The Roman Empire

The Senate

Rome’s democratic way of giving power to its people was the Senate. Despite its purpose to be democratic the Senators were only elected by the Senate and two consuls were voted to advise the emperor. In time the Senate became the governing body of the Roman Empire yet wasn’t democratic because the people didn’t vote in the Senators or consuls. Later on military powers challenged the senators and caused a civil war. After the civil war Julius Caesar increased the Senate to 900 members and gave them power. The power however was false and later he mainly used them as a judicial system for extorters.

Augustus Caesar

Augustus Caesar or Gaius Octavian as he was originally known was Rome’s first emperor. Octavian entered power when his Uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated. Withheld the power of joining the Senate Octavian went to Rome and demanded it where they made him a consul. At the time the Empire was being ruled by Marc Antony and Marcus Lepidus. When Antony later married Cleopatra of Egypt and gave Roman provinces to their children Octavian declared war on Antony. In 31 B.C. a Roman fleet commanded by general Agrippa defeated the fleets of Antony and Cleopatra. Both committed suicide a year later. 4 years after the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra Gaius Octavian was given the name Augustus (which literally translates to the exalted one) by the Roman Senate who also made him Emperor. During his reign Caesar brought peace to the land, built many things for his people including aqueducts and bridges, expanded their highways and created a working postal system, expanded his empire to Spain, and brought a great age of art to Rome. At his death Augustus Caesar was worshipped as a god by his people.

Roman Architecture

The romans carried on much of what they had learned from Greece however they also had several new additions of their own including aqueducts, amphitheatres, granaries, and the residential housing block. Many of these were created to supply the needs of the Empire however some like amphitheatres were also created for leisure. Roman architecture followed the Greek Corinthian style, but some of their architecture was original including the Tuscan column. One of the greatest Roman buildings the Colosseum is still standing today.