The Roman Empire - In The First Century
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Enemies & Rebels
Enemies and Rebels
The Romans were immensely proud of their empire. Through the Pax Romana, they believed that they were bringing the light of civilization to the darkest corners of Europe and Asia.

They had an unshakeable belief in the fact that Rome was superior to any other country or culture: by conquering foreign peoples, they were doing them a favor.

Founded on force

This may have been comforting, but it wasn’t always true. Although it may have seemed civilized to certain people at certain times, the Roman Empire was built on brute force and military strength. Local inhabitants obeyed Roman rule because the alternative was often too horrible to consider.

Occasionally the civilized appearance of the Roman Empire cracked, exposing the realities of empire underneath. For example, Roman brutality in Britain brought a terrible price. The massive revolt led by Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, killed tens of thousands of Romans and Britons. In Judaea, the massacre of Jews in Jerusalem led to a large-scale rebellion that lasted four years and cost countless lives.

Rivals for power

Even when the Romans were behaving themselves, the very size and wealth of their empire ensured that other people wanted a piece of the action.

In Egypt, home to another vast empire thousands of years earlier, Queen Cleopatra had her eyes on the Roman prize – all she needed was a helping hand, which she found in Marc Antony. He had helped Augustus win the civil war and take the throne. Together, they threatened the very heart of the empire, Rome itself, and only drastic action could remove the threat forever.

Where to next:
Enemies and Rebels - Boudica & Britain
Enemies and Rebels - Cleopatra & Egypt
Enemies and Rebels - Joesphus & Judea
Emperors - Augustus
Religion in Ancient Rome – Jews in Roman Times

Related Links:

Boudica & Britain   Boudica & Britain
Timeline   Timeline
The Roman Empire

Republic to Empire

Age of Augustus

Years of Trial

Empire Reborn


Social Order

Life in Roman Times


Enemies and Rebels
- Cleopatra & Egypt
- Boudica & Britain
- Josephus & Judea


The Roman Empire - In The First Century