Ancient Rome, Augustus

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Augustus gathered almost all the republican powers under his official title, princeps: he had powers of consul, princeps senatus, aedile, censor and tribune – including tribunician sacrosanctity. This was the base of an emperor's power. Augustus also styled himself as Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar divi filius, "Commander Gaius Julius Caesar, son of the deified one". With this title he not only boasted his familial link to deified Julius Caesar, but the use of Imperator signified a permanent link to the Roman tradition of victory.

He also diminished the Senatorial class influence in politics by boosting the equestrian class. The senators lost their right to rule certain provinces, like Egypt; since the governor of that province was directly nominated by the emperor. The creation of the Praetorian Guard and his reforms in military, setting the number of legions in 28, ensured his total control over the army.

Compared with Second Triumvirate's epoch, Augustus' reign as princeps was very peaceful. This peace and richness (that was granted by the agrarian province of Egypt) led people and nobles of Rome to support Augustus and increased his strength in political affairs.

In military activity, Augustus was absent at battles. His generals were responsible for the field command; gaining much respect from the populace and the legions, such as Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, Nero Claudius Drusus and Germanicus. Augustus intended to extend the Roman Empire to the whole known world, and in his reign, Rome had conquered Cantabria Aquitania, Raetia, Dalmatia, Illyricum and Pannonia.

Under Augustus's reign, Roman literature grew steadily in the Golden Age of Latin Literature. Poets like Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Rufus developed a rich literature, and were close friends of Augustus. Along with Maecenas, he stimulated patriotic poems, as Virgil's epic Aeneid and also historiographical works, like those of Livy. The works of this literary age lasted through Roman times, and are classics.

Augustus also continued the shifts on the calendar promoted by Caesar, and the month of August is named after him. Augustus brought a peaceful and thriving era to Rome, that is known as Pax Augusta or Pax Romana. Augustus died in 14 AD, but the empire's glory continued after his era.

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External Links

  • WikipediaAncient RomeHistory of ancient RomeGallery of the Ancient Art: Ancient RomeLacus CurtiusLivius.Org

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