Augustus: First Emperor of Rome
“I found Rome built of bricks; I leave her clothed in marble.” - Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (cliojournal.wikispaces.com)
Augustus, born Gaius Octavius, also known Augustus Caesar or Octavian, or by his adopted name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, is one the Rome’s most iconic emperors. Born on September 23 in the year 63 B.C., and the great-nephew of Julius Caesar, Augustus ascended to the throne after Caesar’s assassination, he was only nineteen years old.
To secure his rule of Rome, Augustus formed an alliance with the successful and ambitious general Marc Anthony and Lepidus and with them created the Second Triumvirate to hunt down and defeat Brutus and ...view middle of the document...
bbc.co.uk). The emperor’s powers were hidden behind constitutional forms. One thing that did not change was who held the reign of power; Augustus held total control over all aspects of the Roman state, because he had complete control of the armies of Rome. In 27 BC, after he created the principate, the senate bestowed upon him the name of Augustus.
To win the hearts of Romans, Augustus embarked on a massive reconstruction program and reestablishes the old social customs and beliefs. He built and refurbished 82 temples used for worship of the old gods just to show Rome his concerns that Rome was moving away from the traditional beliefs that the Roman Culture was built upon. (Nagle, pg. 333). In additional to the temples, Rome was transformed into one of the most beautiful cities with impressive new buildings. Augustus was a patron to Virgil, Horace and Propertius, the leading poets of the day which he used to help prove his rule, mainly Virgil’s Aenied, which claimed his rule was preordained. (Nagle, pg. 335) Augustus also ensured that his image was promoted throughout his empire by means of statues and coins.
During his reign, Augustus was very successful at expanding the empire. His armies added Egypt, northern Spain, large sections of central Europe, Germany, and parts of northern Africa to Rome. He also established a buffer region of client states around Rome to help secure his borders. He developed a network of roads to improve trade and communications throughout the empire. Augustus went on to establish a standing army, the Praetorian Guard, his personal guards, an official police force, and even a fire fighting service for the city of Rome. He is responsible for ushering in the Roman era called Pax Romana which is...