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Caesar Augustus (Octavius) was a Roman emperor who had been in power since 27 BC. He was a grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar, and the board regime, which was established during his reign was called Principate (Woolf, 2012). This emperor had an out standing personality, and he was known for his strength of mind and character that enabled him to become one of the most powerful emperors of the Roman Empire.
Biography Details and Notable Actions
The future ruler of the empire was born on August 23, 63 BC. He was brought up in a family of the senator Gaius Octavius and Julius Caesar’s niece, Atia. He had health problems, which did not allow him to take military service; thus, he engaged in education actively. When Julius Caesar, the uncle of Augustus, came to power in Rome, Octavius became indeed close to him. After his uncle had been killed, Augustus decided to fight for the power. In 31 BC, Octavius won the victory in the civil war (Woolf, 2012). In addition, he and his army won the war with Mark Antony and Cleopatra. This victory allowed him to concentrate all the power in his hands on January 13, 27 BC (Woolf, 2012). Thus, he became one of the first who was able to concentrate military, civil, and priestly authority.
The Roman emperor was firm in his views and always adhered to them both in politics and military affairs. The main principle in military science was the conquest of the territories, whereas in domestic politics he held the strategy of preserving the lasting peace. During Augustus’s reign, the Roman Empire conquered Egypt, the land along the southern bank of the Danube, the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the territory between the Rhine and the Elbe. Moreover, under his powerful leadership, trips to areas such as the Dacia, Ethiopia, and South Arabia were made for the first time (Goldsworthy, 2014). However, the last years of the reign were unstable due to Pannonia, Dalmatia, and the Germans tribes’ uprisings. On August 19, 14 BC, the great emperor died. His body was cremated and placed in a mausoleum.
It is crucial to emphasize that for the first time in the history of Rome propaganda became an important tool for political action. However, the key aspects of Augustus’s action to strengthen the state apparatus was the creation of a stable army, police force, and bureaucracy. Interestingly, many researchers have named this time the golden age of Roman poetry due to the fact that many poets were inspired by the ruler’s personality (Goldsworthy, 2014). Regarding the family life of Augustus, it should be noted that it was rich as well. The Emperor was married three times. His first wife was eleven-year-old Clodia, the stepdaughter of Mark Antony. The second wife was Scribonia with whom they gave birth to their daughter Julia. The third wife of the emperor was Livia. Apart from the natural born daughter, the emperor adopted two children – Drusus and Tiberius.
Contradictions and Interesting Occurrences
Importantly, many scientists argued that Augustus was never the emperor but the princeps of Senate solely. The princeps had no power, but he had unsurpassed authority among the senators. However, the princeps was always the first to hold the speech in the Senate, and the rest of the senators agreed with his opinion (Goldsworthy, 2014). In particular, it was the way Augustus ruled the country according to some researchers. In addition, many scientists emphasized that Jesus was born during the reign of Octavius Augustus. It happened when the emperor started the census.
Caesar Augustus was able to establish the mighty and powerful Roman Empire and ruled it for almost 40 years. In addition to active political position, he had an interesting personal life. Many scholars rightly consider him one of the most significant historical figures as well as a skillful political and military leader.
Goldsworthy, A. (2014). Augustus: First emperor of Rome. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Woolf, G. (2012). Rome: An empire’s story. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.