The Roman Empire In the First Century

Season 1 Episode 1

Order from Chaos

Aired Unknown Jul 17, 2001 on PBS
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Episode Summary

Order from Chaos
Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the first century, the ancient world was ruled by Rome. And the Roman Empire was in turmoil. Civil war had engulfed the empire’s capital city. Dictators seized power. The Roman future looked bleak. But under the leadership of Caesar Augustus, the Roman Empire would survive the chaos and rise stronger and more dazzling than ever before. Within a few short years, it would stretch from Britain, across Europe, to Southern Egypt; from North Africa, around the Mediterranean to the Middle East. It would embrace hundreds of languages and religions and would till those diverse cultures into a rich soil from which Western Civilization would grow. Rome would become the world’s first – and most enduring – superpower, spanning continents and epochs. Episode I describes the astonishing rise of Rome; and the astonishing characters -- both famous and uncelebrated -- that fueled its ascendance. Most notably, Caesar Augustus. Born in times of crisis and raised amid civil war, Augustus came to personify the people he led. He was contradictory: at once capable of brutal violence and tender compassion. He was charismatic: Augustus forged the image of Roman grandeur that endures to this day. And he was enormously popular. But those that ran afoul of Augustus often faced tragic consequences: his rivals Marc Antony and Cleopatra; the love poet, Ovid; even his own daughter, Julia. The story of Augustan Rome is the story of greatness at a price.moreless

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