Augustus Caesar

Augustus Caesar ReignReign of the first emperor.1 Gaius Octavian Caesar Augustus is considered to be thefirst roman emperor which he ruled for 41 years until his death. He was born on 23 ofSeptember 63 B.

C. and died the 19 of August 14 AD. I believe that Augustus Caesar isone of the best roman emperor that has ever lived.

First of all, he was able to becomethe sole emperor of Rome. Second, he restored the Roman Republic with thegovermental power vested in the Roman Senate.Octavian was able to reach his position as a roman emperor because of his ties to thecurrent Caesar, Julius Caesar.

Julius was his great uncle and favored him at a veryyoung age. In 48 BC, when Octavian was 15 years old, Caesar enrolled Octavius in thepriestly college of the Pontifaces and into the hereditary Patrician class in Rome.Octavius also joined Caesar on a military campaign in Spain on 46 BC.

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Later, Octaviuswas sent by Caesar to Apollonia ,in Greece, to finish his education. During his time inApollonia, Octavius trained with Roman Legions who were stationed there at the time. Itwas during his stay here that he had learned about Caesars assination and that he wasCaesars adopted heir.11 “Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (42 B.

C.-37).” Encyclopedia of World Biography.Thomson Gale, 1998. Academic OneFile.

Web. 18 Nov. 2010.h t t p : / / fi n d . g a l e g r o u p .

c o m / g t x / i n f o m a r k . d o & c o n t e n t S e t = I A C -Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T001&prodId=AONE&docId=A148425829&source=gale&srcprod=AONE&userGroupName=sain91783&version=1.0Octavian was 18 years old and was living in Apollonia when the news of Caesarsassination reached him. His friends and family begged him to stay where he was andthought it best that he renounce his inheritance because the enemies and assassins ofCaesar were very strong. Octavius did not take this advice and immediately announcedhis intentions of going to Rome to claim what was rightly his and to avenge Caesarsdeath.

Octavius displayed his deep understanding of the affairs of the government andhe tried to make friends with the leaders of the Roman army. However, the importantMark Antony and Lepidus both viciously opposed Octaviuss claim to power and foughthim in a battle which they lost. After this first great victory, Octavius was made consuland decided that it would be best for all parties concerned that the three men shouldcome to an understanding with one another to get vengeance on the assassins ofCaesar. The joining of these powers was known as the Second Triumverant and in it theempire was divided as Octavius was to rule the West, Antony the East and LepidusAfrica.

Soon after the initiation of the triumverant, Octavius married a woman namedScribonia for political reasons. Scribonia was the relative of Sextus Pompey (thegrandson of Pompey the Great).The triumvirant had two main goals which were the consolidation of power and tevangeance of the Casesar. In 42 BC the armies of Octavian and Antony met those ofBrutus and Cassius (caesar?s assassins) at Philippi where they were defeated and laterkilled themselves. With the death of these assasins, Octavian and Antony were strongenough to rule without Lepidus and so dropped him from the triumvirant on the groundsthat he was plotting against them. After this, Octavian returned to Rome and Antony2went back to the East. As soon as Octavian returned to Rome he starting planning onwaging a war against Antony. He gathered many rumors and displayed them to theRoman Senate which was force to agree upon waging a war against Egypt.

After theirdefeat both, Antony and Cleopatra comitted suicide. Octavian was now the sole ruler ofthe Roman Empire.2Upon the death of Antony and Cleopatra, Octavius (now Augustus) arrived in Rome andcelebrated a great triumph in which the people hailed him as Imperator.

3Upon hisarrival, the doors of the temple of Janus were closed for the first time in 200 years andpeace had finally been restored to the Roman Empire. Upon his return to Rome,Augustus was given every high office by the senate and was essentially head of all thepolitical and religious affairs of the Empire. After he retired from the Consulship he wasgiven the rights that consuls usually only enjoyed. Also he was made proconsul overcertain provinces and had authority over all provincial governors. Furthermore ,theconsuls were always in command of the Roman army so the proconsul had commandof the provincial army. This meant that Augustus was the head of all the armies in theempire. With all these powers, Augustus was actually in total control of the empire buthe did not want to make the same mistake Caesar did.

To secure his power, he made it32 Harl, Kenneth W. “Actium, Battle of.(Event overview).

” The Readers Companion toMilitary History. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1996. AcademicOneFile. Web. 18 Nov.

2010http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/infomark.do&contentSet=IACDocuments&type=retrieve&tabID=T001&prodId=AONE&docId=A176784586&source=gale&srcprod=AONE&userGroupName=sain91783&version=1.03 The Journal of Roman StudiesVol.

76, (1986), pp. 66-87. Society for the Promotion ofRoman Studies. http://www.

jstor.org/stable/300366look like he was the “representative” of the senate as he had not gained these powersby force but had them given to him by the senate. Augustus took the title Princepsinstead of using emperor or king right out which would have been very dangerous forhim.Augustus started out his lengthy reign by continuing many of the reforms started byJulius Caesar.

One of his first acts was to continue the regulations for the distribution ofcorn begun under Caesar and he also improved the water supply of Rome. Augustusalso instituted a fire brigade and made Romes police force more efficient. His mostfamous civil change ,however, was the institution of the Praetorian Guard who were hispersonal police force and that of most emperors who came after him. This select groupof men numbered 3000 and were stationed all over Italy.Augustus also had an extensive building program which helped to beautify Rome. Someof his more well known building projects were the construction of the Forum ofAugustus, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Theater of Marcellus and the baths ofAgrippa. Also, he rebuilt many roads and temples.Augustus was dedicated to thebeautification of Rome and was recorded to have said of himself “I found Rome a city ofwood and left her a city of marble.

The most important reforms Augustus made involvedhow the provinces would be ruled. The problem was that Rome tried to Rule theprovinces like she ruled herself but what works well with a small city state would notwork well with a vast empire. It is because of this misrule during the last century of therepublic that the provinces had suffered greatly due to wasted land and heavy taxation4to fund Romes many wars.

As well, there had been a great deal of fighting within theprovinces which led to barbarian invasions on the frontier towns.To remedy the problem with the provinces, Augustus first divided them into two classes.In his division, the older provinces were kept under the control of the senate but thenewer provinces or ones which were on the frontiers were put under his control. Thisdivision worked well for Augustus in all ways since the senate had given him somepower in all provinces.He even had power in the provinces ruled by the senate. Thesereforms of Augustus resulted in better and more honest governing of the provincesbecause it was no longer possible for the governors to misgovern them.

Any governorwho did misgovern was responsible to Augustus or the senate and was immediatelycalled to Rome to be punished.Finally, these are the main reaons why I think that Augustus Caesar was one of the bestRoman Emperors, because he managed to rise to be the sole emperor and theaccomplishments he did while he was emperor. This emperor had no matches, howeverfew came close to his doings but without ever overdoing him.5

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