Roman Imperial era (ca. 27 BCE - 410 CE)
Began with the reforms of Caesar Augustus and ended with the Sack of Rome, although historians debate the exact dates. This era was characterized by the autocracy (absolute power) of the emperors, like Vespasian, who strengthened Rome by patronizing great building projects, such as the Colosseum. On the other hand, other emperors, like Caligula and Nero, weakened Rome by abusing their power for personal gains. It was one of the greatest building booms in the West until modern times, with the emperors able to channel large sums of money to their pet projects for the glory of the Empire and their legacy.