave him divine honors and enrolled his name among the gods. Temples rose in every province to the deified Augustus, and altars smoked with sacrifices to him. Emperor worship spread rapidly over the ancient world and helped to unite all classes in allegiance to the new government. It provided a universal religion for a universal empire. Yet just at the time when this new cult was taking root, and in the midst of the happy reign of Augustus, there was born in Bethlehem of Judea the Christ whose religion was to overcome the worship of the emperors and with it all other faiths of pagan antiquity. 
 Jesus was born probably in 4 B.C., the last year of the reign of Herod, whom the triumvirs, Antony and Octavian, had placed on the throne of Judea in 37 B.C.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy