The 45-year reign of Caesar Augustus (31 BCE to 14 CE) marked the creation of the Roman Empire, which would survive in the West for another five centuries. Unlike the rulers who came before him— Pompey, Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony—Augustus maintained nearly absolute power as he established the ideology and institutions of the Pax Romana, which gave the citizens of Rome two centuries of peace and social stability. This collection of primary sources offers multiple viewpoints of the rise, achievements, and legacy of Augustus and his empire. Ronald Mellor’s fluid introduction parallels the organization of the documents that follow to provide students with the historical context necessary for exploring these translations of ancient texts. Document headnotes, a list of literary sources for the Age of Augustus, a glossary of Greek and Latin terms, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography offer additional pedagogical support and encourage students to analyze the reign that transformed the history of Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
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