The Pax Romana (Roman peace) was a period of peace and stability lasting over 200 years.
The period spanned from the beginning of Augustus Caesar’s reign (27 BC – 14) to the end of Marcus Aurelius’s (161-180).
Augustus and his successors upheld the same vision in order to establish the greatest empire of all time. It was to secure the Roman Empire with law and order.
In the time leading up to Pax Romana, the empire’s borders continually expanded outwards in all directions as the great Roman army appropriated lands in the Balkans, Middle East, North Africa, Gaul, Spain, Germany and Britain. Eventually Roman territory became so large that it caused many difficulties -riots, insurrections and rebellions were rampant throughout the lands.
It would be Augustus who came up with the solutions to these problems, he would usher in an unprecedented era of prosperity and stability later known as Pax Romana.
Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is sometimes credited with the idea of the Pax Romana. He writes:
Notwithstanding the propensity of mankind to exalt the past and to depreciate the present, the tranquil and prosperous state of the empire was warmly felt and honestly confessed by the provincials as well as Romans. ‘They acknowledged that the true principles of the social life, laws, agriculture, and science, which had been first invented by the wisdom of Athens, were now firmly established by the power of Rome, under whose auspicious influence the fiercest barbarians were united by an equal government and common language. They affirmed that, with the improvement of arts, the human species was visibly multiplied. They celebrated the increasing splendor of the cities, the beautiful face of the country, cultivated and adorned like an immense garden; and the long festival of peace, which was enjoyed by so many nations, forgetful of their ancient animosities, and delivered from the apprehension of future danger.
It was during the time of Pax Romana that monumental structures such as Hadrian’s Wall, Nero’s Domus Aurea, the Flavians’ Colosseum and Temple of Peace were built. It was the Silver Age of Latin literature. Roman roads were constructed to connect the empire, and the Julio-Claudian Emperor Claudius established Ostia as a port city for Italy.
To maintain order in the city of Rome, Augustus established a police patrol force, the vigils. And established the praetorian guard to protect the emperor.