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.