ROME’S FIRST EMPEROR
*Augustus (Octavian) (63 b.c.-A.D. 14; r. 27 b.c.-A.D. 14): First emperor, successfully beat Mark Anthony, avenged death of great uncle Julius against Brutus and Cassius in battle. Concealed absolute rule with facade of republic's continuance: Princeps, "first citizen." Highly capable ruler, main reason why Rome perceived as talented in governmental administration since Republic often corrupt, incompetent with foreign possessions.
ROMAN RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY:
Paganism: The Olympian gods ceased to be believed in by educated people, and average people seek more emotionally-satisfying mystery cults from the East.
Isis/Serapis/Osiris: Mystery religion from Egypt.
Cybele (The Great Mother) and Attis: Originated in Phrygia, another fertility cult, self-castration ritual.
Mithraism: manly faith (supposedly) from Persia, appealed to Roman soldiers, major rival to Christianity in A.D. 200's.