Ancient Rome

Early Empire

With Augustus, the Roman Empire begins, and so does a 200-year period of peace and stability known as the Pax Romana.

27 B.C.E. - 117 C.E.

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Silver shekel of the Second Jewish Revolt
Silver shekel of the Second Jewish Revolt

Rebellion was not uncommon at the fringes of the Roman Empire, and the people of Judea were no exception.

Portrait of Vespasian
Portrait of Vespasian

In ancient Rome, official portraits were full of political messages. What does Vespasian’s portrait say about him?

Preparations for a Sacrifice
Preparations for a Sacrifice

Animal sacrifice played an important role in ancient Roman religion, but what was involved in the preparation?

Portrait Bust of a Flavian Woman (Fonseca Bust)
Portrait Bust of a Flavian Woman (Fonseca Bust)

Is this delicate female portrait what we think? Take part in a discussion of a masterpiece we know little about.

The art of gem carving
The art of gem carving

Watch a modern artist engrave a precious gemstone using the techniques of the ancients.

<em>The Spoils of Jerusalem</em>, Arch of Titus
The Spoils of Jerusalem, Arch of Titus

The emperor Titus sacked the temple in Jerusalem and looted its most holy treasures.

Column of Trajan
Column of Trajan

Trajan expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest extent, celebrating his victories with this monumental column.

Ara Pacis
Ara Pacis

Augustus is said to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble—this altar symbolizes his golden age.

The Colosseum
The Colosseum

Gladiators, animal hunts, and executions: learn about the Colosseum, a monumental gift to the Roman people.

The Forum and Markets of Trajan
The Forum and Markets of Trajan

Trajan tasked his architect with moving an entire hill to make room for this extravagant public space.

The Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus

At the end of a Roman triumph, the defeated general was murdered. The victim was marched under this triumphal arch.

<em>Gemma Augustea</em>
Gemma Augustea

Even the smallest carvings, seen only by a select few, could carry a strong political message.

Selected Contributors | Early Empire