AUGUSTUS, PAX ROMANA AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE

AUGUSTUS AND PAX ROMANA


Egyptianized statue of Augustus

Augustus expanded the Roman empire up the Nile, down the Danube and into the Pyrenees into what is now northern Spain, Switzerland, Austria, the former Yugoslavia, northern Bulgaria, central Turkey and Egypt. Rome biggest rival was the Parthian kingdom in Persia. They defeated the Roman army near the Euphrates. This kept the Romans from advancing eastward towards India. The Romans were also defeated at the Teutenbourg Forest in Germany in A.D. 9

Pax Romana refers to the time of peace ushered in by Augustus. Augustus established a peacetime army capable of defending the empire's borders and opened up the entire Mediterranean to trade by establishing a powerful navy that tracked down pirates and made sea lanes safe.

After nearly three centuries of continuous warfare, Augustus cut back on imperial expansion and reduced the army from half a million men to a quarter of a million men. This ushered in a period of peace know as Pax Romana. It was the longest period of peace the Western World has yet enjoyed. Augustus usher in this long period of peaceful by changing Rome from a fragile, crumbling republican government to a mighty empire.

Websites on Ancient Rome: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” forumromanum.org; “The Private Life of the Romans” forumromanum.org|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; Lacus Curtius penelope.uchicago.edu; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org The Roman Empire in the 1st Century pbs.org/empires/romans; The Internet Classics Archive classics.mit.edu ; Bryn Mawr Classical Review bmcr.brynmawr.edu; De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors roman-emperors.org; British Museum ancientgreece.co.uk; Oxford Classical Art Research Center: The Beazley Archive beazley.ox.ac.uk ; Metropolitan Museum of Art metmuseum.org/about-the-met/curatorial-departments/greek-and-roman-art; The Internet Classics Archive kchanson.com ; Cambridge Classics External Gateway to Humanities Resources web.archive.org/web; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy iep.utm.edu; Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy plato.stanford.edu; Ancient Rome resources for students from the Courtenay Middle School Library web.archive.org ; History of ancient Rome OpenCourseWare from the University of Notre Dame /web.archive.org ; United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) History unrv.com

Roman Empire in the A.D. 1st and 2nd Centuries

It can be argued that the fall of the republic and the establishment of the empire were generally positive things that greatly benefitted to Rome. In place of a century of civil wars and discord which closed the republic, we see more than two centuries of internal peace and tranquillity. Instead of an oppressive and avaricious treatment of the provincials, we see a treatment which is with few exceptions mild and generous. Instead of a government controlled by a proud and selfish oligarchy, we see a government controlled, generally speaking, by a wise and patriotic prince. From the accession of Augustus to the death of Marcus Aurelius (31 B.C. —A.D. 180), a period of two hundred and eleven years, only three emperors who held power for any length of time—Tiberius, Nero, and Domitian—are known as tyrants; and their cruelty was confined almost entirely to the city, and to their own personal enemies. The establishment of the empire, we must therefore believe, marked a stage of progress and not of decline in the history of the Roman people. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]


Roman Verus Greek

But in spite of the fact that the empire met the needs of the people better than the old aristocratic republic, it yet contained many elements of weakness, Some say the Roman people themselves possessed the frailties of human nature, and the imperial government was not without the imperfection of all human institutions. The decay of religion and morality, it has been argued, was a fundamental cause of their weakness and ruin, with this including the selfishness of classes; the accumulation of wealth, not as the fruit of legitimate industry, but as the spoils of war an of cupidity; the love of gold and the passion for luxury; the misery of poverty and its attendant vices and crimes; the terrible evils of slave labor; the decrease of the population; and the decline of the patriotic spirit. These were moral diseases, which could hardly be cured by any government. \~\

One of the great defects of the imperial government was that its power rested with the military basis, and not upon the rational will of the people. It is true that many of the emperors were popular and loved by their subjects. But behind their power was the army, which knew its strength, and strongly asserted its claims to the government.

Creation of the Roman Empire Finalized Under Augustus

We have taken the date of the battle of Actium (31 B.C.) to mark the beginning of the empire, because Octavian (Augustus) then became the sole and undisputed master of the Roman world. But it is not so important for us to fix upon a particular date for the beginning of the empire, as it is to see that some form of imperialism had come to be a necessity. During the whole period of the civil wars we have seen the gradual growth of the one-man power. We have seen it in the tribunate under the Gracchi; in the successive consulships of Marius; in the perpetual dictatorship of Sulla; in the sole consulship of Pompey; in the absolute rule of Julius Caesar. The name of “king” the Romans hated, because it brought to mind the memory of the last Tarquin. But the principle of monarchy they could not get rid of, because they had found no efficient form of government to take its place. The aristocratic government under the senate had proved corrupt, inefficient, and disastrous to the people. A popular government without representation had shown itself unwieldy, and had become a prey to demagogues. There was nothing left for the Romans to do except to establish some form of monarchy which would not suggest the hated name of king. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]

After Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., Octavian's connection to Caesar boosted him on the political scene. At that time Octavian (Augustus) was seen as a “deceptively, malleable-seeming” 18-year-old. “He is wholely devoted to me," Cicero boasted, not long before the youth cut a deal to have him murdered. Octavian joined with Antony and Lepidus to form a Triumvirate (“Group of Three). Octavian was able get Caesar's old soldiers behind him and win the support of the Senate.

The Triumvirate battled Cassius and Brutus for control of Rome during five years of civil war. After defeating the armies of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Phillipi in 42 B.C., Lepidus was stripped of his power and Octavian and Marc Antony divided the empire, with Octavian getting Italy and the west and Antony getting the east. Mark Anthony and Octavian, shared power for ten years until Octavian declared war on Antony's lover's Cleopatra. While Antony and Cleopatra were enjoying themselves, Octavian was building up his army and navy and preparing for a fight.

More than a hundred years had passed away since the beginning of the commotions under the Gracchi. During this time we have seen the long conflict between the senate and the people; we have seen the republic gradually declining and giving way to the empire. But we must not suppose that the fall of the republic was the fall of Rome. The so-called republic of Rome was a government neither by the people nor for the people. It had become the government of a selfish aristocracy, ruling for its own interests. Whether the new empire which was now established was better than the old republic which had fallen, remains to be seen. But there are many things in which we can see that Rome was making some real progress. \~\

The first thing that we notice is the fad that during this period of conflict Rome produced some of the greatest men of her history. It is in the times of stress and storm that great men are brought to the front; and it was the fierce struggles of this period which developed some of the foremost men of the ancient world—men like the two Gracchi, Marius, Sulla, Cato, Cicero, and Julius Caesar. Whatever we may think of their opinions, of the methods which they used, or of the results which they accomplished, we cannot regard them as ordinary men. \~\

Another evidence of the progress of Rome was the extension of the rights of citizenship, and the bringing into the state of many who had hitherto been excluded. At the beginning of this period only the inhabitants of a comparatively small part of the Italian peninsula were citizens of Rome. The franchise was restricted chiefly to those who dwelt upon the lands in the vicinity of the capital. But during the civil wars the rights of citizenship had been extended to all parts of Italy and to many cities in Gaul and Spain. \~\


Roman Empire under Augustus


Imperial Policy and Ideology Under Augustus

Nina C. Coppolino wrote: “In his relationship with the armies as well as with the provincials, Augustus operated as a patron to clients. He was the only patron of the client army, which he controlled with land or money, often out of his own great wealth; he gave to his successors an army accustomed to dynastic loyalty. Similarly in the provinces, local client-kings and magistrates who were loyal to Augustus created relative stability for an empire whose allegiance no longer shifted to the latest victor in Roman civil wars, but rested on the dynasty of the principate. [Source: Nina C. Coppolino, Roman Emperors <=>]

“While an overseas empire demanded a standing army instead of simply an emergency force, Augustus still did not have an integrated imperial policy of either defense or expansion. Military campaigns were conducted pragmatically for the protection of frontiers, the assurance of the food supply, or the reaction to rebellion. Augustus, however, exploited the appearance of aggressive conquest, taking military credit even for diplomatic gains like Parthia, and granting decisive honors for family who were only minimally successful, or who had to return subsequently to quell rebellion. <=>

“The ideology of the Pax Augusta referred to the condition of those who had been subdued; peace was born of broad imperial conquest, which did not imply any limits or a governing policy of pacifism. Similarly, conquest or colonization by Augustus did not have an ideological and policy goal of Romanization. The primary purpose of colonization of pacified regions was military control through the grant of land to soldiers who formed garrison-colonies, and these colonies had the effect of encouraging trade in the provinces. In the west, the adoption of Roman customs and language took place spontaneously in the relative cultural void, which absorbed the Roman pattern of urbanization; in the east the sophisticated native cultures were not Romanized, nor did Augustus intend them to be.

Frontiers and Territory of the Roman Empire

By the wars of Augustus, the boundaries of the empire were extended to the Rhine and the Danube (including the Alpine region) on the north, to the Atlantic Ocean on the west, to the desert of Africa on the south, and nearly to the Euphrates on the east. The only two great frontier nations which threatened to disturb the peace of Rome were the Parthians on the east and the Germans on the north. The Parthians still retained the standards lost by Crassus; but Augustus by his skillful diplomacy was able to recover them without a battle. He abandoned, however, all design of conquering that Eastern people. But his eyes looked longingly to the country of the Germans. He invaded their territory; and after a temporary success his general, Varus, was slain and three Roman legions were utterly destroyed by the great German chieftain Arminius at the famous battle of the Teutoberg forest (9 A.D.). The frontiers remained for many years where they were fixed by Augustus; and he advised his successors to govern well the territory which he left to them rather than to increase its limits. [Source: “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\]


growth of the Roman Empire between 218 BC and AD 117


The Res Gestae is a list of deeds performed by Augustus that dates back to Augustus’s time. Part of it reads: I have cleared the sea from pirates. In that war with the slaves I delivered to their masters for punishment 30,000 slaves who had fled their masters and taken up arms against the Republic. The provinces of Gaul, Spain, Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia swore the same allegiance to me. I have extended the boundaries of all the provinces of the Roman People which were bordered by nations not yet subjected to our sway. My fleet has navigated the ocean from the mouth of the Rhine as far as the boundaries of the Cimbri where aforetime no Roman had ever penetrated by land or by sea. The German peoples there sent their legates, seeking my friendship, and that of the Roman people. At almost the same time, by my command and under my auspices two armies have been led into Ethiopia and into Arabia, which is called Felix ["The Happy"] and very many of the enemy of both peoples have fallen in battle, and many towns have been captured.

“I added Egypt to the Empire of the Roman People. When the king of Greater Armenia was killed I could have made that country a province, but I preferred after the manner of our fathers to deliver the kingdom to Tigranes [a vassal prince].... I have compelled the Parthians to give up to me the spoils and standards of three Roman armies, and as suppliants to seek the friendship of the Roman people. Those [recovered] standards, moreover, I have deposited in the sanctuary located in the temple of Mars the Avenger.

Territorial Acquisitions Under Augustus

Nina C. Coppolino wrote: “Political power at Rome had always been won through the force, prestige, and wealth of conquest; Augustus' armies conquered more lands than any of his Roman predecessors or successors. After the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C., Egypt was the first major gain by Augustus, with the wealth and flourishing cities of the Ptolemies, and Egyptian grain. Exposed geographically only in the south, the province was advanced to the First Cataract by the prefect Cornelius Gallus; in 25 B.C. there was another successful expedition against raids by the Ethiopians. Although Augustus, through his legate, failed to conquer Arabia Felix, the Red Sea was secured and sea-trade with India was ultimately established. In 27 B.C. Augustus visited Gaul and held a census there for the purpose of fairer taxation, and in 26-25 he fought a war in Spain, which Agrippa finally concluded in 19 B.C., with the pacification of the province. While Augustus was in Spain, Varro Murena defeated the Salassi, who were raiding Cisalpine Gaul from Aosta in the western Alps. In 25 B.C. Augustus settled Juba as the king of Mauretania in Africa, another province valuable for the grain supply to Rome. [Source: Nina C. Coppolino, Roman Emperors <=>]


“In 25 B.C. in Asia Minor, Galatia was annexed, and Augustus founded the colony of Caesarea at Antioch. The main problem in the east was Parthia, which could unsettle Roman control in neighboring Armenia, and further west into Galatia. In 30 B.C. Augustus refrained from a draining war with Phraates of Parthia, by refusing to abet a pretender to the Parthian throne, by setting up a client-king in Armenia minor, and by holding the brothers of Armenian king Artaxes as hostages to Armenia's good behavior as a buffer state in the area. Ten years later, after the watchful regency of Agrippa from 23-21 B.C., Augustus reached a diplomatic settlement with Parthia for the return of the Roman standards captured from Crassus in 53 B.C., for the stability of the Parthian kingdom in the region, and for Parthian agreement to Roman control in Armenia; Parthia acquiesced under only the threat of combined military force from Augustus in Syria and Tiberius in Armenia. From 16-13 B.C., Agrippa was back in the east settling the Bosporan kingdom, which was economically important as the main source of food from southern Russia for cities of northern Asia Minor and the Aegean, as well as for Roman troops on the eastern frontier; despite a later shift in local control, Roman hegemony was established. <=>

“In 15 B.C. Tiberius and Drusus completed the pacification of the northern Alpine frontier, begun in 25 B.C. when T. Varro wiped out the Salassi on the western side. Now on the eastern side of the Alps, the frontier was pushed up to the Danube river, including Raetia and Noricum. With Alpine passes open, Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul became more united and prosperous; the raids of the Alpine tribes of Italy were over, and Roman armies could more easily get to central Gaul and the Rhine. From 13-9 B.C. the northern frontier was further strengthened near Illyricum by the conquest of Pannonia. Roman control thus stretched from the Adriatic to the Danube, making an overland route from Rome to Illyricum through the eastermost Julian Alps, and connecting Macedonia to Italy and Gaul. After an uprising in Thrace was quelled from 11-9 B.C., the Romans were in control of the territory south of the entire length of the Danube to the Black Sea. At the northernmost frontier, Drusus campaigned in Germany from 12-9 B.C. and tried to advance Caesar's German frontier of the Rhine as far as the Elbe, but he accomplished only raids between the two rivers. <=>

“On the eastern frontier, the Parthians and Armenians were in dispute again, and in 2 B.C. Augustus sent his grandson Gaius there, in what was already a successfully negotiated end to the trouble. Since 37 B.C. Judea had been controlled by Herod the Great as a friend of Augustus; Judea was finally made into a Roman province in 6 A.D., when at the request of the Jews, Archelaus, the son of Herod, was driven out. <=>

Wars in Europe Under Augustus

Suetonius wrote: “He carried on but two foreign wars in person: in Dalmatia, when he was but a youth, and with the Cantabrians after the overthrow of Antonius. He was wounded, too, in the former campaign, being struck on the right knee with a stone in one battle, and in another having a leg and both arms severely injured by the collapse of a bridge. His other wars he carried on through his generals, although he was either present at some of those in Pannonia and Germany, or was not far from the front, since he went from the city as far as Ravenna, Mediolanum, or Aquileia. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum--Divus Augustus” (“The Lives of the Caesars--The Deified Augustus”), written A.D. c. 110, “Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum,” 2 Vols., trans. J. C. Rolfe (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920), pp. 123-287]


“In part as leader, and in part with armies serving under his auspices, he subdued Cantabria, Aquitania, Pannonia, Dalmatia, and all Illyricum, as well as Raetia and the Vindelici and Salassi, which are Alpine tribes. He also put a stop to the inroads of the Dacians, slaying great numbers of them, together with three of their leaders, and forced the Germans back to the farther side of the river Albis, with the exception of the Suebi and Sigambri, who submitted to him and were taken into Gaul and settled in lands near the Rhine. He reduced to submission other peoples, too, that were in a state of unrest. But he never made war on any nation without just and due cause, and he was so far from desiring to increase his dominion or his military glory at any cost, that he forced the chiefs of certain barbarians to take oath in the temple of Mars the Avenger that they would faithfully keep the peace for which they asked; in some cases, indeed, he tried exacting a new kind of hostages, namely women, realizing that the barbarians disregarded pledges secured by males; but all were given the privilege of reclaiming their hostages whenever they wished.

“On those who rebelled often or under circumstances of especial treachery he never inflicted any severer punishment than that of selling the prisoners, with the condition that they should not pass their term of slavery in a country near their own, nor be set free within thirty years. The reputation for prowess and moderation which he thus gained led even the Indians and the Scythians, nations known to us only by hearsay, to send envoys of their own free will and sue for his friendship and that of the Roman people. The Parthians, too, readily yielded to him, when he laid claim to Armenia, and at his demand surrendered the standards which they had taken from Marcus Crassus and Marcus Antonius [Crassus lost his standards at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 B.C., and Antonius through the defeat of his lieutenants in 40 and 36 B.C.]; they offered him hostages besides, and once when there were several claimants of their throne, they would accept only the one whom he selected.

“The temple of Janus Quirinus, which had been closed but twice before his time since the founding of the city [in the reign of Numa, and in 235 B.C. after the First Punic War], he closed three times in a far shorter period, having won peace on land and sea. He twice entered the city in an ovation, after the war of Philippi, and again after that in Sicily, and he celebrated three regular triumphs [the ovation was a lesser triumph, in which the general entered the city on foot, instead of in a chariot drawn by four horses] for his victories in Dalmatia, at Actium, and at Alexandria, all on three successive days.”

Defeats in Germany Under Augustus

Nina C. Coppolino wrote: ““In 5 A.D. on the northern frontier Tiberius reached the Elbe, and then tried to subdue the Marcomanni, so that by linking the Elbe with the Danube a new frontier could be established all the way to the Black Sea. His efforts were interrupted and never resumed. In 6 A.D. there was a great and bloody revolt in Pannonia and Dalmatia, which Tiberius finally crushed in 7-8 A.D. in Pannonia, and in 9 A.D. in Dalmatia. Though Tiberius did return to Germany, he and Germanicus were occupied in defending the Rhine after Quinctilius Varus suffered a disastrous defeat there at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, losing three legions and all the territory east of the river. Despite the recovery of the river and forays beyond it, Augustus gave up the thought of a frontier beyond the Rhine. [Source: Nina C. Coppolino, Roman Emperors <=>]

Suetonius wrote: “He suffered but two severe and ignominious defeats, those of Lollius [15 B.C.] and Varus [9 A.D.], both of which were in Germany. Of these the former was more humiliating than serious, but the latter was almost fatal, since three legions were cut to pieces with their general, his lieutenants, and all the auxiliaries. When the news of this came, he ordered that watch be kept by night throughout the city, to prevent any outbreak, and he prolonged the terms of the governors of the provinces, that the allies might be held to their allegiance by experienced men with whom they were acquainted. He also vowed great games to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, in case the condition of the commonwealth should improve, a thing which had been done in the Cimbric and Marsic wars. In fact, they say that he was so greatly affected that for several months in succession he cut neither his beard nor his hair, and sometimes he would dash his head against a door, crying: "Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!" And he observed the day of the disaster each year as one of sorrow and mourning. [Source: Suetonius (c.69-after 122 A.D.): “De Vita Caesarum--Divus Augustus” (“The Lives of the Caesars--The Deified Augustus”), written A.D. c. 110, “Suetonius, De Vita Caesarum,” 2 Vols., trans. J. C. Rolfe (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920), pp. 123-287]



Battle in the Teutoburg Forest

The land of fierce German tribes was held for only about 20 years under the reign of Augustus. German tribes frequently raided towns in Gaul near the border. The land, divided among several German tribes, was lost when three Roman legions were slaughtered at Teutoburg Forest in A.D. 9.

A Roman army under Quictilius Varus was sent in to quell the Germanic tribes but it marched right into a trap. The Battle of Arminius in the Teutoburg Forest brought the Roman expansion into Germany to a halt. Almost every member of a 50,000-member Roman army led by Varus was killed or enslaved. Varus committed suicide.

Sarah Bond wrote in“There is no doubt that the Roman emperor Augustus was successful in expanding and securing the Roman empire, but in the strike column was one of the worst defeats that the Roman empire ever suffered. In 9 CE, Varus, the emperor’s general in Germany, lost three legions and to all intents and purposes halted Roman expansion across the Rhine river. It was then that a number of German tribes, led by Arminius, attacked the legions and massacred them in the Teutoburg Forest, in northern Germany. The impact on the Roman imperial psyche was dramatic. [Source: Sarah Bond, Forbes, July 1, 2016]

The defeat kept Rome from absorbing German territory. The Germans captured the Roman standards. Augustus was so upset he didn't shave and let hair grow for months. He reportedly also banged his head against a wall, shouting, "Varus! Give me back my legions."

Archaeology of the Battle in the Teutoburg Forest

The finality of this battle was called into question when evidence of another battle between Romans and Germanic tribes was found in 2006 in a wooded region between Hanover and Kassel deep inside what is now Germany that took place 200 years after the Teutoburg Forest Battle. Some historians have speculated that battle might have occurred after a Roman raid deep inside German territory.

Archaeologists have found evidence of the Battle Of Teutoburg at the archaeological site of Kalkriese in Germany. Sarah Bond wrote in Forbes: “From the 18th century onwards, amateurs and professional archaeologists searched for the actual site of the massacre as the event became ever more mythologised and a touchstone for German nationalism. And in the late 1980s an amateur metal detector, a major in the British army stationed nearby, found what has been generally, but not universally considered to be the site of the battle ever since – at Kalkriese in the district of Osnabrück, Lower Saxony. [Source: Sarah Bond, Forbes, July 1, 2016. Bond is an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa]



“The most significant discovery by the archaeology team from Kalkriese and scientists from the University of Osnabrück in the museum park is eight gold coins, which more than doubles the number of gold coins found at the site. Called aurei, and featuring images of Augustus’ grandsons Gaius and Lucius, they were minted within a span of 2 B.C. to 5 A.D. – in other words, they all date to a time before the battle occurred. Because they were found scattered within just a few meters of each other, it is likely that the gold coins fell from the same bag which subsequently decayed in the damp soil. Site archaeologists have interpreted them as belonging to an officer, trying to flee the carnage.

“Other finds include pieces of Roman military equipment and low value bronze coins. Whether Kalkriese is the site of the climax of the battle itself, or merely the site of one episode of the three-day conflict is likely to remain a subject of debate. But as these discoveries confirm, few can now doubt that this is where many of Varus’ legionaries made their final stand.”

Book: "Rome's Greatest Defeat: Massacre in the Teutoburg Forest” by Adrian Murdoch, a historian and journalist.

Jesus and the Romans

Jesus was alive during the reigns of Augustus (42 B.C. - A.D. 14) and Tiberus (

14-37). At the time of Christ, Palestine (present-day Israel) was a poorly-run, repressive Roman colony that had been conquered by Pompey in 63 B.C. After the conquest Palestine was run by a Roman-Jewish government under Herod the Great (37-4 B.C.) who enjoyed considerable autonomy and ruled in such a way that both the Romans and local population were reasonably happy despite his sometimes despotic ways.

The rulers after Herod---namely Archelaus, who inherited a third of Herod’s land, including Judea and Jerusalem---were not so good. After 10 years Roman prefects took over Archelaus’s territory. The other portions of Herod’s former lands, including Jesus’s state of Galilee remained under Jewish rule. This arrangement remained until the Roman crackdown after the Jewish revolt and the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70.

Herod the Great was a Jewish leader installed by the Romans. Regarded as puppet king of the Roman Senate, he took power in 37 B.C. and ruled until around 4 B.C. and served under Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and the Emperor Augustus. He is remembered most for building the Great Temple for the Jews in Jerusalem and ordering the death of male children in Bethlehem after Jesus was born. His son Herod Antipas was involved in Jesus’s trial. He was the ruler of Judea at time of the death of John the Baptist and Jesus.


Age of Augustus and the Birth of Christ


Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Rome sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Late Antiquity sourcebooks.fordham.edu ; Forum Romanum forumromanum.org ; “Outlines of Roman History” by William C. Morey, Ph.D., D.C.L. New York, American Book Company (1901), forumromanum.org \~\; “The Private Life of the Romans” by Harold Whetstone Johnston, Revised by Mary Johnston, Scott, Foresman and Company (1903, 1932) forumromanum.org |+|; BBC Ancient Rome bbc.co.uk/history/ ; Perseus Project - Tufts University; perseus.tufts.edu ; MIT, Online Library of Liberty, oll.libertyfund.org ; Gutenberg.org gutenberg.org Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Live Science, Discover magazine, Times of London, Natural History magazine, Archaeology magazine, The New Yorker, Encyclopædia Britannica, "The Discoverers" [∞] and "The Creators" [μ]" by Daniel Boorstin. "Greek and Roman Life" by Ian Jenkins from the British Museum.Time, Newsweek, Wikipedia, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); History of Warfare by John Keegan (Vintage Books); History of Art by H.W. Janson Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated October 2018

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