Roman emperor at the time of Jesus' birth.

Augustus, who was earlier called Octavian, ruled the Roman Empire until his death in 14 C.E. As the adopted son of Julius Caesar, he was designated the heir to the imperial throne. After Caesar’s death in 44 B.C.E., however, three men shared power until Octavian overcame his two rivals and was recognized as sole ruler by the Roman Senate in 27 B.C.E. Under his reign, the Roman Empire expanded its boundaries and enjoyed a period of general prosperity and security. Christ’s birth occurred during this period (Luke 2:1).

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