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Octavian got the Roman Senate to declare war on Egypt and won a decisive victory in the naval battle of Actium in 31 bc. Antony and Cleopatra escaped to Alexandria. The next year Octavian defeated Antony again in Egypt, and Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. Egypt was annexed to Rome, and Octavian returned to Rome in triumph. 46 CHAPTER 4 The Roman Empire T he battle of Actium made Octavian master of Rome and its provinces. He kept up a show of republican government, with himself as first citizen (princeps civitatis).

This was the effective end of Carthage as a military power. Third Punic War Although powerless militarily, the commercial fortunes of Carthage revived significantly during the next 50 years. It was the envy of Rome’s merchant class, aided by friends in the Roman Senate, that brought on the last of the Punic 33 Ancient Rome wars. The determination of some Roman politicians—led by Cato the Censor and his incessant chanting of “Carthage must be destroyed”—produced a seemingly reasonable excuse for war.

Emperors and emperors’ architects succeeding Nero and Severus continued and expanded their work of rebuilding and regularizing Rome. Vespasian (emperor ad 63–79) began the Colosseum, Rome’s largest and most important amphitheater, with seating for about 50,000 spectators. Domitian (81–96) rebuilt the Palatine Hill as a huge palace of vaulted concrete designed by his architect Rabirius. Trajan (97–117) erected the expansive forum that bears his name (designed by his architect Apollodorus) and a huge public bath.

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