Rome had transitioned from a republic, to imperial rule. The previous civil wars left Rome in ruins, but Augustus Caesar repaired Rome, and ushered in a two hundred year period of stability known as Pax Romana, or Roman Peace. During the Pax Romana, Rome would see a series of emperors- some admirable, such as Augustus or Marcus Aurelius, and some wicked, like Caligula and Nero. In the midst of these rulers, a new religious movement known as Christianity was forming, which would ultimately shape Roman history forever. Rome gradually became too large to sustain itself, and eventually collapsed. Political instability, plagues, economic hardships, and constant attacks from barbarians eventually took their toll. The Eastern Roman Empire would survive for another thousand years as the Byzantine Empire, while the Western Roman Empire collapsed, and plunged Western Europe into the Dark Ages.
The rise and fall of Rome would influence Western Civilization as it is known today.