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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

new age.

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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