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Notes on Augustus (1 Viewer)

bitchgirl

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post some ancient history notes

a) Assess the problems of succession faced by Augustus

Augustus was concerned about the future of Rome after his death from almost the beginning of his reign. Time and again he pinned his hopes on an heir, only to have his plans dissatisfied by the premature and unfortunate deaths of those he wished to succeed him. Death was the largest problem for the princeps, surpassing tribulations with his daughter Julia, the inability for a successor to inherit the principate, the lack of Julian members as possible successors and the fact that he lived such a long life.

It was not a usual part of Roman tradition for influential citizens to pass on political positions and powers to their descendants. However, families encouraged and actively helped their male offspring to reach the political heights. The problem was that everything Augustus had done was by virtue of his personal authority; all the powers, titles and honours bestowed on Augustus were given to him personally and they were not hereditary. So in principle, the senate could select a new princeps at his death and not take into account his choice of a successor. This was a problem for Augustus because he would not be certain if his principate would continue for years to come or cease to exist upon his death.

Augustus “was determined that the imperial power should, if possible, remain in his own household”, meaning he was adamant that only someone of the Julian bloodline should follow him. To this end, he promoted Julians and ignored the Claudians. A problem resulting from this was, due to premature deaths, that there were no longer any possible Julian successors, only those adopted into the Julian family, such as Tiberius and Drusus. The succession would therefore have to involve a citizen outside the Julii family.

One of the problems of succession faced by Augustus was that he lived such a long life. His extremely long life meant that several of his chosen successors died before he did. No one could ever have foreseen the success of Augustus' reign and his long life only went to further create him and his family as the natural rulers in the eyes of the Romans, especially the new generation who would have grown up knowing Rome only under Augustus. This problem was significant as Romans had grown accustom to Augustan rule and now had to face life under another ruler.

Augustus had no sons by either of his wives. His marriage to Livia provided him with two stepsons, Drusus and Tiberius, from Livia’s past marriage. His only natural child was a daughter to his first wife Scribonia, named Julia, so from the outset, the succession presented difficulties. The birth of a daughter created a problem of succession for Augustus as Julia could not inherit her father’s position, as it included honours all reserved for men such as military command, public office and priesthoods, however, her role in the dynastic policies of Augustus would be significant.

Augustus dealt with the problem of his only child being a daughter, through marriage and adoption, which seemed a successful and obvious direction to take. A problem that resulted from this was Augustus’ inability to predict the effect it would have on his daughter, as her marital bed became “a political pawn in the complex dynastic arrangements of the emperor.” Julia was destined to be married to chosen regents and to produce children as heirs for her father. She was forced to marry Marcellus, Agrippa and Tiberius against her will, and as some sources claim, also against their will, especially Tiberius who was forced to divorce his wife Vipsania. These alliances ended with an unfavourable outcome for Augustus. Julia fought back against her father’s marriage plans and “was exiled for involvement with a string of lovers” and for “indulging in every sort of vice.” The problem with the exile of Julia was that it brought an end to the opportunity for Augustus to form alliances with possible successors, which was, inturn, a problem of succession.

Death was a problem of succession faced by Augustus, as several of his chosen heirs suffered premature deaths. “Within the emperor’s family more than one suitable successor to his power could be found.” The main contenders were his nephew Marcellus, a loyal friend Agrippa, his grandsons Gaius and Lucius Caesar, and his stepsons Drusus and Tiberius. Augustus granted his possible successors honours such as making “his sister’s son Marcellus a priest and a curule aedile” and rewarding Agrippa, “a commoner but a first-rate soldier who had helped to win his victories, by the award of two consecutive consulships.”

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was a plebeian of humble origin. He remained a “loyal friend and supporter” until his death in 12 BC. He outwitted Antony to help seal victory at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and was responsible for a large number of constructions in Rome. At first, Agrippa was seen as the obvious successor, especially after Augustus, when he believed himself to lay dying in 23 BC, handed him his signet ring. After recovering from his illness, Augustus “procured for Agrippa an imperium proconsulare over all the imperial provinces, a privilege which appeared to mark him out as the next emperor.” Agrippa was told to divorce his wife and marry the widowed Julia.

There is much debate between sources about whether Agrippa was indeed an heir-apparent. Agrippa was adopted by the princeps, which was seen as an obvious sign towards his accession, but he was a similar age to Augustus and “his ancestry was not sufficiently impressive to allow him to be a future leader of the Augustan Respublica.” His death in 12 BC presented more problems for Augustus because his obvious and popular choice for a successor had passed away.

Augustus adopted Gaius and Lucius Caesar into the imperial family. He was “passionately eager that, even as minors, they should be entitled as princes of youth and have consulships reserved for them.” Unfortunately for Augustus, after Agrippa’s death, both Lucius and Gaius met with premature deaths, unless, according to Tacitus, their stepmother Livia had a secret hand in them. This is not supported by evidence or by any other ancient sources, but is a possibility, as it would have increased the chance of her own son, Tiberius, being claimed as the successor.

Augustus “had his step-sons Tiberius and Nero Drusus hailed publicly as victorious generals.” Tiberius “and his brother Drusus shouldered the military burden of Augustus’ policies in Germany and both were married into the imperial family.” Augustus forced Tiberius “to renounce his wife…in order to become the third husband of Julia; he married Drusus to his niece Antonia.” Drusus died early on, but Tiberius remained a contender for years to come. Tiberius was granted praetorian rank in 19 BC, received tribunician power for five years in 6 BC and was eventually adopted by Augustus when he was the only possible successor remaining, “the two heirs apparent were dead, and once again Augustus’ plans had been brought to nought. He therefore turned again, though with reluctance, to his stepson Tiberius.

Upon the death of Agrippa, Augustus realised that should he himself die, the two young boys, Gaius and Lucius, would be left without a guardian. Augustus had to turn to Livia's two adult sons. He made Tiberius, the elder son, divorce his wife Vipsania and marry Julia, to become protector of the young princes. The marriage went ahead in 11 BC, but Tiberius strongly resented Augustus' demands because, as sources claim, he deeply loved Vipsania and the marriage to Julia occurred “much against his will.”

In AD 4 Tiberius “was adopted as a son of the princeps.” Augustus somewhat reluctantly adopted the equally reluctant forty-four-year-old Tiberius, together with the fifteen-year-old Agrippa Postumus, the youngest son of Agrippa and Julia. Postumus, however, soon turned out to be violent and nasty and was sent into exile only three years later. The adoption seemed to solve Augustus’ succession problems as “his adoption shows that he was the immediate political heir.”

A problem with the possible successor Tiberius, was that, even though “by age, experience and by possession of power (he) was the obvious candidate…he was a man of fifty-five, the best years of his life behind him.” This would have worried Augustus because Tiberius would not be able to carry the Principate on much longer due to his age. The problem was not dealt with and his age was overlooked because as “many said at the time for Augustus the adoption of Tiberius was a last resort.”

It is generally assumed that Augustus was not fond of Tiberius due to the animosity of the Tacitus accounts, but evidence from Suetonius contradicts this opinion. Augustus “had often referred to him as an outstanding general and the only one capable of defending Rome against her enemies.”

The problems of succession faced by Augustus were numerous and significant. Not all predicaments were resolved, but “by a chapter of accidents the tangle of the succession had been straightened out.” The problems of succession eventually dissolved away upon Augustus’ death with Tiberius becoming the first emperor.
 

bitchgirl

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Augustus, the first princeps of Rome established his power through the monopolisation of the armies. Michael Grant said astutely the Augustus ruled with “an iron fist inside a velvet glove”, he did this through the use of propaganda and political manipulation. This saw Augustus being granted many positions of power at the same time, which saw that his influence went beyond the powers that he held. These enabled him to make political, moral and religious reforms; and reorganise financial affairs without question. By reinforcing the traditional values of Rome, most Romans felt Augustus had returned republican ways. All of these aspects contributed to Augustus consolidating and strengthening his regime.

Augustus with Agrippa, his trusted general, composed an army that defeated Antony in the Battle of Actium, in 31BC. Augustus now had a monopoly of military power. With the army nearing 60 legions, Augustus found it necessary to disband some members, by 27BC the number was down to twenty-eight. The veterans were paid a pension in full when they left and given land in Italy and the provinces. This ensured that Augustus still had their loyalty, and also that if unrest occurred where they were Augustus would be informed. With himself still at the head of the army, he kept the members strong, and well trained. During the expansion of the empire in Germania, three legions were lost. These legions were never replaced this suggests that Augustus knew that the army was large, and quite possibly, that the expansion of the empire under Augustus had been completed

These powers of triumvir and consul, continued until 27BC, where it is believed that Augustus had consulted with friends and supporters before the renouncement of his powers. “I transferred the republic from my power to that domination of the senate and the people of Rome”. It appears that Augustus already knew that the senate depended on him, as he was the founder of the Roman peace, where he brought an end to a “period of confusion, unrest, civil strife, and family violence”. After this declaration the senate conferred upon him proconsular imperium, and he still continued to be elected consul every year. Augustus seemed to have claimed a right to override other proconsuls in provinces other than his own. In 23Bc Augustus resigned the consulship for two reasons the first being that he fell very ill and was almost on the brink of dying. The second being that a serious conspiracy was lead agist him by Fannius Caepio and Varro Murena. This highlighted the senatorial resentment of Augustus’ continuing consulships, which would have limited their ambitions. However Augustus was compensated for the loss of the consulship. His proconsular imperium was seen as maius (superior), and he was also bequeathed tribunician potestas. As Augustus’ imperium did not apply in Italy itself he was offered consular imperium, this would give him control of the praetorian guards, and also the urban cohorts. With the control of the military forces in Italy he kept his monopolisation on its power.

“Augustus seems to have regarded the Roman plebs with the same contemptuous indulgence as he did most upper class Romans” and to ensure that the Roman plebs kept loyal to him Augustus gave the grain and cash donations, and also consistent employment with his extensive building program. It is interesting to note that the donations of Augustus seemed to correspond to politically important events in his reign. For example donations in 23BC seem to coincide with his changed constitutional position. Through the plebs did not seem to notice the gradual loss of the right to pass legislation

In the Res Gestae, Augustus writes “The dictatorship was offered to me by the senate and the people in my absence…but I refused it…At the time of this the consulship was offered to me to be held for the rest of my life but I refused it”. This shows that Augustus was fully aware of the mistakes of Julius Caesar, and therefore with the declination of these powers shows that his rise to the top was a cautious one.

In 28BC Augustus was named princeps senatus, therefore placing him at the head of the senate, demonstrating the extent of his auctoritas, also showing that he rules the senate by influence rather than control. In 12Bc on the death of Lepidus, Augustus assumed the role of pontifex maximus, chief of religion this gave him indirect control of judicial and political procedures. In 2BC, Augustus was given the title Pater Patriae, father of the country; Augustus regarded this as the pinnacle of his career. From these powers it is easy to see why Augustus’ influence went beyond his formal powers, this would be because he held all of these powers at the same time. Other men did hold these powers, but none of them held them at the same time. All of Augustus’ titles were not suitable for everyday use, and the term princeps was adopted, meaning the leading man of Rome. He avoided offending the senate and people, as he did not advertise his supremacy and worked within republican forms as much as possible, so he used the term princeps.

Augustus’ political reforms included his restoration of dignity to the senate. This happened numerous ways. The main way was through the revision of senatorial rolls. During the first revision Augustus expelled 150 senators, and another 50 senators left of their own accord. The revision of the rolls shows that Augustus’ auctoritas allowed him to directly rule the senate without causing offence.

With the senate being down to only 800 members now, this was still to many, Augustus was after a reasonable number of about 300, this number reflected Augustus’ conservative view, and also 300 would be republican tradition. One of the actions made senators accept Augustus, and also convince them that he was a honourable person, was helping senators out of financial burdens that had occurred. Another revision of the senatorial roll, Augustus allowed senators to select members who they thought were unsuitable to be in the senate. When Augustus detected corruption, his did this himself, and another 200 senators were expelled. The number was down to 600, twice that of what Augustus were trying to achieve. Augustus settled for 600 members in the senate to avoid offending the senate by ejecting another 300. He placed restrictions on senators including that they had to ask for permission to leave Italy, and meeting were changed to once a month. A senate committee was formed; this committee was in charge of preparing business to be presented at meetings. This committee had Augustus, the consuls, and one magistrate from each of the colleges, and 15 senators elected by lot. Seen the senate committee had Augustus on it, Augustus always approved business that was prepared there, and therefore only the business Augustus wanted was presented to the senate. The significance of these changes shows that Augustus was really the head of the Senate.

Augustus being a conservative man tried to improve morality with in Rome itself. He had noticed that the morality of the upper class was declining. If the upper class could not abide by proper morals, the rest of Rome wouldn’t either. Marriages were now being taken very lightly; adultery was becoming fashionable; and divorce common. People remained unmarried; those married did not take on the responsibilities of children. By this time Augustus deemed it necessary to introduce sumptuary laws when it was realised people were becoming self indulgent and obsessive of material comforts. With the introduction of these laws he hoped to raise general morality of Rome, and this was supplemented with his religious policy.

In 18BC Augustus initiated the Julian Laws. These laws constituted a new code for “they made provision for criminal law and legal procedure, as well as moral reforms”. With these laws in place, Augustus and his family therefore would have to become a model for these standards. Augustus himself was a complete contradiction of his laws as he was married three times. Even though he was a loyal and devoted husband to his third wife Livia from 36BC – AD14. His daughter Julia rebelled against this standard that the Julian family hoped to maintain. Julia was known widely for her sexual immorality. Augustus feeling the shame brought upon him, found it essential that he must set and example of her, she was banished to an island, where she was allowed no wine, no luxury, and no male company. These laws also placed disabilities upon unmarried and childless persons. This involved great opposition but these laws proved very ineffective as the fact the two consuls, Papius and Poppaeus proposed the changes to the Julian Laws in AD9. These consuls themselves were unmarried.

With these attempts to end of the moral vacuum it was necessary to proceed with a revival of religious rite. Augustus in particular promoted the traditional gods of Venus, Mars, Apollo and Jupiter. These gods were promoted as they had Julian links, which gave him prestige, and also by promoting these gods, it promotes republican ways of family values and virtues. This promotion won over the conservative people of Rome. In 17 BC the Secular games began, this was a mark of the beginnings of the golden age. This was the greatest religious festival celebrated in Augustus’ reign. It acclaimed the restoration of peace prosperity, and traditional values of Rome. Augustus’ adoptive father, Julius Caesar had been deified, and therefore her could proclaim himself as a son of a deified one.

Already in the east temples had been erected to worship Augustus as a god but this come out of loyalty and respect to Rome, not out of devotion. Augustus could see the need for a common practice was necessary after all it would unite the provinces in the loyalty of Rome. However, already being seen as a god in the east would not condone the worship of him in the west and Italy. So with a compromise he combined eastern worship for a ruler and the Roman reverence for a dead ancestors. Augustus quite legitimately suggests that the fortunes of the imperial house were closely related to the state. Thus forming the new cult of Rome and Augustus. To become a priest of this cult it was great honour. Problems still arose even with this cult, Romans in the provinces would only worship Rome and the defied Julius and in Italy he couldn’t condone the worship of himself. Cults of Genius Augusti were developed and associated with the worship of Lares; this fixed the problem in Italy. Augustus had now secured a place among the gods gods, and would be deified after death. Augustus was also head of religion after the death of Lepidus in 12BC. These new reforms show that Augustus established a new religion, and maintained a sense of republican morality.

Control of the states finances had been in the control of the senate but after the civil wars it was in chaos. It was bankrupt and with no system to trace where the money had been spent. Augustus needed to develop a new systematic regulation of revenue; in whish he had direct and indirect control of the treasury. Augustus control over the state came not only from the use of public money but also from his own pocket. In the Res Gestae refers to times where he used his own money “four times I helped the senatorial treasury” With all of this money he was able to provide for military veterans, give out grain, and provide public shows and spectacles, and also commence an extensive building program. All of the Augustus’ generosity allowed him to be held in high esteem from the people of Rome. With this satisfaction he was able to establish and maintain his power.

New methods of taxation were created for the necessary demand of this new revenue. Taxes were placed on the manumission of slaves, inheritance, sales, and also customs, In Augustus’ reorganisation he produced annual statements that showed a balance sheet showing imperial spending, conducting through censuses of Rome and the empire, and the minting of coins happened in two different places. Augustus was in charge of minting the gold and silver coins, whilst the senate was in charge of minting bronze and copper, these coins reflected Augustus policies. The main changes were to the treasury. It was spilt, the public treasury in theory held all tax money collected and was supervised by praetors; the military treasury was instituted by Augustus for the provision of veteran’s pensions. The fisci were basically provincial chests, in which Augustus used as his own. With the establishment of Augustus new systematic regulation of revenue, he was able maintain direct and indirect control.

Most Romans felt that Augustus had restored Republican ways; his social and moral; and religious reforms gave this view. The people of Rome finally knew that Augustus’ changes were not for the benefit of Rome but for the establishment of an imperial dynasty. This came with the succession of Augustus stepson, Tiberius, on the death of the Augustus in AD14.

Augustus’ establishment power, authority and popularity came through his auctoritas, military monopolisation, constitutional changes, and propaganda. The reforms, reorganisation and restoration promoted efficiency, justice, old virtues, security, prosperity and prestige. This led to the success in maintaining the new order - the principate.
 

bitchgirl

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After the Second Settlement, Augustus certainly excelled in all influence, however, the claim that his official power was no greater than that of his colleagues is inaccurate. In actuality, by 23BC, (Second Settlement), Augustus is in complete control of all affairs in Rome. This means that his power and authority is supreme. His supremacy is primarily due to his accumulation of power before the Second Settlement. Augustus’s statement in Res Gestae 34 is therefore an inadequate assessment of the basis of his rule.

In the years leading up to the second settlement, Octavian/Augustus continually increases his titles, and thus power, within the empire. Because he does not surrender the influence he already had when a new position is obtained, as he collects titles, authority is also being accumulated.

Octavian’s introduction to political leadership arose after the assassination of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, in 44BC. Octavian was nominated as the heir of Caesar. At this point in time, the army was loyal to their general. Octavian paid all of Caesar’s armed forces to transfer their loyalties over to him. With their assistance, he overthrew Antony, who had tried to assume the leadership of the Caesarian party. After Antony had been defeated, Octavian, Lepidus and Antony formed an alliance called the triumvirate. This was effectively the power of a dictator, shared between three people. In the early days of the triumvirate, the administration of the empire was shared between the three men. Octavian received Italy, Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia. In 42BC the triumvirate avenged the death of Caesar, by defeating Brutus and Cassius, who were the conspirators behind the assassination. In 37BC the tribunican power was renewed. One year later, in 36BC, Octavian was awarded tribunican sacrosanctity, an honour that made him indestructible inside of Rome. At this point in time, Lepidus was eliminated from the triumvirate, and was not replaced. This left the empire in the hands of Octavian and Antony, who retained their triumviral power.

In 33BC the senators, the Italian Municipalities, and the Western provinces swore their oath of allegiance to Octavian. This provided him with supreme auctoritas (This is respect for an individual that leads to extreme influence.) During this time period, Antony was spending significant amounts of time in the provinces, and had begun a relationship with Cleopatra, fathering children to her. Octavian used Antony’s relationship with Cleopatra to begin a civil war against him, and thus eliminate any competition for the leadership of Rome. Octavian successfully convinced the Roman citizens that Antony and Cleopatra were guilty of Oriental Despotism, and was credited with saving the empire when he defeated them at the battle of Actium in 31BC.

With Lepidus eliminated, and Antony dead, Octavian alone now had the triumviral power. This was not removed from him, giving Augustus the power of a dictator, or a monarch. This tribunican power, in conjunction with Octavian’s auctoritas and his military support, made him an extremely powerful man inside the empire even before the second settlement.

In 31BC Octavian was awarded the consulship. This gave him the ability to command an army, conduct elections, preside over the senate, and implement decisions. This position also grants him imperium, which is supreme administrative power. At this point in time, Octavian holds the consulship, tribunican sacrosanctity, and tribunican power. He also has control of a great number of armed forces, and has supreme auctoritas. There are two consuls elected each year. Although Octavian and his counterpart are equal in title, in actuality and practise, due to his cumulation of positions Octavian is far superior in power. He has the imperium related to consulship, the loyalty of the senate, the Italian municipalities, and the Western provinces, is indestructible within Rome, maintains the tribunican dictatorial power, is credited as being the saviour of Rome and the avenger of Caesar’s death, maintains control of a large percentage of the armed forces, and has supreme auctoritas. His counterpart possesses only those honours and powers that are affiliated with the consulship. Thus, while Augustus and his counterpart have the same title, their powers are vastly different. Already, even before the Second Settlement, it is evident that Octavian possesses power greater than that of his colleagues.

Octavian had captured great wealth from Egypt after the battle of Actium. He distributed this money to the plebes urbana, who were the lower class city citizens. He provided entertainment for the people, and embarked on a building and public works program. This gained him popularity within Rome, and increased his dignitas. (Dignitas is dignity, or a measure of respect.)

A large number of the armed forces is demobilized, reducing troop numbers from sixty down to twenty-eight. Twenty-eight was a much more manageable number. During this reduction, one hundred thousand veterans were settled. This meant that Octavian provided them with land and finances. This project also served the purpose of increasing Octavian’s dignitas.

In the year that Octavian and Agrippa were consuls (28BC) they were granted censoria potestas. This is the right to take census, and to reduce the senate. They use this position to completely reorganise the senate, allowing two hundred senators to be expelled. With the ability to reorganise the senate, Octavian now has the ability to remove any senators left that may oppose his views or policies. Octavian is also awarded with the position of princeps senatus, meaning that he is the leading member of the senate. This means that he speaks first in the senate house. Combined with his auctoritas, this is an extremely useful position for Octavian, because it means that people will always hear his opinion first, and the people always agree with him, simply because of his auctoritas. The position of princeps senatus later becomes equated with the position of emperor.

Somewhere in the time period between 33BC and 27BC Octavian loses or surrenders the triumviral power. This means that the only position giving Octavian any power or authority inside the empire is his consulship, which he maintains from 31BC until 27BC.

In a meeting of the Senate on January 13 in 27BC, (Commonly known as the first settlement,) Octavian renounced all his powers, and returned them to the state of Rome. This renunciation was greeted with despair by the Roman people, and at their insistence, Octavian took on the proconsular responsibility of a large provincial area, containing Spain and Gaul. Three days later, the senate bestowed more honours upon him, decorating his doorposts with laurels. A golden shield was established in the senate house, and Octavian was given the name Augustus, which had religious connotations. These three honours greatly contributed to the dignitas and auctoritas of Augustus. As a result of the new proconsular position that Augustus held, he administered the provinces in which the military was based, while the senate administered the more peaceful provinces. Augustus now held imperium in the provinces, but this ended the moment he stepped inside the city of Rome. Augustus chose to control his provinces with legati. (These were men Augustus had chosen himself. They were loyal to him, and not to the senate, and he paid them well.) There were twenty legions within Augustus’ provinces, with only twenty-eight existing throughout the entire empire. This gave Augustus extreme power, as he had the majority of the armed forces behind him. At the first settlement, Augustus is also given the title princeps, meaning first citizen. He continues to be consul as well. This means that Augustus has imperium both inside the city of Rome and outside it. In effect, he has power within most of the empire, so long as he maintains his positions as consul and proconsul. Again, here is an example of Augustus’ title being the same as that of his counterpart, but his position and his actual power being significantly different. While Augustus maintains his proconsul position, there are three other proconsuls within the empire. Each of these is responsible for the administration of particular provinces. On the surface, this is Augustus’ position as well. But because the provinces that Augustus administers contain the majority of the legions, in effect, this gives Augustus a far more substantial amount of military power than his colleagues. The fact that he holds both consulship and proconsulship in conjunction with each other also indicates that he is more powerful than his four colleagues, each of whom hold only one of the two positions.

Between 27BC and 23BC, when Augustus holds both consulship and proconsulship, he spends the majority of his time in the provinces. This was done for two reasons- to establish himself as a leader in the provinces, and also to distance himself from Rome. Some members of the senate resented Augustus because he had maintained his position of consulship for so many consecutive years. They felt that he was blocking their pathway for promotion in the cursus honorum. (This was the promotional system within the senate.) The other significant event in this period of time was that Augustus became seriously ill.

By 27BC it was clear that Augustus needed to make a fresh start. On the 1st of July (Commonly recognised as the second settlement) he resigned his consulship. This resignation had obvious advantages. It would release the position of consul to another aspiring senator, thus relieving the tension that had accumulated, and it would mean that Augustus was no longer occupied with menial administrative tasks. In compensation for the loss of consulship, Augustus was given maius imperium proconsularae. This meant that the proconsular imperium that he exhibited in the provinces would also be recognised in Rome, thus giving him power and imperium within the city. This was an unprecedented honour. In conjunction with this, Augustus was also awarded tribunicia potestas. This role made him the “tribune of the people” and allowed him to summon and consult the senate. Other consuls and magistrates generally took precedence over tribunes, so Augustus was offered another additional right, ius primae relationis, which gave him the right to bring forward the first motion at any meeting.

It was the maius imperium proconsularae and the tribunicia potestas that formed the basis of Augustus’ constitutional power throughout his principate. Because these two powers were given to him alone, Augustus is not justified in claiming that he possesses no more official power than his colleague who also held magistracies. In practice, with the powers he has been given, Augustus has control of twenty of the twenty-eight legions, giving him supreme military power because of his proconsulship. He has imperium both within Rome and outside it, giving him administrative power over the entire empire, due to his maius imperium proconsularae. Tribunicia potestas gives him senatorial influence, and his ius primarae rleationis allows him to speak first, thus giving him the opportunity to present his ideas first. His military control and auctoritas ensured that his ideas and policies were almost always implemented. Augustus also maintains his position of princeps senatus, which makes him the leading citizen in the senate. With tribunicia potestas and ius primarae relationis, Augustus is extremely powerful within the senate.

Overall, Augustus has an extreme amount of power within the entire empire. All of his positions are awarded to him by the senate, and are thus recognized as being constitutional powers. Perhaps if Augustus held just one position he would be able to claim that his “Official power was no greater than that of his colleagues in the magistracies.” As it was, Augustus held several positions in conjunction with each other, was given several powers that had previously not existed, and was virtually in control of the entire empire. His auctoritas and military control gave him exceptional influence, while his imperium gave him extreme constitutional power. While he is accurate and justified in claiming that he “excelled in all influence” It is certainly inaccurate to claim that his power was equal to that of his colleagues.

Propaganda:
- Augustus used propaganda to keep the people happy, and maintain the concept that the republic was still in existence. He did this by installing statues of 28 noble republican Romans in his forum, and adding himself on at the end, making him appear as a continuation of the line. Vitellius states that "the pristine form of the republic was recalled as old" indicating his success in this area.
- Although pax romana was primarily a reform, it became a powerful propaganda tool because it made the people extremely happy. Augustus thus played on this, and demonstrated this peace in tangible/visible ways... such as closing the doors to the temple of Janus. (God of war) Horace states that "a god brought us this peace."
- The tenple to Mars Ultor was a good example of building propaganda. Mars was known as the avnger, and by building a temple to him within his forum, Augsutus was reminding the people of how he had avenged the death of Julius Caesar.
- The res gestae is a literary example... It highlights all the wonderful things Augustus has done.
Propaganda does not politically assist Augustus in the maintenance of his position, but it serves to keep the people happy, which prevents uproar. It also increases his auctoritas, which is the primary reason that people do what he asks them to.

Senatorial decree:
- Augustus ensures that all his power is officially handed to him by the senate.
- this occurs at the first and second settlements. The senate virtually gives Augustus the power of a dictator. The formation of the Senatorial Standing Committee is important here, because it aloows Augustus to test the watres of the senate before he suggests any new policies, etc. It is especially important before the escond settlement, because Augustus can go into the second settlement with a fair amount of confidence that he will receive more positions than those he is surrendering. Thus manipulation of the senate also becomes important... and remember that he has already held census, and eliminated all those who may have opposed him.

Keeping the people happy:
- Tacitus states that Augutus' "Cheap food policy was successful bait for civilians."
- maintaining the facade of the republic.
- Pax romana.
- Games. Juvanal states that the people require "panem et circenses" (Bread and games)

Efficient and smooth administration:
- The establishment of the equestrian class is important, because they were extremely efficient in administration. this meant that the empire was running more smoothly than when the senatorial class were in charge of administration. The senators were also pleased because they no longer had to do the work...
- you could also talk about reforms under this heading if you have time... building, religious, social, moral, etc.

Auctoritas:
- this is probably the key concept in his maintenance of power, because it is the single "power"(For want of a better word) that he uses to get people to do what he wants them to. He very rarely has to use force, he just uses influence.

Gaining the position:

- the first and second settlements. A brief discussion on what each power was, and what it meant for him.
- tribunicia potestas is important, because it makes him the "tribune of thepeople' This was an honour that was previously only awarded to the plebeain class. he recognised its importance with the people, and numbered the years of his reign by the years of his tribunician powers.
- MIP gives him power in all the provinces, which means that he effectively has control of ALL the armed forces- the twenty stationed in his own provinces AND the eight stationed in the senatorial provinces, which he now has the ability to interfere with.
 

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Account For The Formation and Breakdown of the First Triumvirate.

The First Triumvirate was formed in 60 BC by Pompey, Caesar and Crassus. It was a political coalition but a secret arrangement between three men who were never officially recognized as triumvirs. It was cemented by political marriages of Pompey to Caesar’s daughter, Julia. It was to operate for five years and all three participants would gain from the coalition. The First Triumvirate was opposed by the Senate under the leadership of cato. It was not an easy coalition but rather, one which suffered many hiccups resulting in a renewal of the agreement at Luca in 56 BC. However, with the death of Julia in 54 BC and Crassus in 53 BC, the agreement began to falter. The First Triumvirate ended in 53 BC, resulting in civil war between Pompey and Caesar.

The First Triumvirate (60 - 54 bc) was composed of Caesar, Pompey and Crassus. When Crassus died after the battle of Carrhae civil war broke out between Caesar and Pompey for control of Rome. In 49 bc, the senate, backing Pompey, ordered Caesar to disband his army and give up his province of Gaul. Instead of giving up, Caesar crossed the Rubicon river setting off a civil war. After a five year struggle across many battlefields, Caesar defeated his enemies and was sole ruler of Rome.

Each of the three triumvirs had wanted something and hence had formed the First Triumvirate. In actual fact they were all jealous of each other. They only joined forces because each realised that they could not achieve their aims individually because of the Senate’s power and men such as Catulus, Cato and Cicero. Hence their alliance was secret. Their aim was to elect Caesar to the consulship for 59 BC. He would be able to ensure their proposals were passed with the support of Pompey’s veterans, Crassus’s equites and the Roman people.
Both Pompey & Crassus had been Sulla's Lieutenants, once they were elected to the consulship they proceeded to destroy what was left of his constitution.

The 'First Triumvirate', as the political amicitia between Caesar, Pompey and Crassusis commonly called, was unmasked at the beginning of 59, when Caesar entered upon his first consulship.(Plutarch comments that: The first diaster and the worst had been, not the quarrel and split
between Caesar and Pompey, but the friendship and harmony that had existed between them.)Although the 2 were not friends, they both wanted the consulship for 70 and so sometimes in 71 they agreed to campaign together.
For Crassus this was obviously the next step in his career, as he had held the praetorship (73) and propraetorship (72-1) Pompey was 7 years too young. He had never held any magistracy & was not even a senator. At the end of their consulship neither Pompey nor Crassus took up the took up the usual provincials. Possibly because the proconsular commands available did not offer sufficient opportunity to enhance their reputations.plutarch says that "crassus now went back to the way of life which he had adopted from the beginning of his career, while Pompey in retirement stressed his availability for one of the commands against the two most serious threats to Rome at this time- the pirate menace in the Mediterranan & Mithridates of Pontus"

In 60 BC Pompey was squabbling with the senate. He was 46 years old, of an equestrian background and was extremely ambitious with a very good reputation as both a general and politician. In 62 BC, as general, he had returned from fighting King Mithridates in the East. Not only had he returned as a very wealthy man but he had eight legions which were devoted to him. He was the most powerful man in Rome. Due to his immense popularity with the Roman people, he was regarded with suspicion by the Optimates. The Senate subsequently refused not only to ratify his Eastern Settlements, nor grant land to his veteran soldiers, they also would not give Pompey any more commands.
The optimates propose Pompey as sole-consul, it was also expected that once Pompey had dealt with the emergency he would arrange for the election of a colleague, making the return to normal government easier.
Pompey's sole consulship was another in the series of extraodinary positions held by Pompey during his career. Despite the fact that a ten-year interval as normally required between consulships, it was only three years since his previous one.
once in office, he proceeded to pass 3 pieces of legislation, 2 of which were important for his future relations with Caesar :
A law against public violence
A law stipulating a 5 year interval between urban magistracies and provincial commands.
A law demanding that candidates must appear in person at elections.


Cato, a conservative member of the nobility and the leader of the Optimates faction in the Senate, encouraged this situation for the next two years. At this time, the Senate, decided to foster as general, an up and coming young patrician Caesar, so that Pompey would not have as much power. Pompey was not the only general who had grievances against the Senate.
Caesar, as well as one of the Optimates, Crassus, was in the same position.
It was a politically expedient, for Pompey to enter into an alliance with Caesar and Crassus, who both had grievances against the Senate.

Caesar, like Pompey, was squabbling with the Senate in 60 BC. He was 40 years old. His parents were from two very important noble Roman families. As governor of Further Spain in 61 BC, he had gained several military victories and had accumulated enough money to get out of the massive debts he had incurred so far in his political career. Before arriving back in Rome in 60 BC, he asked the Senate to grant him a triumph to celebrate his successes. Caesar also desperately wanted the consulship of 59 BC. However, in order to be able to stand for election, he had to stand as a civilian. This meant that he could not enter Rome with an army that he would have to do if he were to celebrate his triumph. Because of the timing of the elections he did not have time to do both and he therefore asked the Senate to he able to stand for the consulship in absentia. The Senate refused to agree to this and he was forced to give up the idea of having a triumph. Caesar, like Pompey, was very popular with the Roman people. In 63 BC he had been elected as pontifex maximus that gave his great prestige in Rome.
Marcus Licinius Crassus was also squabbling with the Senate in 60 BC. He was 55 years old. He was an extremely wealthy banker from an old Roman noble family. His wealth had been accumulated during his political career. It came from a number of sources. He had been able to buy many properties during the proscriptions in the time of Sulla, he owned many silver mines, lent money to aspiring politicians, and was involved in many commercial undertakings including tax collection. He was therefore very popular with the business community in Rome that mainly involved the equites. He had always seen Pompey as a rival and was afraid of his popularity amongst the Roman people. In 65 BC he had become censor. At this time Crassus apparently financially assisted Caesar to become aedile. As censor Crassus wanted to grant citizenship to the people of the Transpadanes who lived in the area between the Po River and the Alps. Crassus would have wanted this so that he could add the people of the Traspadanes to his clientele, and thus gain their support. Pompey also had interests in this area and Crassus saw this as a way of getting at Pompey. His fellow censor, Catulus, opposed this proposal.

Crassus also wanted the annexation of Egypt that was the main supplier of grain to Rome. This would mean an increase in trade and thus an increase in wealth for the equites and Crassus. Once again Catulus opposed this proposal. Crassus also wanted compensation to be paid to the equites who had lost investments in tax collection in the East during the Mithridatic War. Each of the three triumvirs had wanted something and hence had formed the First Triumvirate. In actual fact they were all jealous of each other. They only joined forces because each realised that they could not achieve their aims individually because of the Senate’s power and men such as Catulus, Cato and Cicero. Hence their alliance was secret. Suetonius says of the First Triumvirate Pompey, Caesar and Crassus now formed a triple pact, jointly swearing to oppose all legislation of which any of them may disapprove. Their aim was to elect Caesar to the consulship for 59 BC. He would be able to ensure their proposals were passed with the support of Pompey’s veterans, Crassus’s equites and the Roman people.

After 59 BC their relationship began to deteriorate. With Caesar in Gaul, the rivalry between Pompey and Crassus flared with clashes between their supporters becoming more and more frequent. In 56 BC they attempted to repair the rift at a meeting at Luca. Here they agreed to maintain their co-operation for their collective interests. Caesar was to remain in Gaul for a further 5 years and Pompey and Crassus were to become joint consuls for 55 BC. This meant that they would be able to determine where they would govern in 54 BC.
Crassus chose Syria and Pompey chose the two Spains However, in 54 BC, Pompey’s wife (and Caesar’s daughter) Julia died.
More significant than Julia's death for the future of the triumvirate was the critical situation in Rome. Growing anarchy in 54 delayed the elections for the following year, and Plutarch indicates that there was a 'collapse of good government in Rome'. The political repercussions were great now ' that fortune had, as it were, removed from the ring the third competitor..' Crassus' death did not mean that civil war between Pompey and Caesar was now inevitable, as Plutarch suggests, but the danger of a serious split was more likely.
Crassus died in Parthia in 53 BC. Pompey in Italy, with the imperium associated with his corn commission and his control over the Spanish provinces, was in a stronger position than either Crassus or Caesar, both of whom were subjected during 54 to a number of attacks.

These two deaths brought about the end of the First Triumvirate that was still on shaky ground. Pompey and Caesar remained jealous of each other. Pompey then married Cornelia, the widow of Crassus’ son, but also a member of the Metelli (a noble Roman family and firm supporters of the Optimates). The Senate were afraid of Caesar and made it difficult for him to remain in Gaul. They also denied him the right to stand for the consulship of 48 BC. Caesar had no other choice, he claimed in his memoirs, than to march on Rome. This was an act of Civil War on Caesar’s part. Pompey was asked by the Senate to lead the Senatorial army against Caesar.













Thus in 49 BC Pompey and Caesar were at war with each other. Caesar was to be the eventual victor. He became the undisputed leader of Rome with his acceptance of the dictatorship in 44BC. He initiated a series of reforms aimed at improving conditions in Rome and the provinces. Unfortunately, in the process, he incurred the wrath of many of the senators because he showed little respect for the republican form of government. His acceptance of honours such as the renaming of the month of his birth after him,(from Quintilis to Iulius), showed he considered himself far above his contemporaries. On 15th March, 44 BC he was assassinated by some sixty senators who were afraid that he was paving the way for a monarchy. The First Triumvirate had shown that three powerful men could band together to gain complete power in Rome. Its formation set a precedent for a second triumvirate, a formal agreement this time, which was to eventually lead to Rome becoming a monarchy.
 

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Augustus’ Foreign Policy

Augustus, having dealt with all affairs in Rome, turned his attention to his foreign policies and began a period of triumph and prosperity for the empire.

Augustus was a conservative type of ruler, and chose to secure the provinces and enhance the existing ones, rather then go on a long and expensive military campaign. Therefore, under Augustan rule, the empire ceased to expand, with Augustus enacting a policy against expansion. He aimed at securing Rome’s border provinces from attack and invasion, and to improve the present provinces by building roads and infrastructure. He relied heavily on diplomacy, and other peaceful methods of confrontation. He preferred to use non-violent methods unless he had no other choice.

When choosing suitable locations for frontiers to be set up, he chose easily defendable landscapes, such as valleys, cliffs and mountain ranges. These helped in many ways: they reduced the amount of men needed to man them, and therefore reduced the cost to the State to defend the empire. In this way Augustus reduced the cost of defending the borders (in money and manpower), but made them just as protected.

Augustus initiated much town growth in the provinces by building infrastructure such as houses, mills, temples and granaries. These helped to stabilize outer communities and other aggressive tribes that had been conquered by the Romans. By making the provinces happy, it minimized the risk of civil unrest and anarchy.

By building and improving the roads and highways throughout the empire, Augustus was able to improve communication and travel between the provinces and Rome. Communication was increased as messages could be relayed faster with a set road to follow, and this in turn increased trade within the empire.

Augustus was a great man, and this is reflected by the worshipping that took place in the outer provinces. Temples and statues were dedicated to Augustus, the ‘divine ruler’, and prayed to each day. Augustus would not allow this in Rome but believed it created unity in the provinces. Therefore he allowed it to continue, and the unity of the provinces did increase.

Another policy that Augustus implemented was that of Romanization. This was a technique used by the Romans to basically turn conquered peoples and there cultures roman. It included building Roman buildings and creating roads. It helped to promote unity throughout the empire.

Even though Augustus wished for peaceful solutions, sometimes force was required. As was the case with the German tribes to the north of the empire. Augustus tried many times to peacefully subdue these people, but since all attempts failed he was forced to send in his legions, his real sources of power.

Augustus believed in only going to war when the costs would equal the rewards received. In this sense, he would not finance expensive operations to faraway countries. The disaster of Governor Varus in Germany had demonstrated an important lesson for Augustus.

In the neighboring countries of Parthia and Armenia, threat of attack was beginning to loom. Since the defeat of Crassus’ army in 53BC, the Romans had waited for revenge, and many thought Augustus would lead an attack. Instead, Augustus placed a Roman nominated king on the throne of Armenia and threatened Parthia with its new found ally. This peaceful technique illustrates brilliantly Augustus’ foreign policy.

In the west, Augustus submitted to forceful techniques and allowed the Campaigns of Agrippa, Drusus and Tiberius against the Germans in Gaul and Spain. Minor skirmishes between the Romans and Germans allowed for a small expansion of Roman territory in the west and north of the empire.

The foreign policies of Augustus were of a non-aggressive, peaceful type, and he resorted only to war as a last result. His skill in diplomacy and intelligence allowed him to strengthen Rome’s borders and help consolidate the empire as a whole.
 

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the empire survived the civil wars that destroyed the republic was largely due to the long life (63 B.C.-14 A.D.) and political skill of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, later known as Augustus. In 44 B.C. Octavian, great nephew and adopted son of the murdered dictator, rallied Caesar's veterans and used them first against Marc Antony, the chief leader of the Caesarians, and then in alliance with Antony and Lepidus (the Second Triumvirate), against the republicans. Proscriptions caused the death of some 300 senators and 2000 nobles. Opponents of the triumvirate were defeated, and much property was made available with which to reward the troops.

After Brutus and Cassius had been defeated at Philippi (42 B.C.), and Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium (31 B.C.), Octavian was now without opposition and master of the empire.

Octavian brought peace to the Roman Empire and became a popular leader. In 27 B.C., the Senate voted to give him the title Augustus, which means "the respected one." He ruled the empire until 14 A.D. In the Bible Luke refers to him as "Caesar Augustus."

With the settlement of 27 B.C. he laid the foundations of the `principate', a system of government that was to give the empire internal peace with only brief interruptions for around 250 years.

In reality this monarchy was much different than in the previous era and it was much more acceptable to men familiar with free republican institutions. The ruler was not king but first citizen (princeps). Of his formal titles, Caesar proclaimed that he was a descendant of the dead dictator, and Imperator (emperor), that he was commander in chief.

The Senate made aware the fact that this citizen had unique prestige and influence by giving him the title of Augustus. The princeps' power was like that of a king in that it rested on hereditary loyalty, especially of the army, to himself, his family and descendants (whether by birth or adoption).

His personality was magnified and publicized through the so-called imperial cult, a complex of ceremonies making use of the forms of religion to express and instill loyalty to the ruler. At the same time Augustus voluntarily restricted his actions within the limits of various constitutional powers conferred by the Senate, for which, taken singly, republican precedent could be found. Moreover, he let his position evolve through a series of settlements, and thus avoided outrage to public and especially senatorial opinion. In 27 B.C. he was granted a proconsular command, or province including Gaul, Spain and Syria, and by far the greatest part of the Roman army. In 23 B.C. he received the power of a tribune, and his proconsular authority was made greater than that of any other provincial governor. In 19 sc he received (probably) consular powers that entitled him to introduce administrative reforms in Rome and Italy. This complex of powers remained the constitutional basis of the imperial office and continued to be granted by the Senate, which thus retained, in theory at least, a share in the appointment of the emperor.

Augustus reduced the huge armies of the civil war to around 300,000 men, made up half of Roman citizens serving in legions and half of provincials in auxiliary units. The army was stationed in frontier provinces. After around 25 years service legionaries received a lump-sum pension from a military treasury fed by two special taxes. Auxiliaries, on retirement, were given Roman citizenship. Augustus was lucky to have able yet reliable generals, notably his friend Agrippa, and in later years his stepsons Tiberius and Drusus.

These and others expanded the empire very considerably until in 9 A.D. the loss of three legions in the disastrous battle of the Teutoburg Forest ended a sustained attempt to conquer Germany, and reconciled Augustus to frontiers stabilized along the Rhine, Danube and Euphrates. By and large growth of the empire had come to an end. The conquest of Britain, begun under Claudius, was the only major post-Augustan addition to the empire to prove lasting. Suspicion of successful generals, and the strain on the economy of recruiting, paying and pensioning the extra troops required by expansion reconciled most emperors to a basically defensive policy. In time the army had to be enlarged nevertheless-at great social cost.

Augustus reorganized the administration of the whole empire. At Rome he appointed an equestrian praefectus annonae to organize supplies for the free issue of corn that was the privilege of the inhabitants of the capital. For the first time the city received a police force, fire brigade and organization for flood control.

After the death of Augustus the public assemblies lost their electoral and legislative functions to the Senate. Public opinion could still find expression in demonstrations in the theatre or circus, where emperors were expected to watch the shows in the midst of huge numbers of their subjects. Numerous colonies were founded for the settlement of veterans, especially in southern France, in Spain and North Africa. In this way the surplus population of Italy, which had contributed to the instability of the late republic, was dispersed, and the raising of revolutionary armies made much more difficult for the future.

Appointment of provincial governors was shared between emperor and Senate. Imperial provinces were governed by a legatus Augusti of senatorial rank or by an equestrian official. Senatorial provinces were governed by ex-consuls or ex-quaestors, with the title of proconsul. In imperial provinces finance was in the hands of an equestrian procurator, in senatorial provinces of a quaestor. But inhabitants of both kinds of province looked upon the emperor as their head of state. Similarly resolutions of the Senate (senatus consulta) had legal force for the whole empire.

Under Augustus literature flourished. The epic of Virgil (70-19 B.C.), history of Livy (59 B.C.-17 A.D.), the personal poetry of Horace (65-8 B.C.), Propertius (after 16 B.C.), Tibullus (48-19 B.C.) and Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.) were soon recognized as Latin classics worthy to be mentioned with those of the Greeks. Among the themes treated most memorably were the history and traditional values of the Roman people and the emotions of personal relations, especially of love.

Augustus (plural Augusti) is Latin for "majestic" or "venerable". Although the use of the cognomen "Augustus" as part of one's name is generally understood to identify the Emperor Augustus, this is somewhat misleading; "Augustus" was the most significant name associated with the Emperor, but it did not actually represent any sort of constitutional office. The Imperial dignity was not an ordinary office, but rather an extraordinary concentration of ordinary powers in one man's hands; "Augustus" was the name that unambiguously identified that man.
The first "Augustus" (and first man counted as a Roman Emperor) was Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, who was given that name by the Roman Senate on January 16, 27 BC; over the next forty years, Caesar Augustus (as he is now known) literally set the standard by which subsequent Emperors could be recognised, by accumulating various offices and powers and making his own name ("Augustus") identifiable with the consolidation of powers. Although the name signified nothing in constitutional theory, it was recognised as representing all the powers that Caesar Augustus had accumulated.
As princeps senatus (lit., "prince of the senate", "first man of the senate") he was the parliamentary leader of the house in the Senate and received diplomatic embassages on behalf of that body; as pontifex maximus (lit. "greatest bridgemaker") he was the chief priest of the Roman state religion; as bearing consular imperium he had authority equal to the official chief magistrates within Rome and as bearing imperium maius he had authority greater than theirs outside Rome (because of this, he outranked all provincial governors and was also supreme commander of all Roman legions); as bearing tribunicia potestas ("tribunician power") he had personal inviolability (sacrosanctitas) and the right to veto any act or proposal by any magistrate within Rome. This concentration of powers became the model by which all subsequent Emperors ruled Rome in constitutional theory (in practice this systematic and sophisticated theory gradually lost any resemblance to reality in the III and IV centuries, when the Emperors became rather more reminiscent of oriental despots than "first among equals").
Caesar Augustus also set the standard by which Roman Emperors were named. The three titles used by the majority of Roman Emperors -- "imperator", "caesar" and "augustus" -- were all used personally by Caesar Augustus (he officially styled himself "Imperator Caesar Augustus"); of these names, only "Augustus" was unique to the Emperor himself, as others could and did bear the titles "Imperator" and "Caesar" (it should be noted, however, that the Emperor's mother or wife could bear the name "Augusta"). It became customary for an Emperor-designate to adopt the name NN. Caesar (where NN. is the individual's personal name) or later NN. Nobilissimus Caesar ("NN. Most Noble Caesar"), and occasionally to be awarded the title Princeps Iuventutis ("Prince of Youth"). Upon accession to the purple, the new Emperor usually adopted the name Imperator Caesar NN. Augustus (later Emperors took to inserting Pius Felix, "Pious and Blest", and Invictus, "Unconquered", between their personal names and Augustus).
In this usage, by signifying the complete assumption of all Imperial powers, "Augustus" is roughly analogous to "Emperor", though a modern reader should be careful not to project onto the ancients a modern, monarchical understanding of what an emperor is. As noted, there was no constitutional office associated with the imperial dignity; the Emperor's personal authority (dignitas) and influence (auctoritas) derived from his position as princeps senatus, and his legal authority derived from his consulari imperium and tribunicia potestas; in Roman constitutional theory, one might consider "augustus" as being shorthand for "princeps senatus et pontifex maximus consulari imperio et tribuniciae potestate" (loosely, "Leader of the House and Chief Priest with Consular Imperium and Tribunician Power").
In many ways, "augustus" is comparable to the British dignity of prince; it is a personal title, dignity, or attribute rather than a title of nobility such as duke or king. The Emperor was most commonly referred to as princeps (basileys, "king", in Greek). Later, under the Tetrarchy, the rank of "augustus" referred to the senior Emperors, while "caesar" referred to the junior sub-Emperors. The aforementioned three principle titles of the emperors -- "imperator", "caesar", and "augustus" -- were rendered as autokratôr, kaisar, and augustos (or sebastos) in Greek. The Greek title continued to be used in the Byzantine Empire until its extinction in 1453, although "sebastos" lost its Imperial exclusivity: persons who were not the Emperor could receive titles formed from "sebastos", and "autokratôr" became the exclusive title of the Emperor.
The Latin title of the so-called "Holy Roman Emperors" was usually "Imperator Augustus", which conveys the modern understanding of "emperor" rather than the original Roman sense (i.e., the "first citizen" of the Republic). Ironically, although the German word for "emperor" is "Kaiser", a clear derivative of "caesar", that was the only one of the three principal titles of the Latin- and Greek-speaking Roman Emperors that was not regularly used in Latin by the German-speaking Holy Roman Emperors.


Introduction and Summary
Augustus was born Gaius Octavius on 23 September 63 B.C. His mother, Atia, was the niece of Julius Caesar; Atia's mother was Caesar's sister. Augustus, therefore, as the great-nephew of Julius Caesar, had family connections to political power at Rome. Unlike his great-uncle and adoptive father who was murdered by a senatorial conspiracy in 44 B.C., Augustus lived a long life, having replaced the oligarchic rule of the Roman Republic with a constitutional monarchy, controlled first by the Julio-Claudian Dynasty (31 B.C. -- 68 A.D.), in which Augustus was followed by Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula, and Nero, all of whom were descended from Augustus or his wife, Livia.
Through his gradual efforts, and through the circumstances of his era, Augustus ruled Rome alone for nearly a half-century (31 B.C. -- 14 A.D.), and he set for all his successors the institutional and ideological foundations of the Roman Empire. The broad bases of his power were the army, whose loyalty was maintained by money and land-grants at retirement, and Tiberiuspparently genuine support of many people, who wanted at any constitutional cost an end to the factional bloodshed of the late Republican civil wars; the nobles retained niches in the regular operation of the still prestigious political administration or in military roles, property was ultimately secured, administrative roles were more easily filled by some increased social mobility among the ranks and classes, and the populace (once fed) was ostensibly defended by the tribunicia potestas with which Augustus legitimized his rule, and which finally became the official rubric under which the state was run for centuries. The innovative outcome of Augustus' rule was the acquisition of sole power at Rome and abroad by the assumption of traditionally distributed powers found in long-standing Roman magistracies, military commands, state religious honors, patronage, family connections, and personal influence.
Rise and Acquisition of Powers
Youth and career to 28 B.C.
In 51 B.C., at the age of twelve, Octavian first appeared publicly to give the funeral oration for his grandmother, Julia. In 48 Caesar had his fifteen-year-old great-nephew elected to the priestly college of the pontifices, and he also enrolled him in the hereditary patrician aristocracy of Rome: on his mother's side Octavian had the patrician blood of the Caesars, while his father's family, the Octavii, were wealthy townsmen from Velitrae, southeast of Rome, to which his father came only as an equestrian banker, though his grandfather was a senator. After recovering from illness in 46, Octavian joined Caesar in Spain against the two sons of Pompey the Great, and in 45 Octavian was sent to Apollonia in Epirus to study with the Greek rhetorician Apollodorus of Pergamum, and to train with legions stationed nearby. In 44, only several months after his arrival in Greece, Octavian learned that Julius Caesar had been murdered at Rome. Octavian then arrived back in southern Italy to discover that he had been adopted in Caesar's will as his son and heir. From this time Octavian called himself C. Julius Caesar Octavianus, though to avoid confusion, modern scholars customarily refer to him as Octavian before 27 B.C.
A feud soon developed between Octavian and Antony, Caesar's colleague as consul, who intended to gain hold of Caesar's Gallic provinces and was luring Caesar's veterans to his side. Octavian raised an army on his own. Under the terms of Caesar's will, Octavian was required to pay a legacy to the urban plebs, but Antony refused to hand over the necessary cash which Caesar's widow had given to him. In 43 at Mutina Antony was defeated by Octavian with armies given to him by the senate. Octavian was elected consul that year for the first time at the unusually young age of nineteen; he had refused to fight unless he got the consulship because he was convinced that the senate would discard him after they had used him to get rid of Antony. Finally in 43 at Bononia, Octavian made terms with Antony and Lepidus, who had alternately supported Caesar, Antony, and the senate. Together the three men formed the triumvirate, which had been initially granted absolute powers for five years. They ruthlessly proscribed 120 senators and many equestrian whose property and money were confiscated to pay troops. In 42 Antony and Octavian defeated Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Caesar, in two battles at Philippi in Macedonia; the credit went to Antony because Octavian was ill during the fighting. On the ostensibly Republican side, only Sextus Pompey survived with a fleet, and Domitius Ahenobarbus with the fleet of Brutus and Cassius.
In the division of provinces and duties after Philippi, Antony got the potential wealth and glory of the East, and Octavian got the difficult task of settling veterans in Italy by confiscating property, since there was no money yet to buy it. He faced protest at home and the starvation of Rome by Sextus Pompey, who was blockading grain ships in Sicily. In 40 Antony married Octavian's sister Octavia. In that year at Perusia Octavian fought and defeated Antony's brother, Lucius, who had objected to Octavian's receiving credit for settling troops in Italy before Antony returned from the East. Though Lucius was pardoned, others of Octavian's enemies and the town council of Perusia were executed. Octavian tried to win the support of Sextus Pompey and his fleet by marrying Pompey's aunt, Scribonia, in what was now Octavian's third and penultimate match, producing his only daughter, Julia. Pompey, however, sided with Antony who was vexed at the Perusine episode and since 42 was spending winters in Egypt with Cleopatra. In the autumn of 40 at Brundisium, Octavian confronted Antony and the combined fleets of Pompey and Ahenobarbus, but instead of hostilities they agreed to a pact; they declared Antony's the Greek-speaking provinces east of Macedonia, and Octavian's the Latin-speaking provinces west of Illyricum, while Lepidus remained in Africa, and Pompey initially got nothing and continued to blockade Italy.
Despite concessions to Pompey, in 38 war broke out in indecisive sea battles off Cumae and Rhegium on the coast of southern Italy. Octavian divorced Scribonia and married his last wife Livia, who brought to the marriage her own sons, Tiberius and Drusus. In 38 Octavian replaced his praenomen Gaius with Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success (ultimately Imperator developed into the title Emperor). From this time Octavian's full title was Imperator Caesar Divi Filius, including the reference to him as the son of his deified father. In 37 Octavian built a new fleet under the direction of his friend and lieutenant Agrippa, and he met Antony at Tarentum to renew the triumvirate for five more years. In 36 Octavian, Agrippa, and Lepidus launched a triple attack on Sextus Pompey in Sicily, and they won a naval battle at Naulochus, after which Pompey was killed in Egypt, and Lepidus was ousted from the triumvirate for trying to take over Sicily.
In 36 Octavian received tribunician sacrosanctity for his personal security and as an invocation of his father's support of the people; he circumspectly declined the title of pontifex maximus because it was held by Lepidus. Antony launched a failed campaign against the Parthians, and when his wife, Octavia, attempted to bring supplies and additional troops, he snubbed her and her brother by sending her home. In 34 Antony gave eastern provinces to his children by Cleopatra, and Egypt and Cyprus to Cleopatra's children by Caesar; these were the so-called Donations of Alexandria. In the resulting propaganda war, Octavian did the most damage to Antony by presenting Cleopatra and her territorial gains as a foreign menace to the security of Rome. From 35 to 33 Octavian fought in Illyricum and Dalmatia, the eastern borders of Italy. In 33 Agrippa as aedile dealt with the precious water supply in Rome and restored aquaducts.
In 32 the inhabitants of Italy and of many provinces swore a personal oath of allegiance to Octavian to support him against his private enemies. By this oath Octavian claimed that the people were demanding him as leader in the now inevitable war, declared nominally against Cleopatra. Antony divorced Octavia. In 31 Octavian defeated the combined forces of Antony and Cleopatra in a naval battle at Actium off the coast of Greece. After the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra in Egypt, Octavian annexed Egypt as a province. In 31 Octavian assumed the consulship at Rome for the third time and monopolized it successively through 23.
In 29 Octavian celebrated a triple triumph at Rome for his conquest of Illyricum, for the battle of Actium, and for the annexation of Egypt. Octavian's now huge army of sixty legions began to be demobilized and was shortly reduced to twenty-eight. Soldiers and veterans were paid with funds now drawn from the vast wealth of Egypt. Despite the fact that wars were going on in Gaul and Spain, the temple of Janus at Rome was ceremoniously closed, an event that happened only twice before in history, to signify that Rome was at peace with the world. The senate and people voted Octavian countless other honors, crowns, games, commemorative structures, and additional powers, including his ability to create patricians, both to enlarge and to preserve the social hierarchy into which Julius Caesar had previously introduced Octavian himself. In 28 with Agrippa as his colleague in his sixth consulship, Octavian held a census of the people and moderately reduced the swollen ranks of the senate from 1000 to 800 members, of which he was appointed the leading man.
'The Republic Restored':
The First Constitutional Settlement of the Principate, 27-24 B.C.
In 27 Octavian declared that he had restored the republic, a claim echoed but also dismissed even among the ancients. Octavian gave amnesty to his former opponents in the civil wars. While the senate and assemblies resumed their regular functions, Octavian maintained his hold on the consulship, but elections for his colleague took place. The swollen ranks of praetors and quaestors were reduced by half to the Sullan numbers of eight and twenty, respectively, and all these offices retained their traditional functions, including the consulship and praetorship as springboards for provincial commands.
The real, monarchical hold, however, that Octavian had on the state was military. When Octavian announced his plans to lay down supreme power, there had been protest in the senate, partly from his partisans and partly perhaps from concern that the state would erupt again into civil war. In the so-called 'first settlement' of 27, Octavian agreed to accept for ten years a provincial command which contained the largest standing Roman armies, then stationed in Spain, Gaul, and Syria, the so-called 'imperial provinces.' By the removal of senatorial proconsuls from Octavian's three major provinces, and with the placement there of subordinate legates, Octavian was no longer threatened by men of consular rank with significant armies. The three major senatorial provinces of Illyricum, Macedonia and Africa appeared to balance Octavian's grant, but in reality these provinces held only a few legions. Thus without appearing to force the senate, Octavian obtained sole proconsular power over the major provincial armies; though this power normally lapsed at Rome, he maintained both civil and military authority there through his consulship. Technically Octavian used powers given to him for a fixed period by the senate and people of Rome, and there were Republican precedents, albeit abnormal ones, for such powers and continuous rule.
Octavian later claimed that in 27 he had no more power than any of his colleagues in any magistracy (Res Gestae 34.3), and he referred to himself simply as princeps, the first man among equals at Rome. This strictly unofficial and broad title, not to be confused with the narrow parameters of the 'princeps senatus', had already been applied to individuals in the late Republic, and for centuries the leading men of Rome had been known as 'principes viri'. Thus the 'principate', as the era is now designated, suggests a mere pre-eminence in civil affairs which belies absolute power based ultimately on the army.
The official title decreed to Octavian by the senate in 27 was Augustus, the name by which he is most widely known, making his full title Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus. He considered adopting the name 'Romulus' and the association it would have for him as the refounder of Rome. Because Romulus, however, also had the contemporary discredit of both overt monarchy and fratricide, Augustus preferred the association of his new title with religious awe: holy things, for instance, were called augusta. The title was traditionally linked by etymology with augere, 'to increase'; the adjective was juxtaposed with the religious practice of augury in Ennius's well-known description of Romulus's founding of Rome augusto augurio. The title Augustus was subsequently held by all Roman emperors except Vitellius, and Augusta was used to address the wife of the reigning emperor, or his mother.
After 27 Augustus maintained that he excelled all his equals only in his auctoritas. This term, also etymologically connected with augustus, had no constitutional meaning and implied no legal powers; it signified Augustus's moral authority and increased prestige which guaranteed the good of the order in Rome. Auctoritas was personal power which rested on the loyalty of people who, as clients of Augustus, recognized his military conquest and his achievement of political stability for the commonwealth. This type of power was seen previously in the personal oath of allegiance of 32, and it did not depend on the immediate constitutional settlement.
In 27 Augustus ultimately and perhaps wisely freed Rome from his presence to visit the western provinces of Gaul and Spain. When he returned to Rome in 24, he became consul for the tenth time with one Norbanus Flaccus, who had supported both Sextus Pompey and Antony in the civil wars. Despite an indecisive outcome in the Spanish war, honors were voted by the senate to Augustus's relatives who participated. Augustus himself was ill and facing a conspiracy against his life.


The Second Settlement and the Evolution of the Principate, 23 -- 16 B.C.
In Augustus's absence from Rome, dissatisfaction with the new regime had apparently resulted in a conspiracy by his colleague in the consulship, Varro Murena, and a Republican, Fannius Caepio, both of whom were brought to trial and executed. Though Augustus veiled monarchic power more than Julius Caesar did, Augustus's unending series of consulships was a thorn in the side of the senatorial class, which was prevented yearly from competing for one of the two seats of the supreme magistracy. In 23 Augustus abdicated the consulship, and in so doing, he made room for more nobles, relieved himself of consular duties, and increased the number of former consuls available for administrative work. He held the consulship again on only two occasions, 5 and 2 B.C., to introduce his grandsons to public life; he held this office a total of thirteen times, nine of them consecutively from 31-23.
Without the consulship Augustus lacked legitimate civil and military authority at Rome. Accordingly in 23, he was awarded the tribunicia potestas for life. With this grant, Augustus regained the initiative to bring legislation and motions before the senate; he got the right of putting the first motion in any meeting of the senate, despite the fact that the seniority of the actual tribunate was very low; he technically had the right to the tribunician veto, but he probably never had to use it, because he would already have approved of motions before they reached the senate; he got magisterial power to compel citizens to obey his orders; he got the power to help citizens oppressed by other magistrates (and he had already been granted tribunician sacrosanctity for his personal protection in 36). Augustus did not need any of these new powers themselves, but rather the legitimacy they provided. It was also convenient that tribunician power was traditionally invoked in protection of the common people. To advertise this association with the people, Augustus set the official beginning of his reign at the assumption of tribunician power in 23; traditionally years had been numbered by the annual consulship, but now they were counted by the successive tenure of tribunician power, a practice which continued throughout the Imperial period.
Without the consulship, Augustus technically did not any longer have military power in Rome, but only in his own provinces. The senate therefore enlarged his proconsular imperium so that it did not lapse when he entered the boundaries of the city; more importantly, since the consuls at Rome had more power than any one abroad and could command any army, Augustus's military power was officially declared greater than any proconsul's, reducing them all to his legates, with what was called 'maius imperium proconsulare'. Greater military power and tribunician power were thus for Augustus the legitimate bases of rule, and they remained so throughout the duration of the Empire.
Perhaps Augustus's illness in 23 forced him to provide for the control of the armies abroad by having the senate grant Agrippa proconsular imperium for five years; Agrippa then got an eastern command. In 22 riots broke out at Rome, when flood, disease and famine were attributed to the fact that Augustus had withdrawn from the consulship and apparently was not in charge. Augustus refused to take the office of dictator, which was too politically charged with envy and hatred, and he also refused to accept the censorship for life and its traditionally despised power to expel members of the senate arbitrarily. He did, however, assume the care of the grain supply, which he quickly repaired, and then he left for Sicily, Greece, and Asia.
After Augustus left Rome, there was disorder at the consular elections of 22, with only one consul elected when Augustus refused to stand for the office; the next year there was a similar crisis. Augustus refused to return to Rome during all the trouble. To help elect the consuls and to restore order he sent Agrippa, who in 21 married Augustus's daughter, Julia, then widowed by the death of Marcellus two years earlier. In 19 Augustus was again begged to take the consulship, which he refused, and was summoned to Rome because of more unrest; the day he finally arrived was declared a holiday by the senate, and an altar was dedicated to Fortune the Homebringer. In 19 he accepted consular power for life, the right to sit between the two elected consuls, to bear the fasces as symbols of power, and to be attended by twelve lictors. Though Augustus did not need consular power, the visibility of it appeared to quell the agitation of the people. He also accepted a five-year appointment as supervisor of morals with censorial powers. By 19 he held not the invidious offices but the actual powers of the consulship, tribunate, censorship; effectively, he also held the military dictatorship.
In 18 the powers of the principate were renewed for five more years through the extension of the proconsular power which was initially granted to Augustus for ten years at the first consitutional settlement of 27. Now Augustus made Agrippa virtually co-regent through the renewal award of proconsular power, and the award of tribunician power. In 18 Augustus used his censorial power to reduce the ranks of the senate again from eight-hundred to six- hundred members (the three such senatorial reforms took place in 29, 18, and 11). By the authority of his tribunician power, he passed the Julian Laws of 18 for moral reform and the criminal code. The new laws were intended to mitigate the social and civil disorder caused by the cynicism of late Republican anarchy, and to encourage long-term stability for the state. There were laws against adultery and promoting marriage and childbirth by the grant of special privileges or penalties, laws against luxury and electoral corruption, and appellate laws superceding public jury-verdicts ultimately to the jurisdiction of Augustus himself.
Remaining years of the Principate and Succession, 17 B.C. -- 14 A.D.
To mark the new age of Augustus in 17, he and Agrippa celebrated the solemn sacrifices at the time-honored Secular Games. In succession plans that year, Augustus adopted his grandsons, Gaius and Lucius, sons of Agrippa and Julia. From 16 to 13 Augustus was abroad organizing Gaul, and Agrippa was in Asia. In 15 Augustus established the Imperial mint at Lugdunum; the senate, which traditionally controlled coinage, continued to produce money in bronze, while Augustus obtained direct control over gold and silver coinage with the mint at Lugdunum in the west and at Antioch in the east. In 13 Augustus and Agrippa returned to Rome, and their provinces were renewed for five more years, as was Agrippa's tribunician power; later in that year Agrippa died, leaving Augustus without his long-trusted friend, who was buried with lavish honors in Augustus's mausoleum on the bank of the Tiber river. After Agrippa's death, Julia bore their third son, Agrippa Postumus. Tiberius had to divorce his wife, Vipsania, to marry the widowed Julia. In 13 the former triumvir, Lepidus, also died, leaving open the life-long office of the high priest of Roman state-religion; in 12 Augustus became pontifex maximus. Augustus's power as supervisor of morals was renewed for five more years. He reformed the senate for the third time, and he set up a permanent commission for the care of the water supply, which had been Agrippa's domain. Tiberius and Drusus campaigned in Germany and Dalmatia, and in 9 Drusus died. In 8 Augustus's proconsular power was renewed for a third time for ten years; a census was held, the month Sextilis was renamed August, and Rome was divided into fourteen regions.
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In 6 Tiberius was given tribunician power for life and was sent to the east to settle the throne in Armenia. In 5 and 2 Augustus again assumed the consulship only to introduce his grandsons, Gaius and Lucius, to public life, with their ceremonial assumption of the toga virilis. At the designation of Gaius in 5 as princeps iuventutis and so as apparent sucessor of Augustus, Tiberius settled at Rhodes for eight years in so-called retirement, which may have been used to gain support in the east for his own succession. In 2 B. C. Augustus received the purely honorific title pater patriae, with the associations of the power and prestigious influence of a father over the state family. His titles includedImperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus Pontifex Maximus, Pater Patriae. All of his titles were republican, including Imperator. His military proconsular power was never given prominence in his official appellation; Trajan was the first emperor to use the title proconsul, and only when he was not in Italy.
In 2 Gaius was dispatched from Rome to negotiate with the Parthians in the east. In this year Augustus was compelled to banish from Rome his own daughter, Julia, for her scandalous personal behavior, which was a great embarrassment to her father's legislative efforts at moral reform. With Julia's departure and divorce from Tiberius, Augustus had to make his dynastic plans without the hope of any more male grandchildren, the supply of which dwindled to only Agrippa Postumus, when Lucius and Gaius died, in 2 and 4 A.D., respectively. In 2 A.D. Tiberius was recalled from Rhodes to Rome, perhaps because eastern support for his succession had surpassed Gaius'; Tiberius' consular imperium and tribunician power had run out in 1 B.C. and had not been renewed. In 4 A.D., after the death of Gaius, Augustus adopted Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus. Though Augustus preferred a Julian heir to the Claudian Tiberius, Augustus disliked the wild behavior of Agrippa Postumus and exiled him three years after his adoption. Tiberius, now adopted into the Julian line, was forced to enlarge the line further by adopting, in dynastic preference to his own son by Vipsania, his nephew Germanicus; his mother was the daughter of Augustus's sister, and Germanicus married Augustus's granddaughter, Agrippina.
From 4 to 11 Augustus employed Tiberius in campaigns in the Balkans and Germany. In 6 Augustus established the aerarium militare as a public treasury to pay soldiers; though he made the initial grant from his own money, thereafter the treasury was maintained by new sales and inheritance taxes, with the result that donations to retired soldiers did not appear to depend on the emperor. A new fire brigade and nocturnal police force was also established, in seven cohorts of one-thousand freedmen each, with two cohorts for each of the fourteen regions of the city. In 12 Tiberius celebrated a triumph for Dalmatia and Pannonia, and Germanicus held the consulship.
In 13 Tiberius was again granted proconsular imperium and tribunician power. In 14 he conducted a census with Augustus and then left Rome for a command in Illyricum. Augustus died on 19 August A.D. 14 at Nola. The armies were loyal to Tiberius, and he had the tribunician right of initiative at Rome. This hereditary system of succession was established by Augustus for centuries.
The Empire
Territorial Acquisitions
Political power at Rome had always been won through the force, prestige, and wealth of conquest; Augustus' armies conquered more lands than any of his Roman predecessors or successors. After the death of Cleopatra in 30, Egypt was the first major gain by Augustus, with the wealth and flourishing cities of the Ptolemies, and Egyptian grain. Exposed geographically only in the south, the province was advanced to the First Cataract by the prefect Cornelius Gallus; in 25 there was another successful expedition against raids by the Ethiopians. Although Augustus, through his legate, failed to conquer Arabia Felix, the Red Sea was secured and sea-trade with India was ultimately established. In 27 Augustus visited Gaul and held a census there for the purpose of fairer taxation, and in 26-25 he fought a war in Spain, which Agrippa finally concluded in 19, with the pacification of the province. While Augustus was in Spain, Varro Murena defeated the Salassi, who were raiding Cisalpine Gaul from Aosta in the western Alps. In 25 Augustus settled Juba as the king of Mauretania in Africa, another province valuable for the grain supply to Rome.
In 25 in Asia Minor, Galatia was annexed, and Augustus founded the colony of Caesarea at Antioch. The main problem in the east was Parthia, which could unsettle Roman control in neighboring Armenia, and further west into Galatia. In 30 Augustus refrained from a draining war with Phraates of Parthia, by refusing to abet a pretender to the Parthian throne, by setting up a client-king in Armenia minor, and by holding the brothers of Armenian king Artaxes as hostages to Armenia's good behavior as a buffer state in the area. Ten years later, after the watchful regency of Agrippa from 23-21, Augustus reached a diplomatic settlement with Parthia for the return of the Roman standards captured from Crassus in 53 B.C., for the stability of the Parthian kingdom in the region, and for Parthian agreement to Roman control in Armenia; Parthia acquiesced under only the threat of combined military force from Augustus in Syria and Tiberius in Armenia. From 16-13 Agrippa was back in the east settling the Bosporan kingdom, which was economically important as the main source of food from southern Russia for cities of northern Asia Minor and the Aegean, as well as for Roman troops on the eastern frontier; despite a later shift in local control, Roman hegemony was established.
In 15 Tiberius and Drusus completed the pacification of the northern Alpine frontier, begun in 25 when T. Varro wiped out the Salassi on the western side. Now on the eastern side of the Alps, the frontier was pushed up to the Danube river, including Raetia and Noricum. With Alpine passes open, Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul became more united and prosperous; the raids of the Alpine tribes of Italy were over, and Roman armies could more easily get to central Gaul and the Rhine. From 13-9 the northern frontier was further strengthened near Illyricum by the conquest of Pannonia. Roman control thus stretched from the Adriatic to the Danube, making an overland route from Rome to Illyricum through the eastermost Julian Alps, and connecting Macedonia to Italy and Gaul. After an uprising in Thrace was quelled from 11-9, the Romans were in control of the territory south of the entire length of the Danube to the Black Sea. At the northernmost frontier, Drusus campaigned in Germany from 12-9 and tried to advance Caesar's German frontier of the Rhine as far as the Elbe, but he accomplished only raids between the two rivers.
On the eastern frontier, the Parthians and Armenians were in dispute again, and in 2 B.C. Augustus sent his grandson Gaius there, in what was already a successfully negotiated end to the trouble. Since 37 Judea had been controlled by Herod the Great as a friend of Augustus; Judea was finally made into a Roman province in 6 A.D., when at the request of the Jews, Archelaus, the son of Herod, was driven out.
 

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Explain How Augustus Gained And Maintained His Constitutional Position.

Augustus has an extreme amount of power within the entire empire. All of his positions are awarded to him by the senate, and are thus recognized as being constitutional powers. Augustus came to power after the death of Julius Caesar. However Rome had been in civil war for nearly a hundred years and so Augustus was required to curb these wars. He gained favour with the legions of the Roman Empire and therefore established his power in the Roman Senate. He maintained his power through a number of reforms which increased Rome’s prosperity and creating the ‘pax romana’. The 3 settlements which allowed him to gain more influence aided him enormously on becoming the most powerful man in Rome. His auctoritas and military control gave him exceptional influence, while his imperium gave him extreme constitutional power. While he is accurate and justified in claiming that he “excelled in all influence” It is certainly inaccurate to claim that his power was equal to that of his colleagues.

Through his gradual efforts, and through the circumstances of his era, Augustus ruled Rome alone for nearly a half-century (31BC-14 AD), and he set for all his successors the institutional and ideological foundations of the Roman Empire. The broad bases of his power were the army, whose loyalty was maintained by money and land grants at retirement, and Tiberius apparently genuine support of many people, who wanted at any constitutional cost an end to the factional bloodshed of the late Republican civil wars, the nobles retained niches in the regular operation of the still prestigious political administration or in military roles, property was ultimately secured, administrative roles were more easily filled by some increased social mobility among the ranks and classes, and the populace was ostensibly defended by the tribunicia potestas with which Augustus legitimised his rule, and which finally became the official rubric under which the state was run for centuries. The innovative outcome of Augustus' rule was the acquisition of sole power at Rome and abroad by the assumption of traditionally distributed powers found in long-standing Roman magistracies, military commands, state religious honours, patronage, family connections, and personal influence. After the Second Settlement, Augustus certainly excelled in all influence, however, the claim that his official power was no greater than that of his colleagues is inaccurate. In actuality, by 23BC, (Second Settlement), Augustus is in complete control of all affairs in Rome. This means that his power and authority is supreme. His supremacy is primarily due to his accumulation of power before the Second Settlement. Augustus’s statement in Res Gestae 34 is therefore an inadequate assessment of the basis of his rule. In the years leading up to the second settlement, Augustus continually increases his titles, and thus power, within the empire. Because he does not surrender the influence he already had when a new position is obtained, as he collects titles, authority is also being accumulated. Augustus used propaganda to keep the people happy, and maintain the concept that the republic was still in existence. He did this by installing statues of 28 noble republican Romans in his forum, and adding himself on at the end, making him appear as a continuation of the line. Vitellius states that "the pristine form of the republic was recalled as old" indicating his success in this area. Although pax romana was primarily a reform, it became a powerful propaganda tool because it made the people extremely happy. Augustus thus played on this, and demonstrated this peace in visible ways such as closing the doors to the temple of Janus.(God of war) Horace states that "a god brought us this peace." The temple to Mars Ultor was a good example of building propaganda. Mars was known as the avenger, and by building a temple to him within his forum, Augsutus was reminding the people of how he had avenged the death of Julius Caesar. The res gestae is a literary example which highlights all the wonderful things Augustus has done. Propaganda does not politically assist Augustus in the maintenance of his position, but it serves to keep the people happy, which prevents uproar. It also increases his auctoritas, which is the primary reason that people do what he asks them to.

After 27BC Augustus maintained that he excelled all his equals only in his auctoritas. This term, also connected with Augustus, had no constitutional meaning and implied no legal powers, it signified Augustus's moral authority and increased prestige which guaranteed the good of the order in Rome. Auctoritas was personal power which rested on the loyalty of people who, as clients of Augustus, recognised his military conquest and his achievement of political stability for the commonwealth. This type of power was seen previously in the personal oath of allegiance of 32BC, and it did not depend on the immediate constitutional settlement. In 27BC Augustus ultimately and perhaps wisely freed Rome from his presence to visit the western provinces of Gaul and Spain. When he returned to Rome in 24, he became consul for the tenth time with one Norbanus Flaccus, who had supported both Sextus Pompey and Antony in the civil wars. Despite an indecisive outcome in the Spanish war, honours were voted by the senate to Augustus's relatives who participated. Augustus himself was ill and facing a conspiracy against his life. In Augustus's absence from Rome, dissatisfaction with the new regime had apparently resulted in a conspiracy by his colleague in the consulship, Varro Murena, and a Republican, Fannius Caepio, both of whom were brought to trial and executed. Though Augustus veiled monarchic power more than Julius Caesar did, Augustus's unending series of consulships was a thorn in the side of the senatorial class, which was prevented yearly from competing for one of the two seats of the supreme magistracy. In 23 Augustus abdicated the consulship, and in so doing, he made room for more nobles, relieved himself of consular duties, and increased the number of former consuls available for administrative work. He held the consulship again on only two occasions, 5 and 2 B.C., to introduce his grandsons to public life, he held this office a total of thirteen times, nine of them consecutively from 31-23. This is probably the key concept in his maintenance of power, because it is the single power that he uses to get people to do what he wants them to. He very rarely has to use force, he just uses influence. Augustus ensures that all his power is officially handed to him by the senate, this occurs at the first and second settlements. The senate virtually gives Augustus the power of a dictator. The formation of the Senatorial Standing Committee is important here, because it allows Augustus to test the watres of the senate before he suggests any new policies, etc. It is especially important before the second settlement, because Augustus can go into the second settlement with a fair amount of confidence that he will receive more positions than those he is surrendering. Thus manipulation of the senate also becomes important... and remember that he has already held census, and eliminated all those who may have opposed him. Augustus didnt wanted to end up like his adopted father, Caesar, so he slowly and carefully rise himself to power in the senate.


Without the consulship Augustus lacked legitimate civil and military authority at Rome. In 23, he was awarded the tribunicia potestas for life. With this grant, Augustus regained the initiative to bring legislation and motions before the senate, he got the right of putting the first motion in any meeting of the senate, despite the fact that the seniority of the actual tribunate was very low, he technically had the right to the tribunician veto, but he probably never had to use it, because he would already have approved of motions before they reached the senate, he got magisterial power to compel citizens to obey his orders; he got the power to help citizens oppressed by other magistrates (and he had already been granted tribunician sacrosanctity for his personal protection in 36). Augustus did not need any of these new powers themselves, but rather the legitimacy they provided. It was also convenient that tribunician power was traditionally invoked in protection of the common people. To advertise this association with the people, Augustus set the official beginning of his reign at the assumption of tribunician power in 23, traditionally years had been numbered by the annual consulship, but now they were counted by the successive tenure of tribunician power, a practice which continued throughout the Imperial period. In 18 the powers of the principate were renewed for five more years through the extension of the proconsular power which was initially granted to Augustus for ten years at the first constitutional settlement of 27. Now Augustus made Agrippa virtually co-regent through the renewal award of proconsular power, and the award of tribunician power. In 18 Augustus used his censorial power to reduce the ranks of the senate again from eight-hundred to six- hundred members (the 3 such senatorial reforms took place in 29, 18, and 11). By the authority of his tribunician power, he passed the Julian Laws of 18 for moral reform and the criminal code. The new laws were intended to mitigate the social and civil disorder caused by the cynicism of late Republican anarchy, and to encourage long-term stability for the state. There were laws against adultery and promoting marriage and childbirth by the grant of special privileges or penalties, laws against luxury and electoral corruption, and appellate laws superseding public jury-verdicts ultimately to the jurisdiction of Augustus himself.

Augustus was a convervative, and where possible he preferred to maintain republican forms as long as they were efficient. Augustus made changes to the senate, he allowed people with ability to enter the senate. He restore the senate with dignity and responsibility. He removed disruptable characters so he can improved how the senate works. The growth of competition for position in the senate, this leads to a greater ability amongst the senators. The senate discussion issues of importance. Prioritised issues (senate commitee). The growth of the number of consuls meant there were more senators with experience increase administration. The senators took their roles more seriously, which become more responsibility issues. He improved administration experience of praetors/quaestors which lead to better administration.
Augustus maintained his control of the senate, his controls/influences what goes to the senate through his involvemnet in the committee which decided on item to be discussed. He could use his tribunician power to propose laws, he could influence laws via his judicial decisions presence. Augustus controlled provinces with a military presence. The senate controlled the peaceful provinces. 3 factors influenced Augustus in his relationship with the senate. The experience of Julius Caesar, his own conservative inclination and his need for co-operation in the running of the empire. Augustus retained the glamour of the consulship, which was the stepping stone to achieve the proconsulships of the important provinces of Asia and Africa, it opened the way for the more outstanding and experiences to become legati propraetor of imperoal provinces and the command armies. Competition for the position of praetor was still keen under Augustus, since propraetors were selected for military commands and as government of some senatorial provinces. The quaestorship retained its importance as the prerequisite for entry into the senate. It also provided an opportunity for young members of the senatorial order to gain experience in administration, since six quaestors served in the provinces and the rest assisted the consuls and Augustus. The changes that Augustus made in the senate improved, the senate gradually developed into a legislative body. This is because Augustus has good relations with the senate and he had the power to control the senate, which improved and made changes to the senate.

The Tribunicia potestas is important, because it makes him the "tribune of the people'. This was an honour that was previously only awarded to the plebian class. He recognised its importance with the people, and numbered the years of his reign by the years of his tribunician powers. The establishment of the equestrian class is important, because they were extremely efficient in administration, this meant that the empire was running more smoothly than when the senatorial class were in charge of administration. The senators were also pleased because they no longer had to do the work. Throughout the period of the late republic there has been a certain amount of hostility between the senate and the equites, particularly with regard to the control of the courts. Augustus attempted to prevent further clashes by finding positions in the new regime for the equites which would not compete with the interests of the senatorial class. He also aimed to reorganise the equestrian order so that it was not a class of wealthy men but was filled with able individuals, some of whom would be recruited from the more worthwhile and successful lower classes, such as the veteran centuries. Augustus wanted to also revive the ancient links between the equestrian order and the military (they had originated as a class of knights) not only did this class wished to persue an administrative career they would first have to under go real military service. Augustus seems to have regarded the Romans plebs with the same contemptuous indulgence as most upper-class Romans. He made no attempt to carry on Caesar's radical policy of sending them out to colonies, but kept them quiet with games and money distribution. As there were no real industry in Rome, there were large members of unemployed Roman citizens who found it difficult to survive. However even those with a trade or those employed as labourers still suffered from food shortages, and it had become an important part of legislative to provide grain doles and free games to keep them relatively contended. During the republic the plebs were unemployed, lacked food, the country, peasant land, depts and shortage of food, this caused unrest. Augustus was successful in bringing to an end to the public unrest among the plebs during his principate. He's effecient management of corn suppy after AD6, numerous games given, public work, steady employment, members of peasant families joining the army, veteran colonies providing land etc. he made personal donations to the plebs, He made political implication of donations.

Augustus' religious policy reflected his genuine conservative inclinations as well as his polical acumen. He believed that it was necessary to return to the old Roman virtues in order to strengthen his new regime and bring about permanent improvement , and one way of achieving this was to revive some of the old religious practices.
Not only would this gain him the support of the pious conservatives and those people who believed that their past problems were due to negligence of the gods, but it would unite his new order with the old and both of them with himself. As the founder of this new era, he hoped to glorify himself and the Julian family, and promoted loyalty and unite within the empire. From this time it became obvious that Augustus was promotin particularly those gods which had links with the Julian family ( Venus, Mars and Apollo) This religious shift was reinforced by the growth of Caesar- worship after 12BC, which took the form of the cults of 'Rome and Augustus' and 'Rome and the Deified Julius' in the provinces. In the hellenic kingdoms of the east it was common practice to practice to worship a ruler as a god, but this was essentially an expression of loyalty as respect rather than an act of devotion. It was natural then that the provincials should wish to show their gratitude to and respect for Augustus as the one responisble for restoring peace and prosperity. Augustus could see the need for a common practice that would unite all the provinces in loyalty to Rome, but eastern customs would not be readily accepted in the west and he could not officially encourage personal worship of himself-particularly by Roman citizens in the provinces.
It made him more respected, he linked himself with Rome in order to create loyalty to the empire. Standard of morality among the Roman upper classes had declined, and Augustus appeared to be genuinely concerned about the breakdown of marriage and family life. Marriage was often taken lightly, with adultery becoming not only tolerated but even fashionable, and divorse common. Augustus hoped to raise the general level of morality by supplementing his religious policy with social legislation, and in his efforts he was supposed by the poets Horace and Ovid. The attitude of Augustus seems strange when one considers his own early behaviour and that of his daughter, Julia. Augustus used his tribunician powers to legislate on morality, Augustus pushed through the Julian Laws of 18BC which were concerned with public morality as well as with criminal jurisdiction, but he found that to improve morals by legislation was much harder than to improve the criminal code. He tried to limit excessive luxury through a sumptuary law, but as with previous attempts, this was a failure. Augustus attempted to protect marriage by regulating sexual relations and divorce. He also tried to encourage marriage and the rearing of children by setting age limits on marriage( 25 for men, 20 for women), by imposing penalities on unmarried people ( who were not permitted to accept inheritances or legacies except from close relatives) and by giving rewards to men and women with children (preference was given to family men in elections and allocation of provinces). Although these laws generally failed to achieve his objectives, Augustus banished both his daughter Julia and his grandaughter Julia because of their promiscuity.

Augustus' desire for just and efficient administration was reflected in his close personal supervision of all areas of the judicial system. The changes he instituted minimised corruption, speeded up justice and reversed many poor decisions. The public jury courts (for criminal cases) which were now to be drawn from the equites, continued as they had under the republic but no longer dealt with notorious cases. Augustus added a court for dealing with cases of adultery, increased the number of jurymen available and paid great attention to those selected on the panels. There has been some changes in procedure in the provinces, the major changes that occured in the judicial field under Augustus were the addition of 2 new high courts and the vast extension of the procedure of appeal. The new new criminal courts were the senatorial court which deals with political cases such as treason etc, the imperial courts, which consisted of Augustus and his unoffcial group of advisers and a system of appeal against the magistrates in Rome, Italy and the provinces became very common, and usually went to Augustus called (an appeal to Caesar). Augustusproved assiduous in his administration of justice, once remaining in court until nightfall, and even if Augustus was unwell he still judges cases in his sick bed. As a judge he was both conscientious and lenient. The control of the state's financial had been in the hands of the senate, but by the end of the civil war the finances were in chaos. The treasury was temporarily bankupt, there was no fair or efficient taxation system, no budget and no reliable census records. Augustus aims was to stabilise conditions after the civil war, to secure sufficient revenue to run a huge empire, and to control and carefully scrutinise all sources of income. Augustus power as priceps depended on this. Augustus control over the state came not only from expenditure of public money, but from the lavish use of his personal wealth. He develope a new systematic regulation of revenue over which he had either direct or indirect control. The revenue needed to run the empire was enormous. The greater expense was the army, another drain on the public finances was the provision of grain at reduced prices in times of scarcity. Augustus did not ignore the administration of the peninsula. Italy was divided into 11 districts, and within these areas safe and easy travel was ensured by the building and repair of raods as well as the control of brigandage and the strict regulation of slave gangs. In 27 he repaired the Via Flaminia and its bridges at his own expense, and in 20 set up a board of senators of praetorian rank to supervise the building and repair of highways through Italy. The 28 colonies of veterans which he had established in Italy helped to lay the foundations for a revival of prosperity.

When Augustus announced his plans to lay down supreme power, there had been protest in the senate, partly from his partisans and partly perhaps from concern that the state would erupt again into civil war. In the first settlement of 27, Augustus agreed to accept for 10 years a provincial command which contained the largest standing Roman armies, then stationed in Spain, Gaul, and Syria, the imperial provinces. By the removal of senatorial proconsuls from Augustus three major provinces, and with the placement there of subordinate legates, Augustus was no longer threatened by men of consular rank with significant armies. The 3 major senatorial provinces of Illyricum, Macedonia and Africa appeared to balance Augustus grant, but in reality these provinces held only a few legions. Thus without appearing to force the senate, Augustus obtained sole proconsular power over the major provincial armies, though this power normally lapsed at Rome, he maintained both civil and military authority there through his consulship. Technically Augustus used powers given to him for a fixed period by the senate and people of Rome, and there were Republican precedents, abnormal ones, for such powers and continuous rule. In order to keep such men in their places and avoid a recurrencence of civil wars and also to maintained his own pre eminenece he would need to make sure that most of Rome's military power remained in his hands at all times. Augustus immediate task was to reduce the army to an effective size. This he did in 2 major demobilisations, one in 30 and the another in 14. The sixty legions involved in the civil war between himself (as Octavian at the time)and Antony were reduced to 28, and when 3 legions were lost in Varian disaster in AD 9 they were not replaced, this left a standing army of 25 legions. In order to bring the army under the control of the state, and to maintain his own position, Augustus, as first citizen (princeps), kept control of the armed forces through his maius imperium. He then carried ouyt a gradual reform which only reached its final form about AD 5.

Overall, Augustus has an extreme amount of power within the entire empire. All of his positions are awarded to him by the senate, and are thus recognized as being constitutional powers. As it was, Augustus held several positions in conjunction with each other, was given several powers that had previously not existed, and was virtually in control of the entire empire. His auctoritas and military control gave him exceptional influence, while his imperium gave him extreme constitutional power. While he is accurate and justified in claiming that he excelled in all influence, It is certainly inaccurate to claim that his power was equal to that of his colleagues. He maintained his constitutional powers by the influence of the senate and gaining major support from the Roman public.
 

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Augustus's rise to power

Augustus was born at Rome with the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus. His father, also Gaius Octavius, came from a respectable but undistinguished family of the equestrian order and was governor of Macedonia before his death in 58 BC. More importantly, his mother Atia was the niece of Rome's greatest general and de facto ruler, Julius Caesar. In 46 BC Caesar, who had no legitimate children, took his grand-nephew soldiering in Hispania, and adopted him by testament as his heir (see also adoption in Rome). Mark Antony charged that Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus had earned his adoption by Caesar through sexual favors. The Roman historian Suetonius described Antony's accusation of an affair with Octavianus as political slander. By virtue of his adoption, following Roman custom, Octavius then assumed the name C. Julius Caesar Octavianus (hereafter "Octavian").

When Caesar was assassinated in March 44 BC, his young heir was with the army at Apollonia, in what is now Albania. At the time, he was only eighteen years old, and was consistently underestimated by his rivals for power. However, he culled support by emphasizing his status as heir to Caesar and took the name Gaius Julius Caesar (probably omitting the customary Octavianus; he is called "Octavian" by historians nonetheless). He crossed over to Italy and recruited an army from among Caesar's veterans. At Rome, he found Caesar's republican assassins, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius, in control. After a tense standoff, he formed an uneasy alliance with Marcus Antonius and Marcus Lepidus, Caesar's principal colleagues. The three formed a junta called the Second Triumvirate which unlike the First Triumvate was a grant of special powers lasting five years and backed by a law.[1] They then set in motion the proscriptions in which 300 senators and 2000 Equites were deprived of their property and, for those who failed to escape, their lives. This went beyond a simply purge of those allied with the assassins and so the main motive was probably to raise money to pay their troops.[2]

Antony and Octavian then marched against Brutus and Cassius, who had fled to the east. At Philippi in Macedonia the Caesarian army was victorious and Brutus and Cassius committed suicide (42 BC). Octavian then returned to Rome, while Antony went to Egypt, where he allied himself with Queen Cleopatra, the ex-lover of Julius Caesar and mother of Caesar's infant son Caesarion. The Roman dominions were then divided between Octavian in the west and Antony in the east.

Antony occupied himself with military campaigns in the east and a romantic affair with Cleopatra; Octavian built a network of allies in Rome, consolidated his power, and spread propaganda implying that Antony was becoming less than Roman because of his preoccupation with Egyptian affairs and traditions. The situation grew more and more tense, and finally, in 32 BC, Octavian declared war. It was quickly decided: in the bay of Actium on the western coast of Greece, the fleets met in a great battle in which many ships burned and thousands on both sides lost their lives. Octavian defeated his rivals, who then fled to Egypt. He pursued them there, and after another defeat, Antony commited suicide. Cleopatra also commited suicide after her coming role in Octavian's triumph was "carefully explainted to her" and Caesarion, the son Julius Ceasar by Cleopatra, was "butchered without compunction"

Octavian becomes Augustus

After Actium, Octavian had his work cut out for him; years of civil war had left Rome in a state of near-lawlessness. Moreover, Rome was not prepared to accept the control of a despot. Octavian was clever. First, he disbanded his armies, and held elections. Octavian was chosen for the powerful position of consul, the highest executive office of the Republic. In 27 BC, he officially returned power to the Senate of Rome, and offered to relinquish his own military supremacy and hegemony over Egypt. Not only did the Senate turn him down, he was also given control of Hispania, Gaul, and Syria – the provinces with the greatest number of troops. Shortly thereafter, the Senate gave him the name "Augustus". The title was associated with a religious ring in antiquity and is believed to be derived from auctoritas and the practises of augurs. In the mindset of contemporary religious beliefs, it would have cleverly symbolized a stamp of authority over humanity that went beyond any constitutional definition of his status. Additionally, the harsh methods employed in consolidating his control meant that the change in name would also serve to separate his benign reign as emperor from his reign of terror as Octavian.

These actions were highly abnormal from the Roman Senate, but this was not the same body of patricians that had murdered Caesar. Both Antony and Octavian had purged the Senate of suspect elements and planted it with their loyal partisans. How free a hand the Senate had in these transactions, and what backroom deals were made, remain unknown.

Augustus knew that the power he needed to rule absolutely could not be derived from his Consulship, however. In 23 BC, he renounced this office in favor of two other powers. First, he was granted the power of a tribune (tribunicia potestas), which allowed him to convene the Senate at will and lay business before it. Since the tribuneship was an office traditionally associated with the common people, this consolidated his power further. Second, he received new authority in the form of an "Imperial" power (imperium proconsulare maius, or power greater than any governor), which gave him supreme authority in all matters pertaining to territorial governance. 23 BC is the date on which Augustus is usually said to have assumed the mantle of Emperor of Rome. He more typically used a civilian title, however, Princeps, or "First Citizen". After the death of Lepidus in 13 BC he added the title of pontifex maximus.

Reign
Having gained power by means of great audacity, Augustus ruled with great prudence. In exchange for near absolute power, he gave Rome 40 years of civic peace and increasing prosperity, celebrated in history as the Pax Romana, or Roman Peace. He created Rome's first permanent army and navy and stationed the legions along the Empire's borders, where they could not meddle in politics. A special unit, the Praetorian Guard, garrisoned Rome and protected the Emperor's person. He also reformed Rome's finance and tax systems.

Augustus waged no major wars. A war in the mountains of northern Spain from 26 BC to 19 BC finally resulted in that territory's conquest. After Gallic raids, the Alpine territories were conquered. Rome's borders were advanced to the natural frontier of the Danube, and the province of Galatia was occupied. Further west, an attempt to advance into Germany ended in defeat at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9. Thereafter he accepted the Rhine as the Empire's permanent border. In the east, he satisfied himself with establishing Roman control over Armenia and the Transcaucasus. He left the Parthian Empire alone.

In domestic matters, Augustus channeled the enormous wealth brought in from the Empire to keeping the army happy with generous payments, and keeping the Romans happy by beautifying the capital and staging magnificent games. He famously boasted that he "found Rome brick and left it marble". He built the Senate a new home, the Curia, and built temples to Apollo and to the Divine Julius. He also built a shrine near the Circus Maximus. It is recorded that he built both the Capitoline Temple and the Theater of Pompey without putting his name on them. He founded a ministry of transport, which built an extensive network of roads - enabling improved communication, trade, and mail. Augustus also founded the world's first fire brigade, and created a regular police force for Rome.
Roman rulers understood little about economics, and Augustus was no exception. Like all the Emperors, he over-taxed agriculture and spent the revenue on armies, temples, and games. Once the Empire stopped expanding, and had no more loot coming in from conquests, its economy began to stagnate and eventually decline. The reign of Augustus is thus seen in some ways as the high point of Rome's power and prosperity. Augustus settled retired soldiers on the land in an effort to revive agriculture, but the capital remained dependent on grain imports from Egypt.

Augustus also strongly supported worship of Roman gods, especially Apollo, and depicted Roman defeat of Egypt as Roman gods defeating Egypt's. He sponsored Vergil's Aeneid in the hopes that it would increase pride in Roman heritage. Augustus also launched a morality crusade, promoting marriage, family, and childbirth while discouraging luxury, "interbreeding", unrestrained sex (including prostitution and homosexuality), and adultery. It was largely unsuccessful (indeed, his own daughter was banished and subsequently perished due to it).

A patron of the arts, Augustus showered favors on poets, artists, sculptors, and architects, and his reign is considered the Golden Age of Roman literature. Horace, Livy, Ovid, and Vergil flourished under his protection, but in return, they had to pay due tribute to his genius and adhere to his standards. (Ovid was banished from Rome for violating Augustus's morality codes.) He eventually won over most of the Roman intellectual class, although many still pined in private for the Republic. His use of games and special events to celebrate himself and his family cemented his popularity. However, by the time Augustus died, it was impossible to imagine a return to the old system. The only question was who would succeed him as sole ruler.

Succession
Augustus' control of power throughout the Empire was so absolute that it allowed him to name his successor, a custom that had been abandoned and derided in Rome since the foundation of the Republic. At first, indications pointed toward his sister's son Marcellus, who had been married to Augustus' daughter Julia Caesaris. However, Marcellus died of food poisoning in 23 BC. Reports of later historians that this poisoning, and other later deaths, were caused by Augustus' wife Livia Drusilla are inconclusive at best.

After the death of Marcellus, Augustus married his daughter to his right hand man, Marcus Agrippa. This union produced five children, three sons and two daughters: Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Vipsania Julia, Agrippina the Elder, and Postumus Agrippa, so named because he was born after Marcus Agrippa died. Augustus' intent to make the first two children his heirs was apparent when he adopted them as his own children. Augustus also showed favor to his stepsons, Livia's children from her first marriage, Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus and Tiberius Claudius, after they had conquered a large portion of Germany.

After Agrippa died in 12 BC, Livia's son Tiberius divorced his own wife and married Agrippa's widow. Tiberius shared in Augustus' tribune powers, but shortly thereafter went into retirement. After the early deaths of both Gaius and Lucius in AD 4 and AD 2 respectively, and the earlier death of his brother Drusus (9 BC), Tiberius was recalled to Rome, where he was adopted by Augustus.

On August 19, AD 14, Augustus died. Postumus Agrippa and Tiberius had been named co-heirs. However, Postumus had been banished, and was put to death around the same time. Who ordered his death is unknown, but the way was clear for Tiberius to assume the same powers that his stepfather had.

Augustus's legacy
Augustus was deified soon after his death, and both his borrowed surname, Caesar, and his title, Augustus, became the permanent titles of the rulers of Rome for the next 400 years, and were still in use at Constantinople fourteen centuries after his death, (and the derived titles "Kaiser" and "Tsar" would be used until the early part of the 20th century). The cult of the Divine Augustus continued until Constantine the Great converted the State Religion of the Empire to Christianity in the 4th century. Consequently we have many excellent statues and busts of the first, and in some ways the greatest, of the Emperors. Augustus' mausoleum also originally contained bronze pillars inscribed with a record of his life, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti.

Many consider Augustus as Rome's greatest emperor; his policies certainly extended the empire's life span and initiated the celebrated "Pax Romana" or "Pax Augusta". He was handsome, intelligent, decisive, and a very shrewd politician, but he was not perhaps as charismatic as the earlier Caesar or his rival Antony; as a result, Augustus is not as renowned as either man, and is often confused with Julius Caesar. Nevertheless, his legacy has proved more enduring.

The month of August (Latin Augustus) is named after Augustus; until his time it was called Sextilis.

In looking back on the reign of Augustus and its legacy to the Roman world, its longevity ought not to be overlooked as a key factor in its success. People had been born and reached middle age without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Had Augustus died earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters may have turned out very differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican oligarchy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state into a monarchy in these years. Augustus's own experience, his patience, his tact, and his great political acumen also played their part. He directed the future of the empire down many lasting paths, from the existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's expense. Augustus's ultimate legacy, however, was the peace and prosperity the empire was to enjoy for the next two centuries under the system he initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor; although every emperor adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, only a handful earned genuine comparison with him (Fagan).
 

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Early Life

Caesar was born in Rome to a well-known patrician family (gens Julia), which supposedly traced its ancestry to Julus, the son of the Trojan prince Aeneas, who according to myth was the son of Venus. According to legend, Caesar was born by Caesarian section and is its namesake, though this is unlikely because it was only performed on dead women, and his mother lived long after he was born. Caesar was raised in a modest apartment building (insula) in the Subura, a lower-class neighborhood of Rome.

The Julii Caesares, although of impeccable aristocratic patrician stock, were not rich by the standards of the Roman nobility. Thus, no member of his family had achieved any outstanding prominence in recent times, though in his father's generation there was a renaissance of their fortunes. His paternal aunt, Julia, married Gaius Marius, a talented general and reformer of the Roman army. Marius became one of the richest men in Rome at the time and while he gained political influence, the Caesar family gained the wealth.

Towards the end of Marius' life in 86 BC, internal politics reached a breaking point. Several disputes of the Marius faction against Lucius Cornelius Sulla led to civil war and eventually opened the way to Sulla's dictatorship. Caesar was tied to the Marius party through family connections. Not only was he Marius' nephew, he was also married to Cornelia Cinnilla, the youngest daughter of Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Marius' greatest supporter and Sulla's enemy. To make matters worse, in the year 85 BC, just after Caesar turned 15, his father grew ill and soon died. Both Marius and his father had left Caesar much of their property and wealth in their wills.

Thus, when Sulla emerged as the winner of this civil war and began his program of proscriptions, Caesar, not yet 20 years old, was in a bad position. Sulla ordered Caesar to divorce Cornelia in 82 BC, but Caesar refused and prudently left Rome to hide. Sulla pardoned Caesar and his family and allowed him to return to Rome. In a prophetic moment, Sulla was said to comment on the dangers of letting Caesar live. According to Suetonius, the dictator in relenting on Caesar's proscription said, "He whose life you so much desire will one day be the overthrow of the part of nobles, whose cause you have sustained with me; for in this one Caesar, you will find many a Marius."

Despite Sulla's pardon, Caesar did not remain in Rome and left for military service in Asia and Cilicia. While still in Asia Minor, Caesar was involved in several military operations. In 80 BC, while still serving under Thermus, he played a pivotal role in the siege of Miletus. During the course of the battle Caesar showed such personal bravery in saving the lives of legionaries, that he was later awarded the corona civica (oak crown). The award was of the highest honor given to a non-commander, and when worn in public, even in the presence of the Roman Senate, all were forced to stand and applaud his presence.

Back in Rome in 78 BC, when Sulla died, Caesar began his political career in the Forum at Rome as an advocate, known for his oratory and ruthless prosecution of former governors notorious for extortion and corruption. The great orator Cicero even commented, "Does anyone have the ability to speak better than Caesar?" Aiming at rhetorical perfection, Caesar traveled to Rhodes in 75 BC for philosophical and oratorical studies with the famous teacher Apollonius Molo.

On the way, Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates in the Mediterranean Sea. When they demanded a ransom of twenty talents, he laughed at them, saying they did not know whom they had captured. Instead, he ordered them to ask for fifty. They accepted, and Caesar sent his followers to various cities to collect the ransom money. In all he was held for thirty-eight days and would often laughingly threaten to have them all crucified. True to his word, as soon as he was ransomed and released, he organized a naval force, captured the pirates and their island stronghold and put them to death by crucifixion as a warning to other pirates. However, since they had treated him well, he had their legs broken before they were crucified to lessen their suffering.

After returning to Rome in 73 BC, Caesar was elected to the College of Pontiffs. Unfortunately, Caesar returned to Rome in the middle of the slave rebellion under the ex-gladiator Spartacus. The Senate sent legion after legion to handle the rebellion, but each time Spartacus was victorious. In 72 BC, Caesar was elected a military tribune by the Roman assemblies, his first step in political life. Finally, in the year 71 BC, Marcus Crassus rose to the challenge presented by Spartacus. Caesar was one of the few men to lobby for Crassus in trying to establish his command. The Senate appointed Crassus to the cause, and Crassus personally levied six brand new legions, and recruited the young Caesar to serve as one of his tribunes for his work as an advocate. After a series of defeats, Crassus finally overcame Spartacus in 71 BC. During their time together, Caesar and Crassus would form a friendship that would later advance both of their careers in the years to come. But Caesar's triumph soon turned to disaster.

In 69 BC, Caesar became a widower after Cornelia's death trying to deliver a stillborn son. In the same year, he lost his aunt Julia, to whom he was very attached. These two deaths left Caesar very much alone to raise a still infant daughter, Julia Caesaris. It was untraditional for Roman women to have great public funerals, but Caesar broke tradition and gave them both fine funerals. During the funerals, Caesar delivered eulogy speeches from the Rostra. Julia's funeral was filled with political connotations, since Caesar insisted on parading Marius's funeral mask. Although Caesar was very fond of both women (according to Suetonius), these speeches were interpreted by his political opponents as propaganda for his upcoming election for the office of quaestor.

Caesar's Cursus Honorum

Caesar was elected quaestor by the Assembly of the People in 69 BC, at the age of thirty, as stipulated in the Roman cursus honorum. He drew the lots and was assigned a quaestorship in Lusitania, a Roman province roughly situated in modern Portugal and part of southern Spain. As an administrative and financial officer, the trip was largely uneventful, but it was while in Hispania that he had the famous encounter with a statue of Alexander the Great. At the temple of Hercules in Gades, it was said that he broke down and cried. When asked why he would have such a reaction, his simple response was: "Do you think I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable."

Caesar was released early from his office as quaestor, and allowed to return to Rome early. Despite any personal grief over the loss of his wife, of who all accounts suggest he loved dearly, Caesar was set to remarry in 67 BC for political gain. This time, however, he chose an odd alliance. The granddaughter of Sulla, and daughter of Quintus Pompey, Pompeia Sulla, was to be his next wife. Now as a member of the Senate, thanks to his election earlier as quaestor, Caesar supported laws which were designed to grant Pompey the Great unlimited powers in dealing with Cilician pirates in the Mediterranean. Obviously building a relationship with Rome's great general would play into his hands later.

Between the support of the laws regarding Pompey's command, Caesar served as the curator of the Appian Way. The maintenance of this road, which stretched from Rome to Cumae and beyond to the heel of Italy's boot, was an important and high profile position. While it was enormously expensive on a personal basis, it gave a great deal of prestige to a young Senator, and Crassus' support certainly made it an achievable task for Caesar. All the while, Caesar continued to pursue his judicial career until his election as curule aedile in 65 BC, along with a young rival and member of the Optimates faction by the name of Bibulus.

This magistrate position was the next step in the Roman cursus honorum and was a grand opportunity for the master of the public spectacle. The curule aediles were responsible for such public duties as the construction and care of temples, maintenance of public buildings, traffic, and other aspects of Rome's daily life; perhaps most important of all, the staging of public games on state holidays and management of the Circus Maximus. Caesar indebted himself to the point of near financial ruin during this time, but enhanced his image irreversibly with the common people. Caesar ended his year as aedile in glory but in bankruptcy. His debts reached several hundred gold talents (millions of euros in today's currency) and threatened to be an obstacle for his future career. His co-aedile Bibulus was so unspectacular in comparison that he later commented in frustration that the entire year's aedileship was credited to Caesar alone, instead of both.

His success as aedile was, however, an enormous help for his election as Pontifex Maximus (high priest) in 63 BC, following the death of the previous holder Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius. This office meant a new house — the Domus Publica (public house) — in the Forum, the responsibility of all Roman religious affairs and the custody of the Vestal virgins under his roof. For Caesar, it also meant a relief of his debts. The election put Caesar in a position of considerable power, with opportunity for income. The Pontifex was elected to a lifetime term and while technically not a political office, still provided considerable advantages in dealing with the Senate and legislation.

Caesar's debut as Pontifex was however marked by a scandal. Following the death of his wife Cornelia, he had married Pompeia, a granddaughter of Sulla, in 67 BC. As the wife of the Pontifex and an important matrona (Latin: married woman), Pompeia was responsible for the organization of the Bona Dea festival in December. These rites were exclusive to women and considered very sacred. However, Publius Clodius Pulcher managed to get in the house disguised as a woman. This was absolute sacrilege and Pompeia received a letter of divorce. Caesar himself admitted that she could be innocent in the plot, but, as he said: "Caesar's wife, like the rest of Caesar's family, must be above suspicion."

63 BC was an especially difficult year, not only for Caesar, but for the Roman Republic itself. Caesar ran for, and won, the office of Praetor Urbanus for the year 62 BC. Before he could even take office, however, the Catiline Conspiracy erupted putting Caesar in direct conflict with the Optimates once again. The result was the conviction to death of five notable Roman men, Catiline's allies, without a trial. The only other option open was banishment, as imprisonment before trial was unheard of; if banished the men would simply have gone to take command of Catiline's armies in Etruria. The Senate deliberated on the matter, with Caesar one of the few men to speak up against the death penalty.

Towards the end of his praetorship, Caesar was again in serious jeopardy of prosecution for his debts. Crassus came to the rescue again, paying off a quarter of his 20 million denarii balance. Eventually, by 61 BC, Caesar was finally assigned to serve as the Propraetor governor of Lusitania, the province he served in as a quaestor. With this appointment, his creditors backed off, allowing that this position could be quite profitable. Leaving Rome even before he was officially to take over, Caesar was not taking chances.

Arriving in Hispania, Caesar developed a remarkable reputation as a military commander. Between 61 BC and 60 BC, he won considerable victories over the local Gallaecian and Lusitanian tribes. During one of his victories, his men hailed him as Imperator in the field, which was a vital consideration in being eligible for a triumph back in Rome. Caesar was now faced with a terrible dilemma, though. He wanted to run for consul for 59 BC and would have to be present within the city of Rome to do so, but he also wanted to receive the honor of a triumph. The Optimates surely would use this against him, forcing him to wait outside the city, as was the custom, until they confirmed his triumph. The delay would force Caesar to miss his chance to run for consul and he made a fateful decision. In the summer of 60 BC, Caesar entered Rome to run for the highest political office in the Roman Republic.

First Triumvirate

In 60 BC, Caesar's decision to forego a chance at a triumph for his achievements in Spain put him in a position to run for consul. Even though Caesar had overwhelming popularity within the citizen assemblies, he had to manipulate formidable alliances within the Senate itself in order to secure his election. Already maintaining a solid friendship with the fabulously wealthy Marcus Crassus, he approached Crassus' rival Pompey the Great with the concept of a coalition. Pompey had already been considerably frustrated by the inability to get land reform for his eastern veterans and Caesar brilliantly patched up any differences between the two powerful leaders.

The alliance (known today as the First Triumvirate) was formed in late 60 BC, and remarkably remained a secret for some time. Pompey and Crassus agreed to use their wealth and clout to secure Caesar's consulship, and in return Caesar would lobby for both Pompey's and Crassus's political agenda. Caesar and Crassus were already the best of friends from a decade back, and he solidified his alliance with Pompey by giving him his own daughter Julia Caesaris in marriage. The alliance combined Caesar's enormous popularity with the plebians and legal reputation with Crassus's fantastic wealth and influence within the plutocratic Equestrian order and Pompey's equally spectacular wealth, military reputation, and Senatorial influence. With their help, Caesar won the election easily enough, but the Optimates managed to get Caesar's former co-aedile Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus elected as the junior consul.

Once in office in 59 BC, Caesar's first order of business was to pass a law that required the public release of all debates and procedures of the Senate. Next on the agenda was the appeasement of Pompey. Unused land in parts of Italy would be restored and offered to Pompey's veterans. Doing so would not only alleviate the problem of the unemployed mob in Rome but would satisfy Pompey and his legions. Still Cato the Younger and the Optimate faction opposed the concept simply because it was Caesar's idea. Caesar rebuked the Senate and took it directly to the people.

While speaking before the citizen assemblies, Caesar asked his co-consul Bibulus his feelings on the bill, as it was important to have the support of both standing consuls. His reply was simply to say that the bill would not be passed even if everyone else wanted it. At this point the so-called first triumvirate was made publicly known with both Pompey and Crassus voicing public approval of the measure in turn. The law carried with overwhelming public support and Bibulus retired to his home in disgrace. Bibulus spent the remainder of his consular year trying to use religious omens to declare Caesar's laws as null and void, in an attempt to bog down the political system. Instead, however, he simply gave Caesar complete autonomy to pass almost any proposal he wanted to. After Bibulus' withdrawal, the year of the consulship of Caesar and Bibulus was often referred to jokingly thereafter as the year of "Julius and Caesar".

Already secure with Crassus, by marrying the daughter of his client Piso, Caesar next strengthened his alliance with Pompey. Pompey was married to Caesar's daughter Julia. In what seemed to be a mere political edge, the marriage blossomed into romance by all accounts. Caesar was given the proconsulship of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, granting him the opportunity to match political victories with military glory. This five-year term, unprecedented for an area that was relatively secure, was an obvious sign of Caesar's ambition for external conquests. Caesar's future campaigns would all be conducted at his own discretion. In an additional stroke of luck, the current governor of Gallia Narbonensis died, and this province was assigned to Caesar as well.

As 59 BC came to a close, Caesar had the support of the people, along with the two most powerful men in Rome (aside from himself), and the opportunity for infinite glory in Gaul. At the age of forty, while already holding the highest office in Rome and defeating his enemies at every turn, the true greatness of his career was yet to come. Marching quickly to the relative safety of his provinces, to invoke his five year imperium and avoid prosecution, Caesar was about to alter the geopolitical landscape of the ancient world.

Gallic Wars
Caesar took official command of his provinces of Illyricum, Cisalpine Gaul and Transalpine Gaul in 59 BC. Beyond the province of Transalpine Gaul was a vast land comprising modern France, called Gallia Comata, where loose confederations of Celtic tribes maintained varying relationships with Rome. However, as soon as he took office, a Celtic tribe living in modern day Switzerland, the Helvetii, had planned a move from the Alpine region to the west of modern France. In order to make such a move, however, the Helvetii would have to march not only through Roman-controlled territory, but that of the Roman allied Aedui tribe as well. Other Gallic Celts and people within the province of Gallia Narbonensis feared that the Helvetii would not just move through as they proposed, but would plunder everything in their path as they went. Without question, Caesar opposed the idea and hastily recruited two more fresh legions in preparation.

Several other local tribes joined the Helvetti in lesser numbers making the entire force among the largest and most powerful in all of Gaul. In total, according to Caesar, nearly 370,000 tribesmen were gathered, of which about 260,000 were women, children and other non-combatants. After setting off, and disregarding Caesar's objection, the two forces inevitably met. After several skirmishes, Caesar occupied the high ground with his six legions, and lured the enemy into a poorly matched battle. Near the Aeduan capital, Caesar crushed the Helvetii, slaughtering the enemy wholesale with little regard for combat status. According to Caesar himself, of the 370,000 enemy present, only 130,000 survived the battle. In the next few days following the battle while chasing down the fleeing enemy, it seems that at least another 20,000 were killed. Around the same time, in late 59 BC, the Germanic leader Ariovistus, chieftain of the Germanic Suebi, lead an invasion of Gaul and raided the border regions, but Caesar quelled the situation at that point by arranging an alliance with the Germans in early 58 BC. He forced the Germans back east across the Rhine, and used the "defense of Roman allies" as his cause to continue north in conquest.

In the spring of 57 BC, Caesar was in Cisalpine Gaul attending to the administration of his governorship. Despite cries of great thanks from various Gallic tribes, discontent was growing. Word came to Caesar that a confederation of northern Gallic tribes under the Belgae was building to confront the Roman presence in Gaul. Caesar hurried back to his legions, raising two new legions of mainly Gallic "citizens" in the meantime, bringing his total to eight.

As Caesar arrived, likely in July 57 BC, the rumors of Gallic opposition proved true. Caesar moved quickly, surprising Gallic tribes before they could join the opposition, and made fast allies of them. The Belgae, in reprisal against this, began to attack. With eight legions the Romans crushed the attack in a hard fought affair. The victory was two fold for Caesar. It not only was a victory in the field, but a political and propaganda win as well. By defending his "allies" from external aggression, he could now easily secure the necessary legalities to continue aggression against the Belgae. Though it would be another difficult campaign, this was exactly the sort of fortune that Caesar wanted. Caesar continued north, conquering all in his path, either through politics or by force.

As the campaign year of 56 BC opened, Caesar found that Gaul still was not quite ready for Roman occupation. Caesar sent his generals to every corner of Gaul, quelling any Gallic resistance in their way. Publius Crassus, son of Marcus Crassus, was sent to Aquitania with twelve legionary cohorts to subdue the tribes there. With the help of Gallic auxilia, Crassus quickly brought Roman control to the westernmost portion of Gaul. Decimus Brutus, the young future assassin of Caesar, was sent north to modern day Brittany to build a fleet amongst the Veneti. The Veneti controlled the waterways with a formidable fleet of their own and were augmented by British Celts. At first the Gallic vessels outmatched the Romans, and Brutus could do little to hamper Venetian operations. Roman ingenuity took over, however, and they began using hooks launched by archers to grapple the Venetian ships to their own. Before long, the Veneti were completely defeated, and like many tribes before them, sold into slavery.

In all, dozens of tribes were forced to surrender to Roman domination and hundreds of thousands of prisoners were sent back to Rome as slaves. With the defeat of the Gallic resistance, Caesar next began to focus his attention across the channel. Still, the conquest was not quite as complete as it seemed. First Caesar would have to deal with more Germanic incursions before he could cross to Britain. And despite his confidence, the Gallic tribes were not nearly as subdued as he thought. For now, though, Caesar returned to Cisalpine Gaul to attend to political matters in Rome.

Germania, Britain, and Vercingetorix

By 56 BC, as Caesar was pushing Roman control throughout the entire Gallic province, the political situation in Rome was dangerously falling apart. In the midst of planning his next steps in Gaul, Britain and Germania, Caesar returned to Cisalpine Gaul and knew he had to reaffirm support within the Senate. Pompey was in northern Italy attending to his duties with the grain commission, and Crassus went to Ravenna to meet with Caesar. He instead, called them both to Lucca for a conference, and the three triumvirs were joined by up to 200 Senators. Though support in Rome was unravelling, this meeting showed the scope and size of the ‘triumvirate’ as being a much larger coalition than just three men. However, Caesar needed Crassus and Pompey to get along in order to hold the whole thing together. Caesar had to have his command extended in order to ensure safety from recall and prosecution.

An agreement was reached in which Caesar would have his extension while granting Pompey and Crassus a balance of power opportunity. Pompey and Crassus were to be elected as joint consuls for 55 BC, with Pompey receiving Hispania as his province and Crassus to get Syria. Pompey, jealous over Caesar’s growing army, wanted the security of a provincial command with legions, and Crassus wanted the opportunity for military glory and plunder to the east in Parthia. With the matter resolved, Crassus and Pompey returned to Rome to stand for the elections of 55 BC. Despite bitter resistance from the Optimates, including a delay in the election, the two were eventually confirmed as consuls. Caesar took no chances however, and sent his legate, Publius Crassus, back to Rome with 1,000 men to "keep order". The presence of these men, along with the popularity of Crassus and Pompey went a long way to stabilize the situation. Caesar quickly returned to Gaul set into motion the first Roman invasion of Britain.

Before Caesar could focus on Britain, a German invasion across the Rhine into Ubian territory forced his attention on Germania. The invaders sent ambassadors to Caesar saying they only desired peace, but Caesar demanded their removal from Gaul and marched his legions against them. Before Caesar attacked, his cavalry was attacked by surprise and seventy-eight Romans were killed. A full-scale assault was then launched on the German camp and according to Caesar, 430,000 leaderless German men, women and children were assembled. The Romans butchered indiscriminately, sending the mass of people fleeing to the Rhine, where many more succumbed to the river. In the end, there is no account of how many were killed, but Caesar also claims to have not lost a single man.

With the situation secure on the Gallic side of the river, Caesar decided it was time to settle the matter with the aggressive Germans once and for all, lest they invade again. It was decided, in order to impress the Germans and the Roman people that bridging the Rhine would have the most significant effect. By June of 56 BC, Caesar became the first Roman to cross the Rhine into Germanic territory. In so doing, a monstrous wooden bridge was built in only ten days, stretching over 300 feet across the great river. This alone assuredly, impressed the Germans and Gauls, who had little comparative capability in bridge building. Within a short time of his crossing, nearly all tribes within the region sent hostages along with messages of peace.

Only one tribe resisted, fleeing their towns rather than submit to Caesar. The Romans made an example of them by burning their stores and their villages before receiving word that the Suevi were beginning to assemble in opposition. Caesar, rather than risk this glorious achievement in a pitched battle with a fierce foe, decided that discretion was the better part of valor. After spending only eighteen days in Germanic territory, the Romans returned across the Rhine, burning their bridge in the process. With that short diversion, Caesar secured peace among the Germans, as the Suevi remained relatively peaceful for some time after, and secured a crucial alliance with the Ubii. His rear secured, Caesar looked for another glorious Roman ‘first’ and moved his body north to prepare for the invasion of Britain.

Even after an unsuccessful first invasion, Caesar succeeded in invading a second time with the largest naval invasion in history until the Invasion of Normandy, nearly 2,000 years later. At year's end in 55 BC, Caesar had traveled to the farthest point in the known world and held most of Gaul firmly in his hands. But not all was going Caesar's way. In 54 BC, his only daughter, Julia Caesaris, died in childbirth, leaving both Pompey and Caesar heartbroken. And to make matters worse, Crassus had been killed in 53 BC during his ill-fated campaign in Parthia. Without Crassus or Julia, Pompey began to drift towards the Optimates faction, and relations with Caesar withered. Still away in Gaul, Caesar tried to secure Pompey's support by offering him one of his nieces in marriage, but Pompey refused. Instead, Pompey married Cornelia Metella, the daughter of Metallus Scipio, one of Caesar's greatest enemies.

New discontent was brewing among the tribes of south-central Gaul. Among those tribes were the Arverni. Initially hesitant, a young chieftan, Vercingetorix, came to the forefront to rally the Gauls. Other neighboring tribes soon joined the growing revolt, especially in the absence of the legions who occupied the northern and eastern portions of Gaul. Caesar had to make haste from Cisalpine Gaul and joined his army in the late winter/early spring of 52 BC. Caesar had no choice but to consolidate his forces against the formidable revolt.

Caesar followed Vercingetorix's retreating army to the fortified town of Alesia. With an alleged army of some 80,000 men, Vercingetorix and his Gauls were in shock from Caesar's Germanic cavalry allies and were in no condition to meet the 60,000 Romans legionaries on the battlefield. Caesar ordered the complete circumvallation of the Alesian plateau, which would not only enclose the Gauls, but keep his large army occupied during the siege. Walls, ditches and forts of various sizes stretched the entire circle for a total length of ten miles. In one of the most brilliant siege tactics in the history of warfare, and a testament to the skill of Roman engineering, Caesar ordered a second wall to be built on the outside of the first. This wall, nearly identical to the first in construction and type, extended as much as fifteen miles around the inner wall and left enough of a gap in between to fortify the entire Roman army. The first wall was designed to keep Vercingetorix in, and the second wall to keep his allies out.

A massive army was raised to defend Vercingetorix. According to Caesar, nearly 250,000 Gauls came in support of their besieged king. This force marched from the territory of the Aedui to crush the Romans between two forces larger than that of their target. Inside Alesia, however, conditions were terrible, with an estimated 180,000 people (including non-combatant women and children) running out of food and supplies.

By the time the relief force arrived, Vercingetorix and his army were in dire straits, with many of his men likely on the verge of surrender. October 2 would prove to be the final battle of Alesia. The Gauls on both sides hammered the weakness in the Roman wall. Overall, the Romans may have been outnumbered as many as six to one. The battle that was once very close to the possible end of Caesar, turned into an all out rout and the Gauls outside the Roman walls were slaughtered. By the end of the battle, the Germanic cavalry would virtually wipe out the retreating Gauls, leaving only Vercingetorix on the inside. Forced back into Alesia after the defeat of his relief force, with no hope of additional reinforcements, and only with the starving remnants of his own army, Vercingetorix was forced to surrender.

The defeat of Vercingetorix lead to an effective end of the Gallic Wars. The whole campaign resulted in 800 conquered cities, 300 subdued tribes, one million men sold into slavery and another three million dead in battle.

Civil War
The Optimates despised Caesar and his conquests and looked for every opportunity to strip him of his command. Prosecuting Caesar, whether the goal was death, exile or just a symbolic limitation of his power, would prevent his re-establishment of the populares agenda that he so masterfully instituted previously. The years 50 BC and 49 BC were pivotal because during this time frame, Caesar's imperium, namely safety from prosecution, was set to expire. Caesar badly desired the ability to run for the consulship in absentia, thereby allowing him the safe transfer of protection from his proconsular imperium, granted by his command in Gaul, to that of the actual consulship once again.

By this time, however, Pompey, likely the only man able to smooth things over, had clearly sided with the Optimates. His jealously over Caesar's success and his ultimate goal of acceptance and power within the Senate took him ever further from the alliance with Caesar. Laws were passed while Pompey was consul without colleague that forced a candidate to be present in Rome to run for office.

Caesar's only options throughout were either to surrender willingly and face certain prosecution along with the end of his career or life, or go to war. On January 1, 49 BC and the days immediately following, the Senate rejected Caesar's final peace proposal and declared him a public enemy. Around the January 10 49 BC, word reached Caesar and he marched south with the Thirteenth Legion from Ravenna towards the southern limit of Cisalpine Gaul's border. He likely arrived around January 11, and stopped on the northern bank of the small river border, the Rubicon.

Caesar seemed to contemplate the situation understandably for some time before making his final fateful decision. He is then reported to have muttered the now famous phrase, from the work of the poet Menander, Alea iacta est, usually translated as "The die is cast." The Rubicon was crossed and Caesar officially invaded the legal border from his province into Italy, thus starting the civil war. Despite having two legions to Caesar's one, Caesar's Gallic legions were on the move to join him so Pompey and the rest of Caesar's opposition had little choice but to leave Rome immediately and abandon Italy to Caesar. When Caesar entered Rome, he was elected Dictator, but only served for eleven days when he left office and served as consul instead. He was soon joined by legions from Gaul, and set off for Spain with nine legions. He is said to have boasted "I'm off to meet an army without a leader, then I will meet a leader without an army." Caesar meant that Pompey had left seven legions in Spain while he fled to Greece. Caesar's army marched into Spain and defeated the Pompeiian forces at Ilierda. While marching back through southern Gaul, he took the city of Massila (present day Marseille) from Pompeiian forces.

Caesar briefly returned to Italy before marching into Thessaly with eight legions. He quickly incorporated the towns of the region under his control. His exhausted and poorly supplied army was able to secure new sources of food and essentially become re-energized for the continuing campaign. Caesar first faced Pompey on July 10, 48 BC at Dyrrhacium. Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat. Caesar lured Pompey into Greece where he decisively defeated Pompey's numerically superior army — Pompey had nearly twice the number of infantry and considerably more cavalry — at the Battle of Pharsalus in an exceedingly short engagement in 48 BC.

As the battle closed, Caesar reviewed the field and was likely shaken by the effects of civil war. He claimed that 15,000 enemy soldiers were killed, including 6,000 Romans, and 25,000 were captured, while losing only 200 of his own men, though both numbers are likely either over- or under-exaggerated. Still, the sight of the field apparently had a profound effect on the new master of the Roman world. In surveying the carnage, Caesar supposedly said, "They would have it so, I, Gaius Caesar, after so much success, would be condemned had I dismissed my army."

Caesar in the East
Following the defeat at Pharsalus, the majority of the remaining Pompeian forces surrendered to Caesar, and the major part of the war was essentially over. Pompey himself fled to Egypt, where his own horrible fate awaited him. Respected as the conqueror of the East, Pompey certainly felt comfortable heading into Egypt. While waiting off-shore to receive word from the boy-king, Ptolemy XIII, Pompey was betrayed and assassinated. Stabbed in the back and decapitated, his body was burned on the shore and his head was brought to the king in order to present as a gift to Caesar. On July 24, 48 BC, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus was dead, just short of 58 years old. When Caesar arrived in pursuit of Pompey, to certainly, by all accounts, grant him a pardon and welcome him back to Rome, Ptolemy presented Caesar with Pompey's head and his signet ring. Caesar, despite realizing Pompey's death made him the master of Rome, was overcome with grief. Turning away from the slave who presented Pompey's head, Caesar burst into tears at the sight of his rival, former friend, and son-in-law.

When Caesar arrived with just 4,000 men, or just under one full legion, he immediately took over the palace and presumed to secure his authority. He had two goals while in Egypt, secure grain and repayment of Egyptian debts, and also to settle the matter of who should rule the country: Cleopatra or Ptolemy. Caesar privately requested a meeting with Cleopatra in order to take stock of her before making a decision.

Cleopatra was slipped into some bed coverings and presented to Caesar as a gift. Though little is known of the actual meeting, it is quite clear that the young queen made an enormous impression on Caesar. She was elegant and charismatic, but most of all, she had power and money, and Caesar supposed she was susceptible to manipulation. Caesar, at 52 years old and 35 years her elder, easily withstood her seduction attempts, and seduced her. He would place Cleopatra on the throne of Egypt and use her as the key to controlling the vast wealth of Egypt.

By January of 47 BC, Caesar secured the reign of Cleopatra by enforcing the will of her father Ptolemy XII with both military and political force, and married her to her younger brother Ptolemy XIV. Over the next several months, Caesar and Cleopatra went on what seemed like a honeymoon vacation along the Nile. Traveling on Cleopatra's barge as far south as his men would let him, they toured the entire country all the way to the border of Ethiopia.

While Caesar and Cleopatra enjoyed their love affair in earnest, however, Republican forces in Spain and Africa continued to be a threat. Making matters worse, though, Pharnaces II of Pontus, son of the great Roman enemy Mithridates the Great was making incursions against neighboring provinces in the Roman East. Once again Caesar gathered his forces and marched off to face another threat.

The End of the Civil War

By the campaign season of 47 BC, Caesar left Egypt and began an overland march through the far eastern provinces. Heading towards the trouble with Pharnaces, Caesar traveled through Judaea and Syria, accepting apologies and granting pardons to those foreign kings and Roman governors who had supported Pompey. In so doing, he was also able to rebuild his war chest through the various tributes paid to him. Caesar met King Pharnaces in the Battle of Zela. His victory was so swift and so complete that he commemorated it in his triumph with the words: Veni Vidi Vici ("I came, I saw, I conquered").

Thence, in 46 BC, he proceeded to Africa to deal with the remnants of Pompey's Senatorial supporters under Cato the Younger. He quickly gained a significant victory at Thapsus over the forces of Metellus Scipio, who was killed in battle, and Cato. After Cato saw that his forces were defeated by Caesar, in traditional Roman fashion, he fell on his sword and committed suicide.

Despite this great loss for the Senatorial faction, Pompey's sons Gnaeus Pompeius and Sextus Pompeius, together with Titus Labienus, Caesar's former propraetorian legate (legatus propraetore) and second in command in the Gallic War, escaped to Spain, where they continued to resist Caesar's dominance of the Roman world. Caesar arrived in Spain in late November or early December of 46 BC, with eight legions and 8,000 cavalry of his own. Caesar's arrival was completely unexpected by the enemy, and the surprise gave him an early advantage.

In March of 45 BC, the two armies faced off in the Battle of Munda with Gnaeus Pompey holding the high ground. Caesar was forced to march uphill against the strong enemy position, but he was never one to shirk from a chance at open battle. As his army marched to meet Pompey, and the battle was joined, it soon became clear that this would be among the most ferociously fought battles of Caesar's career. The exhausting battle was taking its toll and both commanders left their strategic overview positions to join their men in the ranks. Caesar himself later told friends that he had fought many times for victory, but Munda was the first time he had fought for his life. Finally after an epic struggle, Caesar's Tenth Legion, under his nephew Octavian, began to make the difference.

Positioned on Caesar's right wing, the Tenth started to push back Gnaeus Pompey's wing. Labienus, in command of Pompey's cavalry, recognized the threat and broke off from the main battle with his cavalry to secure the camp, but this seemed to have dire consequences. Pompey's men seemed to have viewed this as a general retreat by the one man who knew Caesar so well, and panic was the result. Caesar's army overwhelmed the retreating enemy and was merciless in its zeal to end the war. Up to 30,000 men were slaughtered in the carnage, including Labienus, but Gnaeus Pompey managed to escape. Still, it would turn out to be the final major battle and victory of Caesar's career, and one that effectively ended land-based resistance.

After the Civil War
Over the next few months, Caesar mopped up in Hispania and brutally punished the people for their disloyalty. Gnaeus Pompey was later killed and his brother Sextus who garrisoned Corduba managed to flee Spain entirely. Caesar was joined by his nephew Octavian just prior to the battle of Munda, and the young man secured himself as Caesar's heir during the campaign in Spain. He certainly learned a great deal about provincial administration from his now all-powerful uncle. It was after the battle of Munda that Caesar stopped referring to Octavian as his nephew and called him his son.

Caesar returned to Italy in September, 45 BC, and among his first tasks was to file his will, naming Octavian as his sole heir. While away, the Senate had already begun bestowing honors on Caesar. Even though Caesar had not proscribed his enemies, instead pardoning nearly every one of them, there seemed to be little open resistance to Caesar, at least publicly.

Great games and celebrations were to be held on April 21 to honor Caesar's great victory. Along with the games, Caesar was honored with the right to wear triumphal clothing, including a purple robe (reminiscent of the kings of Rome) and laurel crown, on all public occasions. A large estate was being built at Rome's expense, and on state property, for Caesar's exclusive use. The title of Imperator also became a legal title that he could use in his name for the rest of his life.

A statue of Caesar was placed in the temple of Quirinus with the inscription To the Invincible God. Since Quirinus was the deified likeness of the city and its founder and first king, Romulus, this act identified Caesar not only on equal terms with the gods, but with the ancient kings as well. In yet more scandalous behavior, Caesar had coins minted bearing his likeness. This was the first time in Roman history that a living Roman was featured on a coin, clearly placing him above the Roman state, and tradition.

When Caesar actually returned to Rome in October of 45 BC, he gave up his fourth consulship (which he had held without colleague) and placed Quintus Fabius Maximus and Gaius Trebonius as suffect consuls in his stead. He celebrated a fifth triumph, this time to honor his victory in Spain. The Senate continued to encourage more honors. A temple to Libertas was to be built in his honor, and he was granted the title Liberator. They elected him consul for life, and allowed him to hold any office he wanted, including those generally reserved for plebeians, like the tribunate. He also was given the power to appoint magistrates to all provincial duties, a process previously done by drawing of lots or through the approval of the Senate. The month of his birth, Quintilis, was renamed July (Latin Julius) in his honor and his birthday, July 13, was recognized as a national holiday. Even a tribe of the people's assembly was to be named for him. A temple and priesthood, the Flamen maior, was established and dedicated in honor of his family.

Caesar, however, did have a reform agenda and took on various social ills. He passed a law that prohibited citizens between the ages of 20 and 40 from leaving Italy for more than three years unless on military assignment. This theoretically would help preserve the continued operation of local farms and businesses and prevent corruption abroad. If a member of the social elite did harm or killed a member of the lower class, then all the wealth of the perpetrator was to be confiscated. A general cancellation of one-fourth of all debt also greatly relieved the public and helped to endear him even further to the common population.

Caesar tightly regulated the purchase of state-subsidized grain and forbade those who could afford privately supplied grain from purchasing from the grain dole. He made plans for the distribution of land to his veterans and for the establishment of veteran colonies throughout the Roman world. Caesar ordered a complete overhaul of the Roman calendar in 46 BC, establishing a 365-day year with a leap year every fourth year (this Julian Calendar was subsequently modified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 into the modern calendar). As a result of this reform, the year 46 BC was in fact 445 days long to bring the calendar into line.

Plutarch records that at one point, Caesar informed the Senate that he felt his honours were more in need of reduction than augmentation, but withdrew this position so as not to appear ungrateful. He was given the title Pater Patriae ("Father of the Fatherland"). He was appointed dictator a third time, and then nominated for nine consecutive one-year terms as dictator, effectively making him dictator for ten years. He was also given censorial authority as prefect of morals (praefectus morum) for three years.

At the onset of 44 BC, the honors bestowed upon Caesar continued and the subsequent rift between him and the aristocrats deepened. He had been named Dictator Perpetuus, making him dictator for the remainder of his life. This title even began to show up on coinage bearing Caesar's likeness, placing him above all others in Rome. Some among the population even began to refer to him as Rex (Latin for king), but Caesar refused to accept the title. But the seeds of conspiracy were beginning to grow within the Senate.

Assassination

The fear of Caesar becoming king continued when someone placed a diadem on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra. Not long after the incident with the diadem, two tribunes had citizens arrested after they called out the title Rex to Caesar as he passed by on the streets of Rome. Caesar acted harshly. He ordered those arrested to be released, and instead took the tribunes before the Senate and had them stripped of their positions.

At the coming festival of the Lupercalia, the biggest test of the Roman people for their willingness to accept Caesar as king was to take place. On February 15, 44 BC, Caesar sat upon his gilded chair on the Rostra and watched the race. When Mark Antony ran into the Forum and was raised to the Rostra by the priests attending the event, Antony produced a diadem and attempted to place it on Caesar's head, saying "the people offer this the title of king to you through me." Caesar quickly refused being sure that the diadem did not touch his head. The crowd roared with approval, but Antony, undeterred, attempted to place it on Caesar's head again. Still there was no voice of support from the crowd, and Caesar rose from his chair and refused Antony again, saying, "I will not be king of Rome!" The crowd wildly endorsed Caesar's actions.

Caesar planned to leave in April of 44 BC for campaigns in Parthia, and a secret opposition that was steadily building had to act fast. Made up mostly of men that Caesar had pardoned already, they knew their only chance to rid Rome of Caesar was to prevent him ever leaving for Parthia.

Caesar summoned the Senate to meet in the Theatrum Pompeium (built by Pompey) on the Ides of March (March 15) 44 BC. A few days before, a soothsayer had said to Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March." As the Senate convened, Caesar was attacked and stabbed to death by a group of Senators who called themselves the Liberators (Liberatores); the Liberators justified their action on the grounds that they committed tyrannicide, not murder, and were preserving the Republic from Caesar's alleged monarchical ambitions. Among the assassins who locked themselves in the Temple of Jupiter were Gaius Trebonius, Decimus Junius Brutus, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Caesar had personally pardoned most of his murderers or personally advanced their careers. Caesar sustained twenty-three (as many as thirty-five by some accounts) stab wounds, which ranged from superficial to mortal, and ironically fell at the feet of a statue of his best friend and greatest rival, Pompey the Great. Pompey had recently been deified by the Senate, some accounts report that Caesar prayed to Pompey as he lay dying. In antiquity, however, his last words were generally thought to be those reported by Suetonius (Jul. 82.2) as: καὶ σὺ τέκνον? (Greek, "You too, (my) son?"). Shakespeare's Et tu, Brute? (Latin, "And (even) you, Brutus?") – in the play, Julius Caesar, are without ancient authority.

Caesar's death also marked, ironically, the end of the Roman Republic, for which the assassins had struck him down. The Roman middle and lower classes, with whom Caesar was immensely popular, and had been since Gaul and before, were enraged that a small group of high-browed aristocrats had killed their champion. Antony, who had been as of late drifting from Caesar, capitalized on the grief of the Roman mob and threatened to unleash them on the Optimates, perhaps with the intent of taking control of Rome himself.

But Caesar named his grand-nephew Gaius Octavius (Octavian) sole heir of his vast fortune, giving Octavius both the immensely powerful Caesar name and control of one of the largest amounts of money in the Republic. In addition, Gaius Octavius was also, for all intents and purposes, the son of the great Caesar, and consequently the loyalty of the Roman populace shifted from the dead Caesar to the living Octavius. Octavius, only aged nineteen at the time of Caesar's death, proved to be ruthless and lethal, and while Antony dealt with Decius Brutus in the first round of the new civil wars, Octavius consolidated his position. A new triumvirate was found — the Second and final one — with Octavian, Antony, and Caesar's loyal cavalry commander Lepidus as the third member. This triumvirate deified Caesar as Divus Julius and – seeing that Caesar's clemency had resulted in his murder – brought back the horror of proscription, abandoned since Sulla, and proscribed its enemies in large numbers in order to seize even more funds for the second civil war against Brutus and Cassius, whom Antony and Octavian defeated at Philippi.

A third civil war then broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. This final civil war, culminating in Antony and Cleopatra's defeat at Actium, resulted in the ascendancy of Octavian, who became the first Roman Emperor, under the name Caesar Augustus. In 42 BC, Julius Caesar was formally deified as "the Divine Julius" (Divus Iulius), and Caesar Augustus henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of a God").
 

bitchgirl

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its not giant essays, just my essays all dumped at once, i probably rushed it all at once by posting in chunks, but some of it is good because i got full marks from my stuff.
 

Cassias

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thanks though your notes are 44 pages long :0
 

Jess =)

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i attached some notes on development of the principate settlements. they r pretty easy to understand and concise =)
 

Becky222

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Hey
Thank you so much, the notes on the problems of his succession were REALLY helpful.
I was just wondering if you could tell me where some of your quotes are from?

1. “was determined that the imperial power should, if possible, remain in his own household”
2. “a political pawn in the complex dynastic arrangements of the emperor.”
3. “was exiled for involvement with a string of lovers”

Thanks :)
 

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