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AUGUSTUS CAESAR. Civil war broke out after Caesar's assassination. Two of the assassins, Brutus and Cassius, led one side. Octavian, Caesar's adopted 18-year-old son, and Mark Antony, one of Caesar's lieutenants, opposed their bid for power. In 2 quick battles, the assassins were crushed. The victory catapulted young Octavianó or Augustus, as he was later calledó into the political limelight. Besides the power of his father's name, Octavian seems to have been rather striking in appearance. One of his chroniclers describes him in this highly personal and informal way.
"He was quite handsome.... Sometimes he would clip his beard; sometimes he would shave it. While his barbers were at work on him, it was not unusual for him to read or write.... His eyes were clear and radiant.... His complexion was between dark and fair. Though only five feet, six inches in height . . his shortness was not too noticeable because of the good proportions of his figure." Augustus SEUTONIUS
While Octavian was growing in political stature, so was Mark Antony. Among the Antony's political friends was Herod, Antipater's son. After Antipater's death by poisoning, Antony helped Herod eventually get the title "King of Judea."
But Antony's days of power were numbered. He and Octavian began to disagree openly, and a showdown took place at Actium in 31 B.C. Octavian triumphed, but Antony managed a spectacular escape to Egypt. There, months later, he and his famous lover, Cleopatra, ended their lives in suicide.
When Herod got wind of Antony's death, he knew his own kingship now hung by a thread. He decided upon a bold move. Seeking an audience with Octavian, he took off his crown and placed it at the leader's feet.
Herod's theatrics worked according to plan. Octavian picked up the crown and returned it to Herod, saying in effect: "Serve me as faithfully as you did Antony." Herod did just that, from that moment forward.
In 27 BC Octavian became Rome's first emperor, taking the name Augustus Caesar. Although he wore platform shoes to look taller, Augustus turned out to be a giant, politically. In later years he boasted, not incorrectly, that he had found Rome in bricks and left it in marble.
- On January 13, 27 BC Octavian, a nephew of Julius Caesar and victor over Antony and Cleopatra at Actium in 31 BC, resigned the offices he had held since 43 BC and officially restored the Republic.
- In exchange, the Senate bestowed on him the title, Augustus, and a ten year military command over all the armed forces in the provinces.
- By 23 BC, Augustus discovered that he needed more power than he had already obtained. He was named pro-consul and tribune for life, a position that gave him the power of veto.
- After 23 B.C., Rome was ruled by one man, the emperor.
- Augustus provided Rome with a new start after years of chaos, civil war, and ruin.
- He overhauled and improved the administration of the empire.
- In Rome, departments for the city were set up--police, fire, drainage, conservation of the Tiber banks, and most important the establishment of the corn dole.
- Augustus restored a sound money policy and the confidence he created pushed the economy forward.
- He inaugurated a vast public works program, restored old temples, and provided a new forum in order to provide work for the unemployed.
- Rome became a splendid city of gleaming white marble.
- During 18 B.C., Augustus instituted reform legislation that was designed to improve the morals and restore republican virtues.
- Laws against adultery, plus restrictions against luxury and ostentation were promulgated and Augustus revived respect for the Lares, Penates, and for the Vestal Virgins.
- The military policy of Augustus and his successors during the first two hundred years of empire was based on two principles:
- Augustus was shrewd enough to know that he needed help to run so large an empire.
- He received help officially from Agrippa (general and right hand man of Octavian), a boyhood friend, and unofficially from Livia, his third wife.
- Agrippa was the first to advise Augustus to make a bid for power when Julius Caesar was killed.
- Augustus had fought well at Actium and put down uprisings in Gaul and Spain.
- Surviving portraits show his rugged, strong jawed features.
- He was an outstanding general, a well educated man, and a brilliant administrator who organized cities, constructed a water supply system for Rome, and supervised the building of a road network in Gaul.
- Livia was a dignified aristocratic beautifully amazing woman.
- She had nice features, enormous eyes, and thick wavy hair.
- When Octavian first met her, she was married to a middle-aged soldier who allowed her to divorce him so that she could marry Augustus.
- She was chaste, obedient, and silent in public.
- She had a tremendous influence on Augustus who made notes on subjects he wanted to discuss with her.
- Her greatest service to Rome was in her devotion to her husband
- Also in the civilizing influence she brought to bear on him.
- Her great-grandson Caligula gave her the nickname (Ulysses in Petticoats).
- The empire founded by Augustus was at its height in the first two centuries of its existence.
- During this age the pax Romana (universal peace terms for the dominions), existed throughout most of the Roman world.
- Only on the frontiers was defense necessary against Persian, German, and other foreign enemies.
- Defense was the work of the professional soldiers of the Roman legions.
- A standard bearing the eagle, the symbol of the empire, was planted in territory that extended to the Rhine river in the north, the Danube river in the northeast, the Caspian Sea in the near east, and the coastal area of North Africa.
- Britain and Dacia were added during the first century AD.
"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations." - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)
The Birth of John the Baptist
The History of the Birth of Jesus
NazarethGabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).
BethlehemThe Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7). The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).
JerusalemJesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38).
EgyptOut of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).
Jesus' Early YearsJerusalem
The JordanJesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).
The WildernessThe Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13). The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34).
The First PassoverJerusalem A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25). Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).
GalileeHe Departed Again to Galilee (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).
SamariaThe Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42). Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).
Sea of GalileePeter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).
GalileeAnd Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44). Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).
JerusalemHealing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47). And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12) The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49). My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
CapernaumThe Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50). The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20). Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54). Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9). Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
Sea of GalileeJesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25). The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).
NazarethHe Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40). Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56). A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6). Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).
MachaerusJohn the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).
Near BethsaidaThe Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).
Sea of GalileeThey Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).
Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71). A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30). Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9). And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36). Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).
CapernaumMiracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27). He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).
The Feast of TabernaclesJerusalem The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16). Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59). The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).
BethanyThe House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
JerusalemI Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41). They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).
BethabaraBeyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).
BethanyJesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).
EphraimThe Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54).
JudeaThe Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35). Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35). Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18). Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10). Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12). Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24). Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34). Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10). Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45). The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14). The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22). The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19); The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24). Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40); Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47). The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50). He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44). The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).
JerusalemThe Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20). The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18). What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30). Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17). Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12). He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).
CrucifixionJoseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).
The ResurrectionHas Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).
Road to EmmausAppears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).
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