As the Roman Republic matured and defeated its rivals, it began to change. With no outside enemies, restless and ambitious men cynically manipulated or abandoned Rome’s traditional values and institutions. By the 1st century BCE, civil unrest evolved into civil war. Octavian, the great-nephew of the assassinated Julius Caesar, defeated his rival Marc Antony in 31 BCE and took control of the Roman world. As Augustus, he remade Rome and its empire into a stable monarchy in all but name. Mr. Alexander offers us a lively survey of these tumultuous events, and then charts the efforts of Augustus’ successors to maintain the legacy. It’s the story of as dramatic a rise and fall as history has yet produced. Come along for the ride!