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Agustus and the Roman Empire Talks about: Agustus and what he did for the Roman Empire, Foreign Policy under his rule, his problem with succession,

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Classical Studies
Sheila Ager

September 29 , 2010 Augustus and the Roman Empire Julius Caesar: autocracy  By his time the Roman empire was an autocracy: state ruled by one man  His power base was an army that was loyal to him and not the state  After his assassination (44 BC) autocracy kind of became permanent  The empire is the 500 years after Caesar  Caesar spent a lot of time in front of the mirror on his appearance Augustus  Only 5’7”had a limp leg, bad teeth, pretty good looking, curly hair (kid of gold coloured), clear bright eyes, slightly hooked nose, calm facial expression, but could lose temper  Was born Gaius Octavius in 63 BC in Rome, Sept 23 , he came from a socially mobile family  His grandfather had been a rich banker in a small Italian townfather did betterwas elected in the Roman senate in 73 BCmarried the niece of Julius Caesar  Related by marriage to CaesarOctavius was the great-nephew of Caesar  Some said that Octavius’s mother fell asleep in the palace of Apollo and woke up to find a snake in her lap, and nine months later he was bornsaid Apollo was his father  His father died when he was 5mother married another manconsole in the senatelearned a lot about politics  Then a civil war btw Caesar and Pompey broke out  At age 15 Octavius became a priesmore of a political office back then, held for life  At 17 he sailed to Spain to serve under Caesarthis was when Caesar noticed Ocatvius’s potential  Caesar had no heirs, so Octavius left a will where he adopted Octavius inherited a fortune  Now his new name was Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian)—some thought that after Caesar died, he became a god  Now Octavius started calling himself the son of god  Back in Rome the political situation was a disarray  The ppl who killed Caesar (Brutus and Cassius) had to leave  War broke out btw conspirators and Caesar`s friends  19--. Octavian raised his own army--. Called on Caesar`s veteran office--. Wanted to be console--.refused--.marched into Rome and was granted what he wanted  Allied w Mark Antony and Aemilius Lepidus --. Second Triumvirate (43 BC)  Make war on Caesar’s assassinsdefeated in battle in Philippi (Battle of Philippi 42 BC)  Now political enemies were put to rest--. Cicero  Now the Roman world was also divided between the Triumvirs  Octavian got west, Antony got East, Lepidus got Africa and south (least powerful, became priest)  Antony, who was married to Octavian’s older sister, Octavia, had an affair w Cleopatra  Now Antony claimed that Caesar’s son w Cleopatra was the real son and heir  Ppl though Antony would marry Cleopatra and move Rome to Egypt  Now Octavian and Antony at civil war --. Antony lost --. Battle of Actium, 31 BC  Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt --. Cleopatra committed suicide and Egypt fell to Italy  Cleopatra`s son by Caesar was put to death September 29 , 2010  Now Octavian is in complete control--. Has autocracy --. But not set up as a dictator  He attempted to restore the republic  In 27 BC he claimed to give all his power back to the Senate--. Senate had no idea about this, would create another civil war--.Senate freaked and told him to be a console and gave him one province that was half the Roman world and contained half the Roman Army  Got the new name of Augustus --. Means the Awesome or Great One  Agrippa, a general was the real hero and Actium  Now Augustus campaigned in Spain and Gaul (now France)  To commemorate the peace now achieved he made an alter --. Called the Alter of Peace  Now on the Alter there are carvings of Augustus, and there was no Lepidus --. He was sort of in forced retirement -- .didn`t really get along w Augustus  Another person on alter was Aeneas, ancestor of Caesar  In another panel Italy is personified by a woman and children to show her wealth and prosperity  In 23 BC Augustus is really sick --. Agrippa is now seen as the successor --. Augustus recovered, but realized he worked too hard  He gave up consoleship --.seemed like he was giving up the power, was wasn`t  Still had the power of veto, and over-rule any provincial governor  Now he was also seen as the princeps he had the privilege of speaking first in the senate debates  On one had he`s pretending to be an ordinary man who put back the power, but re
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