Final War of the Roman Republic

The final war of the Roman Republic, also known as Antony’s civil war or the war between Antony and Octavian, was the last of the Roman civil wars of the republic, fought between Cleopatra (assisted by Mark Antony) and Octavian. After the Roman Senate declared war on the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, Antony, her lover and ally, betrayed the Roman government and joined the war on Cleopatra’s side. After the decisive victory for Octavian at the Battle of Actium, Cleopatra and Antony withdrew to Alexandria, where Octavian besieged the city until both Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. The last Republican Civil War would mark the beginning of the Pax Romana, which remains the longest period of peace and stability that Europe has seen in recorded history. Within a month, Octavian was named Pharaoh, and Egypt became his personal possession. Octavian now controlled all of Rome’s provinces and over 78 legions (around 520,000 men in total). Through executing Antony’s supporters, Octavian finally brought a century of civil war to a close. Within a few years, Octavian was named Augustus by the Senate and given unprecedented powers. Octavian, now Augustus, merged the western and eastern halves of the Republic into the Roman Empire with Augustus ruling it as the first Roman emperor. In the ensuing months and years, Augustus passed the series of laws that while outwardly preserving the appearance of the Republic made his position within it of paramount power and authority. He laid the foundations for what is now called the Roman Empire. From then on, the Roman state would be ruled by a Princeps (first citizen), in modern terms, Rome would from now on be ruled by Emperors. The Senate ostensibly still had power and authority over certain Senatorial provinces, however, the critical border provinces, like Syria, Egypt, Gaul, requiring the greatest numbers of legions would be directly ruled by Augustus and the Emperors who succeeded him. With the end of the last Republican civil war, the Republic was replaced by the Empire. Augustus’s reign would usher in a golden era of Roman culture and produce a stability that Rome had not seen in over a century. With Rome in control of the entire Mediterranean world, a peace that would reign in the Roman world for centuries after Augustus’s death: the Pax Romana (Roman Peace). The Empire that Augustus established would last in Western Europe until the fall of Rome in the 5th century AD. The Eastern part of the Roman Empire would also survive as the Byzantine Empire until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. [x]
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