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Lecture 19

Lecture 19 Augustus and Principate

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Glenn Wilkinson

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Lecture 19 (October 30) Augustus and the Birth of the Principate 1. “First settlement” (27 B.C.) 2. “Second Settlement” (23 B.C.) 3. Titles: Augustus, Princeps, Pater Patriae, Imperator, Divi Filius, Pontifex Maximus 4. Reforms and achievements a. Senate and voting assemblies b. Army c. Expansion of empire and pax Romana d. Moral legislation (18 B.C. and 9A.D.) 5. Quest for a successor a. Marcellus b. Agrippa c. Tiberius d. Gaius and Lucius e. Tiberius again – all other plans failed and near death First Settlement (27 B.C.) - After Augustus returned from the east in the civil war, he formally handed power back to the people, relinquishing his irregular power from the triumvirate - Signalled a return to the normal republic, but the transfer came with some strings attached - Octavian kept command of Spain, Gaul, Egypt, Syria, Cilicia and Cyprus - 10 comprehensive commands, much like Pompey's commands; provinces that required military activity, the most dangerous provinces - Therefore able to keep control of almost all the legions, since he needed them in his provinces to keep them safe - His control of the legions was the linchpin of his control - Other Senators would control safe or stable provinces (Greece orAfrica) which did not require legions – so that they could not march on Rome or attackAugustus - They became civil offices, not military ones for the governors - Octavian allowed this to happen under normal procedure – 'sort of' - He could not govern all the dangerous provinces by himself, he did not govern any of them directly - Usually remained in Rome and had legates to govern in his place – much like Pompey - Legates were all picked by Octavian - loyal - Octavian chose to pick junior senators and equestrians - Egypt could only be governed by an equestrian - a senator could not step foot in Egypt without his approval - He could keep these people under his thumb - His grand jester of returning power, it looked by the Republic was back to normal, but he pooled all the power in his hand, but with his complete control over the provinces he kept civil war from breaking out between ambitious people - He got to be consul every year (given by the Senate as gift), he was given the titleAugustus, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus - Renamed a month in the Julian calendar after him (August, the month in which he was born) Second Settlement (23 B.C.) - Tweaking of the arrangement, maybe because not all the nobles were pleased with the decision - He relinquished his consulship; because he had amassed so much power in other ways that the consulship did not add anything, also so that Senators would remain happy, since there was still fierce competition to gain offices, with the consul at the top; but if he held one of them every year then he was keeping many senators from getting it - This made them happy - An increase in Augustus' imperium; everybody knew his power was higher than any consul or governor; but the Senate enshrined him maius imperium greater power, he could dictate to others that had imperium - He acquired tribunition power, power of the tribune of the plebs; making him sacrosanct, and could convene a senate meeting, and had veto - Before he had this authority, nothing of importance was passed until he approved it; he had his de facto authority enshrined Titles: Augustus, Princeps, Pater Patriae, Imperator, Divi Filius, Pontifex Maximus - Augustus - 'revered, venerable' also related to auctoritas – 'authority' - Princeps - 'first man, leading man', another civilian title; rotating honour in the past, others have held it, at each census a senator (like Cicero) was given this title; he was the one and only; his successors would hold this title - Pater Patriae - 'father of the fatherland'; traditional but vague honour, like princeps; a handful of senators (Cicero, after the Catiline conspiracy) when protecting and saving the Republic, in 2BC, one of his favourites; presented himself as someone who always looked out for his people (his children) - Imperator - general who won a major victory deserving a triumph; hailed by his soldiers in this title; only military title; renewing it every year, and had it on his coins - Divi Filius - 'son of a god'; after Caesar's death, whenAugustus became consul he had the senate declare Caesar a god (much more palatable to Romans than Caesar calling himself a god while he lived); used as propaganda by saying he is the son of a divine being - Actively promoted the cult of Caesar - Pontifex Maximus - chief priest; traditional life long position; he
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