Augustus - HISTORY
Similarities Between Caesar and Augustus. While Augustus was Julius Caesar's adoptive son, they shared more in common than just blood. Their family held. Unlike Caesar, one of Rome's military heroes, Augustus was sickly as a young boy. changing his name to Octavian (Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in Latin). He made adultery (when a married person has a sexual relationship with. Did you know? In 8 B.C. Augustus had the Roman month of Sextilius renamed after himself—as his great-uncle and predecessor Julius Caesar had done with.
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. The remaining provinces were to be governed by proconsuls appointed by the Senate in the old republican fashion.
The word augustus was often contrasted with humanus; its adoption as the title representing the new order cleverly indicated, in an extraconstitutional fashion, his superiority over the rest of mankind.
With the aid of writers such as VirgilLivyand Horaceall of whom in their different ways shared the same ideas, he showed his patriotic veneration of the old Italian faith by reviving many of its ceremonials and repairing numerous temples. Military operations continued in many frontier areas. In 25 bce recalcitrant Alpine tribes were reduced, and Galatia central Asia Minor was annexed.
Mauretaniaon the other hand, was transferred from Roman provincial status to that of a client kingdom, for such dependent monarchiesas in the later republic, bore a considerable part of the burden of imperial defense.
Augustus himself visited Gaul and directed part of a campaign in Spain until his health gave out; in 23 bce he fell ill again and seemed on the point of death.
Feeling, amid reports of conspiraciesthat new constitutional steps were necessary, he proceeded to terminate his series of consulships in favour of a power imperium majus that was separated altogether from office and its practical inconveniences. He was also awarded the power of a tribune tribunicia potestas for life. Earlier he had accepted certain privileges of a tribune. The full power he now assumed carried with it practical advantages, notably the right to convene the Senate.
This was, perhaps, needed all the more because Augustus himself—while admittedly supporting the interests of poorer people by a great extension of the right of judicial appeal—tended to back the established classes as the keystone of his system.
Meanwhile Augustus himself traveled in SicilyGreeceand Asia 22— In 19 bce Agrippa completed the subjugation of Spain. In 17 there were resplendent celebrations of ancient ritual, known as the Secular Gamesto purify the Roman people of their past sins and provide full religious inauguration of the new age.
- Augustus Biography
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Although the principate was not an office which could be automatically handed on, Augustus seemed to be indicating his views regarding his ultimate successor when he adopted the two sons of his daughter Julia, boys aged three and one, who were henceforward known as Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar. Proceeding across the Alpsthey annexed Noricum and Raetiacomprising large parts of what are now SwitzerlandAustriaand Bavariaand extended the imperial frontier from Italy to the upper Danube 16—15 bce.
It was probably during these years that an executive, or drafting, committee consilium of the Senate was established in order to help Augustus to prepare senatorial business. His administrative burden was also lightened by the expansion of his own staff knights, who could also now rise to a number of key posts, and freedmen to form the beginnings of a civil servicewhich had never existed before but was destined to become an essential feature of the imperial system.
Gradually, too, a completely reformed administrative structure of RomeItalyand the whole empire was evolved. The financial system that made this possible was evidently far more effective than anything the empire had ever seen until then. The system was based on the central treasury aerariumbut the details of its relationship with the treasuries of the provincesand particularly the provincia of Augustus, are still imperfectly understood, partly because, although the emperor proudly recorded his gifts to the central treasury, he did not report what funds passed in the opposite direction.
The taxation providing these resources apparently included two main direct taxes: There were also indirect taxes, which as in the past were farmed out to contractors because their yield was unpredictable and the embryonic civil service lacked the resources to handle them. The republican customs dues continued; but the rates were low enough not to hamper trade, which, in the peaceful conditions created by Augustus, flourished in wholly unprecedented fashion.
8 Things You May Not Know About Augustus - HISTORY
Industries did not exist on a very large scale, but commerce was greatly stimulated by a sweeping reform and expansion of the Roman coinage.
Gold and silver pieces, their designs reflecting many facets of imperial publicity, were issued in great quantities at a number of widely distributed mints. The Rome mint was reopened for this purpose about 20 bce.
The absence of bronze token coinage, which had been sparse for many decades, was remedied by the creation of abundant mintages in yellow orichalcum and red copper. In the west the principal mint for these pieces, besides Rome, was Lugdunum Lyonwhose coins displayed a view of the Altar of Rome and Augustus that formed a model for other provincial capitals. The Roman citizen colonies of the west, many of them established by Augustus to settle his veterans, supplemented this output by their own local coinages, and in the east, particularly Asia Minor and Syria, numerous Greek cities were also allowed to issue small change.
Expansion of the empire The death in 12 bce of Lepidus enabled Augustus finally to succeed him as the official head of the Roman religionthe chief priest pontifex maximus. In the same year, Agrippa, too, died. Augustus compelled his widow, Julia, to marry Tiberius against both their wishes. During the next three years, however, Tiberius was away in the field, reducing Pannonia up to the middle Danubewhile his brother Drusus crossed the Rhine frontier and invaded Germany as far as the Elbe, where he died in 9 bce.
In the following year, Augustus lost another of his intimatesMaecenaswho had been the adviser of his early days and was an outstanding patron of letters. Augustus kept Rome, while Antony took Egypt.
Trouble in Egypt Romans feared that Cleopatra wanted the throne for herself and his relationship with her made Mark Antony a hated man in Rome. His alliance with Augustus disintegrated but, before Antony and Cleopatra could strike Rome, Augustus attacked.
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. Winning the war had been difficult, but was nothing compared to the challenge of winning the peace. He had divorced his wife and married his pregnant mistress, Livia. Many immediately suspected him of wanting to create a dynasty to rule Rome for generations to come.
The Roman Empire: in the First Century. The Roman Empire. Emperors. Augustus | PBS
But a series of disasters panicked Romans. They became convinced that only he could save them and begged the Senate to vote him absolute ruler. Augustus agreed, but did so cleverly.
He convinced Romans that he was ruling in the best traditions of the republic, but actually was an absolute ruler creating a dynasty. The Romans bought it. Growing older During his reign, Augustus achieved a lot. He expanded the empire, adding Egypt, northern Spain and large parts of central Europe before invading Germany.
His moral conservatism had clashed with the public promiscuity of his daughter, Julia. He was forced to banish her. Despite his successes, the plotting continued. Everything that Augustus had worked so hard to achieve was in danger of collapsing as he faced crisis after crisis, both at home and abroad. Nevertheless, Augustus clung onto power for another 10 years. When he died, in 14 AD, the Senate declared him a god. With his two grandsons already dead, power passed to his stepson, Tiberius.