Instead of creating new powers, he aggregated existing powers. Caesar said he would be “dictator
for life,” which is a scary, new power. Augustus simply combined the materials at hand; instead
of eliminating checks and balances, he merely holds many of the offices, thereby becoming the
check/balance on himself.
He monopolizes all the key military commands
Benefaction: become the friends of important people. He creates new senators, he gives money to
the people, etc. Everyone who could threaten him likes him.
Euphemism: “I’m participating in the old system; everything is as it was.” The Republic Restored
was part of the key augustan rhetoric.
So he has all the consular powers, the ability to get in the way of anyone else’s powers, and he
controls the army directly.
• enemies are “a faction” and/or “foreigners”; avoids the diction of civil war
• pietas: “Filial piety”
• auctoritas: “Prestige” and “Influence”
• princeps: “First citizen”
• imperator: “General”
• Augustus: “Venerable”
• refusal of “excessive” honors
-Enemies are always referred to as one faction, primarily foreigners (think Aeneid)
-Pietas: he claims that he only did what he did out of filial duty to caesar
He always refused “excessive” honours. He always refuses dictatorships and such; he never wants
the powers of a king or a tyrant, just those of a leading citizen (which are, for all intents and
Extremely conservative, paints himself as a restorer of the state.
Imperial Age Transformations
• Gradation still fundamental: there is a differentiated place for everyone
• Census ranks are the same, but the citizen-soldier who leaves the farm to defend Rome
is a thing of the past
• The different categories of citizenship abide, but more people have full rights over time
-Shifts in emphasis:
• Free citizens getting squeezed out of politics
• Masses of slaves and freedmen are economic competition