Augustus Caesar of Rome (Julius Caesar Research Project) May 2014
“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” ~ Augustus Caesar
Augustus was born on the 23rd of September in 63 B.C.E as Gaius Octavius Thurinus 20 miles away from Rome in Velletri, to Atai, Caesar’s niece, and Gaius Octavius. He went by Octavius from his birth in 63 B.C until his adoption in 44 B.C, which then he took up the name of Octavian, and finally in 26 B.C, he went by the name of Augustus, which was conferred onto him by the Roman Senate. The man donned the toga at 16 years of age, and took on responsibilities through the families connections. He went to Hispania (now known as Spain) in 47 B.C to fight alongside his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, but had gotten shipwrecked along the way to him, so he had to go crawl through the enemy territory to reach him. This act impressed Caesar so much, that he decided to name Octavius as his heir and successor in the emperor’s will.
"Augustus." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 7 May 2014. .
Rise to Power
When Augustus had returned to Italy at age 18, he learned through Caesar’s will that he was adopted as Caesar’s son and that he was now his chief personal heir.
He went against his families (mainly his stepfather’s) and others advices, and decided to take up his inheritance, and went to back to Rome to claim his position.
Mark Antony, Caesar’s former chief lieutenant, took control of the heir’s papers and all of his assets, as he believed that he (Antony) would be the heir to the former ruler, but when learning that he was not, the general took the funds given to Augustus from Caesar, and forced him to pay off the debts that the former ruler had gotten, through anyway he could.
The assassins of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, fled to the east and abandoned Augustus, refusing to help him, and Cicero, who was a famous orator in the Roman Senate, hoped to try to make some use of him, but he underestimated the young man’s abilities.
Augustus was later appointed by the senate to be a senator, despite his young age, and under the influence of Cicero, broke off allegiance with Antony, and Cicero supported the new senator. Augustus was also able to win some of the former dictator’s troops’ allegiance by helping in celebrating public games, trying to help integrate him into the cities populous.
He later adopted the name of Gaius Julius Caesar, and with it was able to secure an official recognition as the former leader’s adopted son. Although it was he was able add his family’s name, Octavianus, he chose not to do so, and is usually referred to as Octavian, until he took the designation of Augustus.
Path to Power
“Hasten slowly.” ~Augustus