The golden age of ancient Rome is typically associated with the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BCE – 14 CE). It was a time of great prosperity.
Augustus was born Gaius Octavius into a wealthy family. His great-uncle Julius Caesar adopted him as his son and heir, which gave him the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. When Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE, Octavianus became involved in a power struggle with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus. Lepidus surrendered to Octavianus and committed suicide, while Antony committed suicide after losing at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE.
In 27 BCE Octavianus took power as Rome’s first emperor under the name Augustus (“the divinely favored one”). He ended civil wars between rival factions within the Roman Senate by forcing them to cooperate with one another; he also improved public order by restoring old laws that had been neglected or forgotten during years of civil strife.
The Roman Empire saw a period of relative stability during his rule. Under his leadership, Rome reached its greatest extent, stretching from Spain to Turkey. He established colonies across much of Europe and Africa, as well as in Asia Minor, Arabia, and Armenia. The empire also enjoyed great economic prosperity during this time as well; trade routes were expanded throughout the Mediterranean region and beyond, bringing wealth and prosperity to many regions under Roman control.