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Augustus Caesar – The Greatest Ruler In The Ancient World

1697 words - 7 pages

In the ancient world, some men were born into greatness while others dedicated their life to becoming great. Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar was part of the latter due to his achievements that set the foundation for an empire devastated by civil war. Despite the turmoil of the Roman Empire after the assassination of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, he led Rome to social, political and economic prosperity and stability. His military tactics marked the beginning of a dynasty that saw a massive expansion of the Roman Empire. Thus, Augustus Caesar’s contributions to the Roman Empire mark him as the most influential ruler of the ancient world specifically due to the success of his social reforms, military expansions, and political innovations marking the beginning of an empire previously overwhelmed by chaos.
Socially, Augustus attempted to revive the traditional religious and moral values of the Roman society. Augustus was known for being a self-proclaimed “Restorer of the Republic”[1] and having been quoted as saying he “found Rome of brick and left it of marble”[2] clearly shows his ultimate goal of reviving Roman traditions and cultural values destroyed by the civil riots. His large scale reconstruction of the buildings and monuments destroyed during the civil war encouraged the survival of Roman art and culture. As a result, he increased the patriotism of the citizens and in the process, he increased his own popularity among the nation; a vital aspect to his long lasting reign. In fact, this was the basis for his introduction of new moral reforms that would restore the citizen’s faith and pride in the Roman Empire. Due to his strong belief in discouraging adultery while increasing the amount of legitimate Roman citizens, “he politically and financially rewarded families with three or more children, especially sons. This incentive stemmed from his belief that there were too few legitimate children born from ‘proper marriages’.”[3] He felt so strongly about his moral reforms in order to bring back the moral values of the past, that when “his moral conservatism had clashed with the public promiscuity of his daughter, Julia, he was forced to banish her.”[4] Religiously, he reintroduced festivals such as the Imperial Cult which worshipped the Emperor as a god ensuring Augustus’ place as the undisputed leader of Rome. In fact, Augustus was so adamant on restoring the Roman religious values that he created a massive system of roads throughout the empire to not only facilitate trade but also to help spread his social and moral reforms throughout his entire Empire. Therefore, Augustus’ impeccable drive to restore the Roman society through rebuilding monuments, encouraging the influence of Roman art and culture as well as the revival of traditional Roman morals and religious values brought social stability to a nation devastated with chaos for the past century. This was the basis for the Pax Romana (Roman Peace) – a period of 200 years of Roman...

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