This article gives background on
Caesar Augustus (B.C. 27 – A.D. 14)
Tiberius Caesar Augustus (A.D. 14-37)
From the conclusion:
It is amazing when one looks at how God can use people, who at first glance seem so distant from Jesus and the Jewish people, to make such crucial things in his plan come about. While we have only looked at two of the twelve emperors that ruled during the New Testament era, we could certainly have looked at more of them and found that they made a notable impact on the events and people in the New Testament. Nero, for instance, is believed to been the one who put Peter and Paul to death and to start a massive persecution against the Christians after he himself burned down a large section of Rome so that he might extend his palace!