After this time I excelled all in influence [auctoritas], although I possessed no more official power [potestas] than others who were my colleagues in the several magistracies. Although it is easy to see through his transparent veil, it is also easy to see how the above statement embodies both the subtly and political delicacy used by Rome's first emperor.
He was only 18 when, against the advice of his stepfather and others, he decided to take up this perilous inheritance and proceeded to Rome. The Senate, encouraged by Cicero, broke with Antony, called upon Octavius for aid granting him the rank of senator in spite of his youthand joined the campaign of Mutina Modena against Antony, who was compelled to withdraw to Gaul.
Today, however, he is habitually described as Octavian until the date when he assumed the designation Augustus. On November 27, 43 bce, the three men were formally given a five-year dictatorial appointment as triumvirs for the reconstitution of the state the Second Triumvirate —the first having been the informal compact between Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caesar.
The east was occupied by Brutus and Cassius, but the triumvirs divided the west among themselves. These ties of kinship did not deter Sextus, after the Perusine War, from making overtures to Antony; but Antony rejected them and reached a fresh understanding with Octavian at the treaty of Brundisium, under the terms of which Octavian was to have the whole west except for Africa, which Lepidus was allowed to keep and Italy, which, though supposedly neutral ground, was in fact controlled by Octavian.
The peoples of the empire were overjoyed by the treaty, which seemed to promise an end to so many years of civil war. In 38 bce Octavian formed a significant new link with the aristocracy by his marriage to Livia Drusilla.
But a reconciliation with Sextus Pompeius proved abortive, and Octavian was soon plunged into serious warfare against him. Antony handed over the ships, but Octavian never sent the troops. The treaty also provided for renewal of the Second Triumvirate for five years, until the end of 33 bce.
Military successes In the following year the balance of power began to change: His deliberate rivalry with Antony for the eventual mastership of the Roman world became increasingly apparent. With the help of Agrippa, he also lavished large sums on the adornment of Rome.
In 32 bce the triumvirate had officially ended, and Octavian, unlike Antony, professed no longer to be employing its powers. Each leader induced the populations under his control to swear formal oaths of allegiance to his own cause.
Then, in spite of grave discontent aroused by his exactions in Italy, Octavian declared war—not against Antony but against Cleopatra.
At the Battle of ActiumAntony tried to extricate his ships in the hope of continuing the fight elsewhere.
Though Cleopatra and then Antony succeeded in getting away, only a quarter of their fleet was able to follow them. Cleopatra and Antony fled to Egypt and committed suicide when Octavian captured the country in the following year.
National Maritime Museum, London. From this point on, by a long and gradual series of tentative, patient measures, he established the Roman principate, a system of government that enabled him to maintain, in all essentials, absolute control.
Gradually reducing his 60 legions to 28, he retained approximatelylegionaries, mostly Italian, and supplemented them by about the same number of auxiliaries drawn from the provinces.
A permanent bodyguard the Praetoriansbased on the bodyguards maintained by earlier generals, was stationed partly in Rome and partly in other Italian towns. A superb network of roads was created to maintain internal order and facilitate trade, and an efficient fleet was organized to police the Mediterranean.
In 28 bce Octavian and Agrippa held a census of the civil populationthe first of three during the reign. They also reduced the Senate from about 1, to later compliant members, and Octavian was appointed its president. Government and administration Remembering, however, that Caesar had been assassinated because of his resort to naked power, Octavian realized that the governing class would welcome him as the terminator of civil war only if he concealed his autocracy beneath provisions avowedly harking back to republican traditions.
At the same time, he was granted a year tenure of an area of government provincia comprising SpainGauland Syriathe three regions containing the bulk of the army.Religious Reforms.
In order to do so, Augustus revived the priesthoods and was appointed as pontifex maximus, which made him both the secular head of the Roman Empire and the religious leader.
He reintroduced past ceremonies and festivals, including the Lustrum ceremony and the Lupercalia festival. A vivid historical account of the social world of Rome as it moved from republic to empire. In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war.
Trade barriers during the time of Augustus 45 Infrastructure 47 Roman Empire and in particular the Roman provinces. Whilst Augustus’ reforms were reforms were rarely implemented with a view to their economic impact (Scullard ) the results were profound.
Augustus’ primary motives for instituting his various reforms. All of these reproduce a vision of Roman empire centered on its inclusivity and universalizing power, and they celebrate the stability and peace brought by Augustus to the provinces.
None is the least bit vexed over the idea that some degree of political freedom may have been lost with the introduction of the Principate. Augustus, also called Augustus Caesar or (until 27 bce) Octavian, original name Gaius Octavius, adopted name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, (born September 23, 63 bce —died August 19, 14 ce, Nola, near Naples [Italy]), first Roman emperor, following the republic, which had been finally destroyed by the dictatorship of Julius Caesar, his great-uncle and adoptive father.
Cleopatra and Marc Antony killed themselves and, finally, the Roman Empire now included the land of the pharaohs.
Local hero Back home, Augustus was a hero.