1. The Man Who Became Emperor
Augustus was born Gaius Octavius into a wealthy and well-established family of the plebeian Octavii. After the assassination of his maternal great-uncle Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BC, he was posthumously adopted by Caesar, thus taking on the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or Augustus. This adoption gave Augustus the power and prestige of the Julius Caesar name, allowing him to become one of the most influential figures in Roman history.
2. The First Emperor
In 44 BC, Augustus, alongside Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, formed the Second Triumvirate in order to avenge the assassination of Julius Caesar. However, the alliance soon began to unravel as the three men vied for power, leading to a series of civil wars that would ultimately result in Augustus becoming the first Roman Emperor.
3. The most powerful man in Rome: Augustus
Augustus was the most powerful man in Rome after the death of Marc Antony. He had a great deal of influence over the Roman Empire, and was able to make decisions that would shape the future of the empire. He was able to pass laws, appoint governors, and even declare war. Augustus was also able to create a new form of government, the Principate, which allowed him to have absolute control over the Roman Empire. His reign was marked by a period of peace and prosperity, and he is remembered as one of the greatest rulers in Roman history.
4. The Dictator Who Preserved the Republic
Following the collapse of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus presented a facade of a free Republic, with the Roman Senate, executive magistrates, and legislative assemblies having the power of government. However, in reality, he maintained his autocratic control over the Republic as a military dictator, with no real power being vested in the other governing bodies.
5. Augustus, First Roman Emperor, rejected traditional titles
Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, rejected the traditional titles of monarchy and instead chose to call himself Princeps Civitatis, or "First Citizen". This decision led to the creation of the Principate, a constitutional framework that marked the beginning of the Roman Empire. Augustus' rejection of monarchical titles was a revolutionary move that set the stage for the Roman Empire's rise to power.
6. Legacy of Lasting Impact on Rome
Augustus was a great leader who left a lasting legacy on the city of Rome. He was responsible for rebuilding much of the city, and his efforts were so successful that he famously declared on his deathbed, "I found a Rome of bricks; I leave to you one of marble". His ambitious building projects included the construction of the Forum of Augustus, the Temple of Mars Ultor, and the Ara Pacis, all of which remain standing today as a testament to his vision and ambition. Augustus also improved the city's infrastructure, constructing aqueducts, roads, and bridges, and introducing a new system of taxation. His legacy is still felt in Rome today, and his words remain a reminder of his great accomplishments.
7. Rome Protected by Augustus' Fire & Police Force
Augustus was a great leader who was dedicated to the safety of the people of Rome. He established a permanent fire-fighting and police force to protect the city from any potential danger. This force was made up of both military and civilian personnel, and was responsible for responding to fires, apprehending criminals, and maintaining public order. Augustus' commitment to the safety of the people of Rome was a major factor in the city's success and prosperity.
8. The Roman Empire's Peaceful Period
Under the rule of Augustus, the Roman Empire experienced a period of unprecedented peace and stability known as the Pax Romana. This period of relative peace lasted for over two centuries, despite the Empire's continuous wars on its frontiers and a year-long civil war over the imperial succession. During this time, the Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict, allowing for the flourishing of culture, art, and architecture.
9. Renaming the Month of August after Augustus
Prior to the reign of Augustus, the month of August was known as Sextilis. However, in 8 B.C., the Roman Senate decided to honor Augustus by renaming the month after him. This was a fitting tribute to the first Roman Emperor, who had brought peace and stability to the Roman Empire after a period of civil war. As a result, August has been known as the month of Augustus ever since.
10. Augustus revolutionized the Roman system of taxation
During his reign, Augustus revolutionized the Roman system of taxation, built an extensive network of roads with an official courier system, created the Praetorian Guard, established a standing army, and reconstructed much of the city of Rome. His reforms allowed for the efficient collection of taxes, improved communication and transportation, provided greater security for the emperor, and allowed for the expansion of the Roman Empire. Augustus' legacy is still felt today, as his reforms have had a lasting impact on the way the world is governed.