How did the Roman Empire reach its peak? 

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The empire of Rome reached its peak during the Second Century.  The Romans reached the golden age of its existence during a period of time called the Pax Romana, or Roman peace.  This period was made possible by Augustus Caesar (27 BC-14 AD) who was able to centralize power, reform the military, and establish conditions that were favorable for trade.  The focus of the military shifted from expansion to maintenance as large concentrations of soldiers were moved to the frontiers of Rome.    While there were conflicts during the Pax Romana, they did not exhaust the attention or the coffers or Rome.  Important government and bureaucratic institutions were established to enable the large empire to function more efficiently.  The construction of roads during these years was unprecedented and connected all points of the empire for trade and communication.   Another important development along these roads was the introduction of trade with the Far East, which was mutually beneficial.  Ultimately, Rome was able to prosper during the Second Century because of the existence of peace and economic prosperity.

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