When Rome took over from Athens, it found itself to be a bilingual composite; Latin in the West took its place beside Greek, mainly located in the East. Rome then developed a literature of its own while at the same time transmitting Greek culture to future generations. By 100 B.C.E., after conquering Italy and the main areas around the Mediterranean and having considerably augmented its population, the Roman Republic seemed to have reached a state of lasting stability. Yet two civil wars between 88 and 45, and the excessively large role of the army, boded ill for its tranquillity and preluded an imminent disin­tegration. Indeed in 44, having extended the Roman boundaries as far as the Rhine and assumed a kind of perpetual dictatorship, Caesar made no secret of his distrust of the senatorial aristocracy and of his intention of ending the republic. His assassination in the same year led to further troubles until Octavian picked up the pieces of the republic, was declared “Augustus” (“he who rules by divine approval”) by the Sen­ate, and assumed the modest status of “Princeps” (First Citizen), which, in fact, made him “imperator” or supreme chief of the military forces and of the entire estate.
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