By the late summer of 30 BC, ancient Rome had been embroiled in an almost endless, decades-long period of instability and civil war.
Twenty years prior, back in 50 BC, Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great had waged a long, bloody conflict against each other for control of Rome, one that ultimately ended with Caesar's victory… and his subsequent assassination.
With Caesar dead, Rome once again plunged into chaos, resulting in more years of bloodshed and warfare between Marc Antony and Octavian, Caesar's grand-nephew.
By August of 30 BC, Marc Antony had lost the war.
And with Antony and Cleopatra's famous double-suicide, Octavian (who was later known as Augustus) soon became Rome's first emperor.
Romans welcomed the change. They were tired of war and yearned for stability.
And with his victory over Antony and Cleopatra, Augustus began a period of relative peace and stability known as the Pax Romana that would last for more than two centuries.
The benefits to Rome were extraordinary.
Liberated from the burdensome costs of war, Rome's treasury became flush with cash, and the government invested heavily in much-needed repairs and expansion of infrastructure.
Their redeveloped network of aqueducts carried 300 MILLION gallons of water per day into the city from distant reservoirs, a volume that rivals major cities even in our own time.