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Augustus Caesar Essay, Research Paper
The year 509 BC Rome finally became a Republic
and thus started the Roman empire. As Rome rose to power they went through
many wars and many conflicts between the plebeians and patricians. The
republic was made out of 3 groups, the consuls which were 2 men elected
from the senate, the senate which was made of 300 patricians, and the assembly
made from plebeians. Many years later Rome started to reject the republic
when it went into a series of civil wars. 3 men form the first triumvirate,
Julius Caesar, Pompeii, and Crassus. Julius Caesar became the victor. He
was then rewarded dictator for life. On the date September 23, 63 BC a
boy was born. He was originally Caesar’s grand-nephew. This boy would later
grow to a power and change Rome for good.
Julius Caesar had become dictator for life.
2 years later he was assassinated by members of the senate. A young boy
named Octavian, was 18 years old. Octavian was Caesar’s grand-nephew but
Octavian had always hoped Caesar would take him as a son. Octavian knew
of everything that Caesar had done. From conquering Gaul to when he crossed
the Rublican with his army, and also when he defeated his enemies and became
the most powerful man in Rome. At the age of 14 Octavian had finally met
his great-uncle and hero when he came back from Asia Minor and said the
3 famous words that summed up his victory, “Veni, Vidi, Vici.” Latin for
“I came, I saw, I conquered” In Caesar’s will, Octavian’s dream had finally
come true. Caesar had adopted him as his son. In Caesar’s will he left
his money to a man named Marc Anthony. He was a powerful general at the
time. He was a consul of Rome and successor to Caesar. Octavian knew he
couldn’t just get the money from Anthony. Octavian had no military experience
or political experience. But he was now Julius Caesar’s son.
As Rome once again fell into devastation,
they needed someone who could pull Rome back together and take control.
This led to the second triumvirate. The three men who were running in this
were Lepidus, Octavian, and Marc Anthony. After Lepidus retired from running
for dictator, it left only Octavian and Marc Anthony. As Marc Anthony and
Cleopatra set out to take the throne in Rome, they went to western Rome
in Asia Minor to win battles. Anthony won the battle of Armenia but soon
after returned to Alexandria instead of Rome. When People had wondered
why he had done this Octavian said to the senate “Anthony intends to make
Alexandria, instead of Rome, the capital of the Roman empire. Anthony is
bewitched by Cleopatra. Has he not bestowed upon her provinces which belong
to you, as Romans? Has he not deserted Octavia, his faithful wife, for
that accursed female (Foster 114)?” Anthony started moving his Egyptian
fleet and 200 ships toward a city called Actium. Octavian had a fleet off
400 ships waiting for him, and Octavian soon won the battle. Anthony had
heard that Cleopatra had killed herself, and without thought he killed
himself so he could be with her. Cleopatra though, wasn’t dead. She came
back home to visit Anthony’s tomb. She then went to her own tomb and poisoned
herself. Octavian now stood alone, one ruler who now controlled all of
Rome and now a new Roman province, Egypt.
Octavian now was ruler of Rome. Since he
was Julius Caesar’s adopted son, in January, 27 BC the senate changed his
name from Octavian to Augustus Caesar. From this point on, Pax Romana had
begun. Pax Romana is Latin for Rome in peace. Peace was finally restored
in Rome, And Augustus was the imperator. Imperator later became know as
emperor. Augustus was the first emperor of Rome. The first thing Augustus
did to restore peace was present to Rome a new constitution. This constitution
“transferred the State to the free disposal of the Senate and people (”Augustus”
370).” There were still several civil wars but definitely not as many as
before. He had many military operations continuing in many frontier areas.
By the year 25 BC rebellious Alpine tribes were defeated and destroyed.
In central Asia Minor an area named Galatia was annexed. But a place called
Mauretania was changed from Roman provincial status to a client-kingdom
which had a dependent monarchy. Around the year 23 BC reports of conspiracies
made him feel that new constitutional stops were necessary. He continued
to End all his series of consulships in favor of a power in which disconnected
altogether from office and it’s businesslike inconveniences. This gained
power had raised Augustus to a new level. Augustus had listen to the poor
people and had supported them. He also tended to back the established classes
as the basis of his system. Augustus, around 19 BC, started to witness
some social occasions. He encouraged marriage, regulated penalties for
adultery, and reduce extravagance. In 17 BC there were glorious celebrations
of ancient ritual. This was known as the Secular Games, to filter the Roman
people of their past sins and provide full religious initiation of the
Around the years 16-15 BC, was formed the
beginning of a civil service in Rome. This had never been done before but
was destined to become an essential feature of the imperial system. Around
the same time, a completely reformed administrative structure of Rome,
Italy, and the entire empire was matured. The empire’s financial system
at the time was far more superior to anything else in the entire empire.
This great financial system was based on the central treasury, but the
details of its relationship with the treasuries of the provinces, and most
of all the province of Augustus, are still unsatisfactory understood. Mainly
because, even though the emperor proudly recorded his gifts to the central
treasury, he did not report what funds passed in the opposite direction.
Lepidus, who had lived in retirement for
24 years, died in the year 12 BC. Augustus had succeeded him as the official
head of the Roman religion. Also in this year, in Egypt, became not only
the pharaoh, but a god. A year later Augustus had lost his old advisor
and an outstanding patron of letters. Tiberius, a step-nephew to Augustus,
was elected to share Augustus’ tribunician power in 6 BC. In the year 4
AD, Augustus realized that he had to make Tiberius his heir. So, he adopted
Tiberius as his son. This meant that Tiberius had to adopt Germanicus,
the son of his brother, Drusus. With all this gained power by Tiberius,
it almost made him an equal to Augustus. Augustus now was started to feel
his age, he was no longer the young general of old. Around the year 13
AD, Augustus had to renew his powers for another 10 years. But would he
last for those 10 years? Tiberius was now made equal to Augustus in every
constitutional detail. Augustus deposited his will at the House of the
Vestals in Rome. It contained a summary of the military and financial resources
of the empire. His ingenious political testament known as the “Res Gestae
Divi Augusti” (”Acts of the Divine Augustus”). On August 19, 14 AD, Augustus
Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, had died. On September 13,
the senate had made Augustus a god of the Roman state. By now, Tiberius,
Augustus’ adopted son, became the second emperor of the Roman Empire. Much
like other emperors, Tiberius assumed the designation of “Augustus” in
addition to his own.
Augustus Caesar was not only the first
emperor of Rome, but the greatest. He was one of the great administrative
geniuses of history. He brought Rome from constant civil war into the golden
age of Rome, also known as Pax Romana. And Pax Romana did not end when
he died, it kept going until near the last emperor to carry the name Caesar.
Augustus was remembered through out the entire empire and after. He was
named the father of Rome. He united Rome as one, and still expanded the
empire. But like every empire, sooner or later the great Roman Empire would
fall as well. Many empires would rise and fall, and many revolutionized
the world today, but none would compare to the impact Rome has on the world
1. “Augustus.” Encyclopedia Britannica.
2. Grant, Michael. The World of Rome.
New York: Mentor books, 1960
3. Foster, Genevieve. Augustus Caesar’s
World. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1947.
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