The Roman Empire Essay

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The Roman Empire

In 27 BC, Augustus became the first emperor of Rome, thus creating a strong leader figure, which could shape and mold the Republic system into what was best for the empire or themselves. During the reign of the emperors, the political policies for Rome would vary according to, which emperor was in power. Not only were politics shaky, but also there never was a clear-cut method of succession for the man who controlled those politics. Rome had created the position of emperor in hopes that men like Augustus would continue to lead her into prosperity, however the office of emperor struggled in attempting to find great men to lead Rome. The office never truly evolved into something greater than when it had been
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Claudius Marcellus, and M. Vispsanius Agrippa (Stockton, 142-143). In attempting to choose an heir of his blood, Augustus had not chosen the best candidate, but rather a family heir that may not have been as qualified as others. Although Tiberius would prove to be an adequate emperor, the uncertainty of succession after Tiberius’ death would lead to the accession of Caligula to the office of princeps. Caligula ‘s reign was one of “mental and emotional instability, vicious cruelty, incest, ridiculous indecision, and waywardness (Stockton, 143).” With Caligula, the Senate realized the evils the wrong man could do with absolute power, and thus set out to and succeeded in a murder plot of Caligula (Stockton, 143). Despite their success in disposing of Caligula, their plans to retake control of power in Rome failed when the Praetorians placed Claudius into the office of princeps. Rome saw an age of stability with Claudius as princeps, however Nero, the man to succeed Claudius, became overwhelmingly paranoid in the latter years and was responsible for multiple deaths of those around him (Stockton, 145). Nero became the last emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty when he failed to leave an heir.

The Flavian dynasty followed the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and for the most part provided the empire with leaders that would end up restoring some strength into the office of princeps. Such emperors as Vespasian were able to provide

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