Augustus Absolute Power By Any Means Necessary

1003 words - 5 pages

With the death of Julius Caesar, Augustus became the leader of Julius' great conquests, resources, and soldiers. Immense power was his to seize. However, the power came at a cost. At the forefront of his attention, Julius' killers were still loose, sewing seeds of violent oppression to this authority. Combined with this constant fear of revolt, the propaganda of Marc Antony and others further challenged his right to rule. Therefore, for Augustus to command the absolute power bestowed upon him, he must eliminate any threats by any means necessary. This took the form of massacre.
The justification for Augusts' campaign against any threat came from propaganda spread against him and its ...view middle of the document...

As a result, Augustus undertook a legal campaign to prosecute Brutus and Cassius, two assassins of Cesar for murder. Unfortunately for Augustus, he did not command the authority to launch his vendetta. To gain this necessary trait, he ran for tribuneship of the people, even though patricians could not hold the position. Once again, Antony, who was counsel at this time, went above and beyond to impede Augustus' rise and prevent his appointment. This included denying Augustus his legal rights without a heavy bribe. This open defiance will not be forgotten or forgiven. With the help of the optimates of the Senate, Augustus launched an assassination plot against Antony. When the plot failed, Augustus convinced the Senate to grant him praetorian rank and an army to defend the Senate's ally, Decimus Brutus against Antony's attack with the consuls Hirtius and Pansa. This scenario exemplifies Augustus' ability to maneuver through Roman politics to gain the strength to fulfill his dreams.
During the first civil war against Antony, consul Hirtius died in battle while Pansa passed away from his wounds. As a result, Augustus gained central control over Rome's armies. According to Suetonius, this situation may not have occurred without Augustus' nefarious deeds. Pansa's physician Glyco, was later arrested with the charge of poisoning his wounds. Furthermore, Aquilius Niger claimed Augustus murdered the Hirtius during the battle. If one agrees with Niger's claim and "notices" Augustus' hand in the death of Pansa, this situation epitomizes the lengths he will go to claim power. Augustus was willing to kill the leading servants of Rome for his own glory.
After the ending of the first civil war, an alliance between Augustus, Lepidus, and Antony allowed for Augustus to take vengeance against Caesar's killers, Brutus and Cassius. Upon his victory, Augustus exiled the entire population of Nursia and imposed a fine impossible to pay. The reason, he was offended by their statue commemorating their citizens "Fallen in the Cause of Freedom." He would not allow honors to dissenters, and will go to great lengths to punish opposition. This was...

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