Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online

Bible History Online

Sub Categories
Aemilius Paullus
Agrippina the Younger
Ancus Martius
Antoninus Pius
Appius Claudius Caecus
Augustus Caesar
Aurelius Achilleus
Cassius Dio
Cato the Elder
Claudius Gothicus
Clodius Albinus
Constans I
Constantine I
Constantine III
Constantinus II
Constantius I Chlorus
Constantius II
Didius Julianus
Drusus Minor
Fabius Maximus
Galla Placidia
Gordian II
Gordian III
Isidore of Seville
Julius Caesar
L. Domitius Alexander
L. Domitius Domitianus
Lucius Junius Brutus
Lucius Verus
Magnus Maximus
Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Brutus
Mark Antony
Maximianus Herculius
Maximinius Daia
Maximinus Thrax
Numa Pompilius
Pescennius Niger
Philip the Arab
Poppaea Sabina
Quintus Sertorius
Scipio Africanus
Septimius Severus
Severus Alexander
Severus II
Titus Quinctius Flaminius
Trajan Decius
Tullus Hostilius
Valentinian I
Valentinian III

Back to Categories

February 27    Scripture

People - Ancient Rome: Augustus Caesar
Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, he became the first Roman Emperor ruling from 27 BC - 14 AD.

Augustus Caesar in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The first Roman emperor, reigning at Christ's birth (Luke 2:1, etc.). His decree that all the world should be taxed, each going to his own city, was the divinely ordered (Micah 5:2) occasion of Jesus' birth taking place at Bethlehem. Born 63 B.C. Also called Octavius and Octavianus from his father, who died while he was young. Educated by his great uncle Julius Caesar, triumvir with Antony and Lepidus. Dissension having arisen, Octavianus overcame Antony, and gained supreme power at the battle of Actium, 31 B.C. Saluted emperor (imperator, military commander in chief originally), and surnamed Augustus Caesar, "majestic." Leaving the names and rights of the chief republican officers unchanged, he united them all, one by one, in himself. Herod, who had been on Antony's side, he not only pardoned, but even increased in power; Herod thereby became attached to his dynasty, and built him a temple of marble near the sources of the Jordan. Augustus Caesar died at Nola in Campania, in his 76th year, A.D. 14. Some time before his death he associated Tiberius with himself in the empire (Luke 3:1).

Augustus Caesar in Harpers Dictionary The first Roman emperor, was born on the 23d of September, B.C. 63, and was the son of C. Octavius, by Atia, a daughter of Iulia, the sister of C. Iulius Caesar. His original name was Octavius, and after his adoption by his great-uncle, C. Iulius Caesar Octavianus, Augustus being only a title given him by the Senate and the people in B.C. 27 to express their veneration for him. He was pursuing his studies at Apollonia when the news reached him of his uncle's murder at Rome, in March, 44. He forthwith set out for Italy, and upon landing was received with enthusiasm by the troops. He first joined the republican party in order to crush Antony, against whom he fought at Mutina in conjunction with the two consuls, C. Vibius Pansa and Hirtius. Antony was defeated, and obliged to retreat across the Alps; and the death of the two consuls gave Augustus the command of all their troops. He now returned to Rome, and compelled the Senate to elect him consul, and shortly afterwards he became reconciled to Antony. It was agreed that the Roman world should be divided between Augustus, Antony, and Lepidus, under the title of triumviri rei publicae constituendae, and that this arrangement should last for the next five years. They published a proscriptio, or list of all their enemies whose lives were to be sacrificed and their property confiscated; upwards of 2000 equites and 300 senators were thus put to death, among them Cicero. Soon afterwards, Augustus and Antony crossed over to Greece, and defeated Brutus and Cassius at the decisive battle of Philippi, in B.C. 42, by which the hopes of the republican party were ruined. Augustus returned to Italy, where a new war awaited him (B.C. 41), excited by Fulvia, the wife of Antony. She was supported by L. Antonius, the consul and brother of the triumvir, who threw himself into the fortified town of Perusia, which Augustus succeeded in taking in 40. Antony now made preparations for war, but the death of Fulvia led to a reconciliation between the triumvirs, who concluded a peace at Brundusium. A new division of the provinces was again made: Augustus obtained all the parts of the Empire west of the town of Scodra in Illyricum, Antony the east provinces, and Lepidus Africa. Antony married Octavia, the sister of Augustus, in order to cement their alliance. In B.C. 36, Augustus conquered Sex. Pompey, who had held possession of Sicily for many years with a powerful fleet. Lepidus, who had landed in Sicily to support Augustus, was degraded by him, stripped of his power, and sent to Rome, where he resided for the remainder of his life, being allowed to retain the dignity of Pontifex Maximus. Meantime, Antony had repudiated Octavia, on account of his love for Cleopatra , and had alienated the minds of the Roman people by his arbitrary conduct. The Senate declared war against Cleopatra ; and in September, B.C. 31, the fleet of Augustus gained a brilliant victory over Antony's near Actium in Acarnania. In the following year (30 B.C.), Augustus sailed to Egypt. Antony and Cleopatra , who had escaped in safety from Actium, put an end to their lives. Augustus now became the undisputed master of the Roman world, but he declined all honours and distinctions which were likely to remind the Romans of kingly power. On the death of Lepidus, in B.C. 12, he be Augustus Caesar. came pontifex maximus. On those state matters which he did not choose to be discussed in public he consulted his personal friends, Maecenas, M. Agrippa, M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, and Asinius Pollio. The wars of Augustus were chiefly undertaken to protect the frontiers of the Roman dominions. Most of them were carried on by his relations and friends, but several he conducted in person, as when, in 27, he attacked the warlike Cantabri and Astures in Spain. In 20, he went to Syria, where he received from Phraates, the Parthian monarch, the standards and prisoners which had been taken from Crassus and Antony. He died at Nola, on the 19th of August, A.D. 14, at the age of seventy-six. His last wife was Livia, who had been previously the wife of Tiberius Nero. He had no children by Livia, and only a daughter, Iulia, by his former wife Scribonia. Iulia had married Agrippa, and her two sons, Gaius and Lucius Caesar, were destined by Augustus as his successors. On the death of these two youths, Augustus was persuaded to adopt Tiberius, the son of Livia by her former husband, and to make him his colleague and successor. See Tiberius. Augustus is described as having been something below the middle size, but extremely well proportioned (Suet. Aug. 79). His hair was inclined to curl, and of a yellowish-brown; his eyes were bright and lively; but the general expression of his countenance was remarkably calm and mild. His health was throughout his life delicate, yet the constant attention which he paid to it, and his strict temperance in eating and drinking, enabled him to reach the full age of man. As a seducer, adulterer, and sensualist, his character was like that of his uncle (Suet. Aug. 69, 71). In his literary qualifications, without at all rivalling the attainments of Iulius Caesar, he was on a level with most Romans of distinction of his time; and it is said that both in speaking and writing his style was eminent for its perfect plainness and propriety (Suet. Aug. 68 foll.). His speeches on any public Statue of Augustus. (Vatican.) occasion were composed beforehand, and recited from memory; in fact, so careful was he not to commit himself by any inconsiderate expression, that even when discussing any important subject with his own wife, he wrote down what he had to say, and read it before her. Like his uncle, he was somewhat tinged with superstition. He was deficient in military talent; but in every species of artful policy, in clearly seeing, and steadily and dispassionately following his own interest, and in turning to advantage all the weaknesses of others, his ability has been rarely equalled. His deliberate cruelty, his repeated treachery, and his sacrifice of every duty and every feeling to the purposes of his ambition, speak for themselves; and yet it would be unjust to ascribe to a politic premeditation all the popular actions of his reign. Good is in itself so much more delightful than evil that he was doubtless not insensible to the pleasure of kind and beneficent actions, and perhaps sincerely rejoiced that they were no longer incompatible with his interests. Among the various arts to which Augustus resorted to gain the good-will of his people, and perhaps to render them forgetful of their former freedom, one of the most remarkable was the encouragement which he extended to learning, and the patronage which he so liberally bestowed on all by whom it was cultivated. To this noble protection of literature he was prompted not less by taste and inclination than by sound policy; and in his patronage of the learned, his usual artifice had probably a smaller share than in those other parts of his conduct by which he acquired the favourable opinion of the world. Augustus was, in fact, himself an excellent judge of composition, and a true critic in poetry; so that his patronage was never misplaced, or lavished on those whose writings might have tended to corrupt the taste and learning of the age. The court of Augustus thus became a school of culture, where men of genius acquired that delicacy of taste, elevation of sentiment, and purity of expression which characterize the writers of the age. To Maecenas, the favourite minister of the emperor, the honour is due of having most successfully followed out the views of Augustus for promoting the interests of literature; but it is wrong to give Maecenas the credit, as some have done, of first having turned the attention of Augustus to the patronage of literature. On the contrary, he appears largely to have acted from the orders, or to have followed the example, of his imperial master. Augustus was buried in a mausoleum, whose remains are still to be seen at Rome on the Via de' Pontefici. It was a pyramidal tower, 328 feet in height, covered with white marble, surmounted by a statue of the emperor, and divided into three stories by receding steps, each story being planted with cypress-trees. Before this structure was set the tablet of bronze containing the index rerum a se gestarum, which he had had prepared (Suet. Aug. 101). A copy of this important inscription was found in modern times on the inside of the antae of a temple at Ancyra (now Angora), in Galatia, and has been published in fac-simile by Prof. Mommsen, with a commentary. It is reproduced in the illustration on page 171.

Augustus Caesar in Roman Biography Augus'tus Cae'sar, called by Suetonius Octavius Cae.sar Augustus, [Fr. Octave C6sar Auguste, ok'- Sv' si'zSR' 6'giist'; It. Ottavio Cesare Augusto, otti've- o chi'si-ri 6w-goos'to,] and subsequently named, as the heir of Julius Caesar the dictator, Ca'ius Ju'lius Cee'sar Octavia'nus, the first Roman emperor, was born at Velitrae, not far from Rome, in 63 B.C. He was the son of Caius Octavius and Atia, the daughter of Julia, who was the sister of Julius Csesar. His father died about the year 60, and his mother married L. Marcius Philippus, who was consul in 56 B.C., and who superintended the education of young Octavius. At the age of twelve he pronounced a funeral oration in praise of his grandmother Julia, and four years later he assumed the toga virilis. He was adopted as a son by Julius Caesar the dictator, whom he followed to Spain in 45 B.C. According to some writers, he was present at the battle of Munda. He was pursuing his studies at ApoUonia when he learned that Caesar was killed, in 44 B.C., and that he had been appointed the heir of liis uncle. In company with his friend Vipsanius Agrippa, he went to Rome to claim his inheritance. He found a dangerous rival in Mark Antony, who had possession of the money and papers of the dictator and refused to give them up. Octavius pursued an artful and temporizing course, by which he gained the support of Cicero and other senators, and showed himself an equal match for old and experienced players in the game of political intrigue. In January, 43, the senate gave him command of an army, and sent him with the consuls Hirtius and Pansa to fight against Antony, who was in Cisalpine Gaul. The army of the senate defeated Antony near Mutina, (M6- dena,) but Hirtius and Pansa were killed in the battle. Soon after this event the command of the army was transferred to D. Brutus by the senate, which had resolved to check the growing power and ambitious efforts of Octavius. In defiance of the authority of the senate, he marched with an army to Rome, was elected consul in August, 43 B.C., (before he had reached the legal age,) and formed a coalition or triumvirate with Antony and Lepidus against M. Brutus and the other republicans. Antony and Octavius, commanding in person, gained a decisive victory over Brutus and Cassius at Philippi, 42 B.C. According to Suetonius, he treated the vanquished with merciless cruelty. Thousands of persons perished as victims of the proscription which the triumvirs ordered. Octavius and Antony soon quarrelled, but postponed hostilities by a feigned reconciliation, and combined their forces against Sextus Pompey, who was master of Sicily and Sardinia. Octavius gained a decisive victory over Pompey in 36 B.C., and, while Antony was engaged in Eastern campaigns or in dalliance with Cleopatra, established his power in Italy. He becime consul for the second time in 33 and for the third time in 31 B.C. At length, owing in part to Antony's infatuation for Cleopatra, and his neglect of Octavia, (the sister of Augustus,) whom he had recently married, the breach became irreconcilable. Octavius gained a decisive victory at the naval battle of Actium, (31 B.C.,) which rendered him sole master of the Roman empire. He entertained or professed a design to restore the republic ; but he allowed himself to be persuaded to usurp imperial power, partly disguised under the form of a republican government. He was elected consul several times after the year 30, and received the title of Augustus from the senate in 27 B.C. His chief ministers or advisers were Agrippa, Maeceitas, and Asinius Pollio. He accepted in the year 23 the tribunitia potestas (tribunitian power) for life. Augustus was a liberal patron of the poets Virgil and Horace, whose genius rendered the Augustan age the most illustrious in the history of Roman literature. He greatly increased the architectural splendour of Rome, and boasted that he left that a city of marble which he had found a city of brick. Under his rule the people enjoyed such a share of peace and prosperity as reconciled them to the loss of their liberty. He married several wives, namely, Clodia, Scribonia, and Livia Drusilla. Scribonia bore him a daughter Julia, his only child. In his domestic relations he was not happy. He was temperate or abstemious in his diet, and lived in a comparatively simple style. He applied himself with great diligence to the study of eloquence from his early youth. Although he could speak very well extemporaneously, he never addressed the senate, the soldiers, or the people, unless he had carefully prepared himself beforehand. He was partial to the study of Greek literature and philosophy, but he never wrote in that language, and did not speak it fluently. According to Suetonius, Augustus composed many works in prose on various subjects, including a history of his own life, which extended only to the Cantabrian war. He also wrote some epigrams and other verses. Having adopted Tiberius (his step-son) as his successor, he died in August, 14 A.D. See Suetonius, " Life of Augustus," ("Vita Aupusti ;") Nicolas Damascenus, "DeVita Augusti;" Tacitus, "Anna'les;" Drumann, "Geschichte Roms;" Plutarch's "Life of INIarcus Antonius;" NouGARfeoE, "Histoire du Siecle d'Auguste," 1840; Larrey, "Vie d'Auguste," 1840.

Augustus Caesar in Wikipedia Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) was the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.[note 1] Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, he was adopted posthumously by his great-uncle Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BC via his last will and testament, and between then and 27 BC was officially named Gaius Julius Caesar. In 27 BC the Senate awarded him the honorific Augustus ("the revered one"), and thus consequently he was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus.[note 2] Because of the various names he bore, it is common to call him Octavius when referring to events between 63 and 44 BC, Octavian (or Octavianus) when referring to events between 44 and 27 BC, and Augustus when referring to events after 27 BC. In Greek sources, Augustus is known as Ὀκτάβιος (Octavius), Καῖσαρ (Caesar), Αὔγουστος (Augustus), or Σεβαστός (Sebastos), depending on context. The young Octavius came into his inheritance after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC. In 43 BC, Octavian joined forces with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in a military dictatorship known as the Second Triumvirate. As a triumvir, Octavian ruled Rome and many of its provinces[note 3] The triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its rulers: Lepidus was driven into exile, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by the fleet of Octavian commanded by Agrippa in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Octavian restored the outward facade of the Roman Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, but in practice retained his autocratic power. It took several years to determine the exact framework by which a formally republican state could be led by a sole ruler; the result became known as the Roman Empire. The emperorship was never an office like the Roman dictatorship which Caesar and Sulla had held before him; indeed, he declined it when the Roman populace "entreated him to take on the dictatorship".[1] By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including those of tribune of the plebs and censor. He was consul until 23 BC.[2] His substantive power stemmed from financial success and resources gained in conquest, the building of patronage relationships throughout the Empire, the loyalty of many military soldiers and veterans, the authority of the many honors granted by the Senate,[3] and the respect of the people. Augustus' control over the majority of Rome's legions established an armed threat that could be used against the Senate, allowing him to coerce the Senate's decisions. With his ability to eliminate senatorial opposition by means of arms, the Senate became docile towards him. His rule through patronage, military power, and accumulation of the offices of the defunct Republic became the model for all later imperial governments. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana, or Roman peace. Despite continuous wars on the frontiers, and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession, the Mediterranean world remained at peace for more than two centuries. Augustus enlarged the empire dramatically, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Raetia, expanded possessions in Africa, and completed the conquest of Hispania. Beyond the frontiers, he secured the empire with client states, and made peace with Parthia through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, and created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome. Much of the city was rebuilt under Augustus; and he wrote a record of his own accomplishments, known as the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, which has survived. Upon his death in 14 AD, Augustus was declared a god by the Senate - to be worshipped by the Romans.[4] His names Augustus and Caesar were adopted by every subsequent emperor, and the month of Sextilis was officially renamed August in his honour. He was succeeded by his stepson, former son-in-law and adopted son, Tiberius...

Augustus Caesar on Bible History Online Augustus Caesar - Introduction , Overview , Background , His Adoption , Octavian , The First Triumvirate , The Second Triumvirate , Augustus Caesar , The Principate , His Empire , His Death , Dictionaries , Encyclopedias , Scriptures , Maps and Images , Timeline , Ancient Texts , Index , Conclusion ,

Augustus Images and Busts Augustus Coins, Busts and Statues.

Augustus in Easton's Bible Dictionary the cognomen of the first Roman emperor, C. Julius Caesar Octavianus, during whose reign Christ was born (Luke 2:1). His decree that "all the world should be taxed" was the divinely ordered occasion of Jesus' being born, according to prophecy (Micah 5:2), in Bethlehem. This name being simply a title meaning "majesty" or "venerable," first given to him by the senate (B.C. 27), was borne by succeeding emperors. Before his death (A.D. 14) he associated Tiberius with him in the empire (Luke 3:1), by whom he was succeeded.

Augustus in Naves Topical Bible An important Roman emperor Lu 2:1; Ac 25:21,25; 27:1

Augustus in Scripture Luke 2:1-6 "And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child."

Augustus in Smiths Bible Dictionary (venerable) Cae'sar the first Roman emperor. He was born A.U.C. 691, B.C. 63. His father was Caius Octavius; his mother Atia, daughter of Julia the sister of C. Julius Caesar. He was principally educated by his great-uncle Julius Caesar, and was made his heir. After his murder, the young Octavius, then Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus, was taken into the triumvirate with Antony and Lepidus, and, after the removal of the latter, divided the empire with Antony. The struggle for the supreme power was terminated in favor of Octavianus by the battle of Actium, B.C. 31. On this victory he was saluted imperator by the senate, who conferred on him the title Augustus, B.C. 27. The first link binding him to New Testament history is his treatment of Herod after the battle of Actium. That prince, who had espoused Antony's side, found himself pardoned, taken into favor and confirmed, nay even increased, in his power. After Herod's death, in A.D. 4, Augustus divided his dominions, almost exactly according to his dying directions, among his sons. Augustus died in Nola in Campania, Aug. 19, A.U.C. 767, A.D. 14, in his 76th year; but long before his death he had associated Tiberius with him in the empire.

Augustus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE o-gus'-tus Augoustos: (1) The first Roman emperor, and noteworthy in Bible history as the emperor in whose reign the Incarnation took place (Lk 2:1). His original name was Caius Octavius Caepias and he was born in 63 BC, the year of Cicero's consulship. He was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, his mother Atia having been the daughter of Julia, Caesar's younger sister. He was only 19 years of age when Caesar was murdered in the Senate house (44 BC), but with a true instinct of statesmanship he steered his course through the intrigues and dangers of the closing years of the republic, and after the battle of Actium was left without a rival. Some difficulty was experienced in finding a name that would exactly define the position of the new ruler of the state. He himself declined the names of rex and dictator, and in 27 BC he was by the decree of the Senate styled Augustus. The epithet implied respect and veneration beyond what is bestowed on human things: "Sancta vocant augusta patres: augusta vocantur Templa sacerdotum rite dicata manu." --Ovid Fasti. 609; compare Dion Cass., 5316...

Augustus Timeline Dates in the Life of Augustus Caesar from his birth in 63 BC to his death in 14 AD.

Background of the History of Augustus Caesar Julius Caesar. "Beware the ides of March," was what the fortune teller had whispered in Julius Caesar's ear. "I have seen many warnings of danger in your future." But Caesar, confident of his power in early 44 B.C., simply went on about his business. He was even bold enough to dismiss his bodyguards. However, March 15, referred to in the Roman calendar as the "ides" of March, turned out to be the day of Caesar's gruesome death. As Caesar entered into the place of the senate that day, a group of men gathered around him as if to pay their respects. One of them took hold of Caesar's robe and said, "Friends, what are you waiting for?" That was the signal to attack. They drew their daggers from their robes and began stabbing Caesar. He tried to defend himself, but then he recognized one of the men. It was Brutus, a man Caesar thought was his friend. "Et tu, Brute?" ("You too, Brutus?") Caesar asked. He realized that even his friend had turned against him, and he stopped resisting. Caesar fell to the floor and died. He had been stabbed 23 times. Brutus jumped up, waving his bloody knife. He announced that he and his men had saved the Roman Republic by killing Caesar. However, the death of Caesar did not restore the Republic. Instead, it ushered in 13 years of civil war as various groups struggled to control Rome. Caesar had seized control of the government of the Roman world in 49 B.C., making himself dictator for life. As dictator, Caesar seemed to have little respect for the constitution. According to the constitution, a Roman leader was supposed to share power with the senators. But many senators thought Caesar acted as if he were above the law. They thought he treated them as servants. They saw his behavior as haughty and insulting. Many began to think of him as both a personal enemy and an enemy of the Roman Republic. Senators and other Roman citizens whispered among themselves that Caesar intended to make himself king. If he did so, he could establish a dynasty. His family line would rule the Roman world even after his death, and the Senate would then have no role in choosing the next leader. Outraged, more than 60 senators met secretly. They planned how they would assassinate Caesar and murder him for political reasons. One leader of the group was Brutus, the so-called friend of Caesar. When Brutus and his men killed Caesar on the ides of March, they thought they had saved the Republic. But by the end of that day, the assassins had to hide from angry mobs of Roman citizens. Many were outraged by Caesar's murder. Caesar was well liked because he made many reforms that improved people's lives. For example, he reorganized the government and lowered taxes. He founded new colonies and gave people land to farm. He hired people to build temples and public buildings. He made citizens of many people in the colonies. A power struggle followed Caesar's death. Caesar's adopted son Octavian acquired such influence that Antony and Lepidus took him into their triumvirate. He defeated his rivals in 31 B.C. and led Rome into a new era.

Brief Background of the Name Octavian That the empire survived the civil wars that destroyed the republic was largely due to the long life (63 B.C.-14 A.D.) and political skill of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, later known as Augustus. He was the first emperor of Rome and founder of a Roman state that endured for centuries. Gaius Octavian was born on September 23, 63 B.C., to C. Octavius and atia, a niece of Julius Caesar, by his sister Julia. The family of Octavian was a good one, but its alliance to the Julians was far more important, and Octavian came under their direct influence when his father died in 59 B.C. Atia raised him and ensured his education by grammarians and philosophers, but it was Julius Caesar himself who had the most impact upon Octavian, and who had personally prepared him with the greatest opportunities. The Roman world had thought Marc Antony, Caesar’s powerful Lieutenant, would be next in line after Caesar but they were soon to find that Julius Caesar would leave a will naming Octavian, a virtually unknown, as his adopted son and chief heir to his throne.

Improved City Life under Augustus Augustus’ famous saying was, "I found Rome built of sun-dried bricks. I leave her covered in marble." During the long period (41 years) that he ruled, Augustus built or restored 82 temples. Most of them were dressed in the smooth marble from the quarries that were just discovered north of Rome. Augustus also worked hard to improve city life in Rome. There were nearly one million people living in Rome, and yet Rome had no city services. Many of the people were hunger and very poor. Violence and disorder increased, and Rome had a major crime problem. One of the worst problems was the fact that fires had regularly swept through the city. Augustus’ solution was creating a new police force and a fire department. He set up a government office that would supply food to the city's citizens.

Introduction to the History of Augustus Caesar BKA 102 - Augustus. This Bible Knowledge Accelerator program contains a very brief overview of the life and history of the emperor Augustus. You can download more detailed studies concerning various topics by visiting Bible History Online.

Julius Caesar and The First Triumvirate Julius Caesar served in Spain as proconsul in 61 B.C., a year later he returned to Rome desiring the consulate, the supreme office of power during the Republic. The senators were opposed to him, yet he came up with a brilliant idea. He organized a coalition, known as the First Triumvirate, made up of Pompey, commander in chief of the army; Marcus Licinius Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, and himself. Pompey and Crassus were jealous of each other, but Caesar by force of personality kept things going. In 59 B.C. he married Calpurnia. In the same year, as consul, he was in favor of an agrarian law providing Campanian lands for 20,000 poor citizens and veterans, in spite of the opposition of his senatorial colleague, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus. Caesar also won the support of the wealthy equites by getting a reduction for them in their tax contracts in Asia. This made him the guiding power in a coalition between people and plutocrats. He was assigned the rule of Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul and Illyricum with four legions for five years (58-54 B.C.). The differences between Pompey and Crassus grew, and Caesar again moved (56 B.C.) to patch up matters, arriving at an agreement that both Pompey and Crassus should be consuls in 55 B.C. and that their proconsular provinces should be Spain and Syria. From this arrangement he drew an extension of his command in Gaul to 49 B.C. In the years 58-49 B.C. he firmly established his reputation in the Gallic Wars. In 55 B.C., Caesar made explorations into Britain, and in 54 B.C. he defeated the Britons, led by Cassivellaunus. Caesar met his most serious opposition in Gaul from Vercingetorix, whom he defeated in Alesia in 52 B.C. By the end of the wars Caesar had reduced all Gaul to Roman control. These campaigns proved him one of the greatest commanders of all time. In them he revealed his consummate military genius, characterized by quick, sure judgment and determined energy. The campaigns also developed the personal devotion of the legions to Caesar. His personal interest in the men (he is reputed to have known them all by name) and his willingness to undergo every hardship made him the idol of the army—a significant element in his later career. In 54 B.C. occurred the death of Caesar's daughter Julia, Pompey's wife since 59 B.C. She had been the principal personal tie between the two men. During the years Caesar was in Gaul, Pompey had been gradually leaning more and more toward the senatorial party. The tribunate of Clodius (58 B.C.) had aggravated conditions in Rome, and Caesar's military successes had aroused Pompey's jealousy. Crassus' death (53 B.C.) in Parthia ended the First Triumvirate and set Pompey and Caesar against each other.

Map of Imperial Rome at the Time of Augustus Sites and places in the city of Rome at the time of Augustus.

Map of the Roman Empire under Augustus Map of the Roman Empire in 14 AD.

Overview of the History of Augustus Caesar Augustus is very possibly the single most important person in all of Roman history. During his very long and fantastic career, he provided many answers for the major problems of the Republic and his solutions for Roman government remained solid for another three centuries. His system was called the "Principate," and although it had its problems, it brought to the Roman Empire a succession of rulers who controlled an incredibly long period of peace and prosperity, more than Europe and the Middle East had ever known. Even though most of the rulers had their problems, the achievements of Augustus in establishing this system is amazing. Augustus was a remarkable man, well known for the fact that he could be very ruthless and at the same time be tolerant and forgiving. Augustus was the imperial title given to Octavius, successor of Julius Caesar. He was born in 63 B.C. and was educated by his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, who eventually made him his heir. Octavian was the first Roman emperor and the Bible refers to him as "Caesar Augustus". It was this same Emperor who had ordered the census that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where the real King would be born. Imagine, the true King of the greatest heavenly kingdom was born during the reign of the greatest earthly king of the greatest earthly kingdom, and it was this earthly king who unknowingly decreed that all the world should be taxed, each going to his own city, and thus the true King would be born in Bethlehem. It is quite possible that this is the reason for the birth of Christ being in the "fullness of times" mentioned in the Bible: Gal. 4:4.

The Adoption of Augustus Caesar In 53 B.C., at the age of 12, Octavian delivered the funeral ovation (the laudatio) for his grandmother Julia, which was his first public appearance, and several years later he served in the priesthood. Caesar was to play a determinative role in shaping the rest of Octavius's life. He saw his uncle’s triumph in Rome in 46 B.C. and in 45 young Octavian journeyed to Spain to be with him on campaign. Octavian was not strong physically, he suffered from a variety of illnesses that plagued him his whole life. The trip to Spain was a very dangerous journey. He also suffered a shipwreck and was in a sorry shape when he arrived at Caesar’s camp. But his uncle recognized something unique in him, rewarding his efforts with military training and the young man was included as his Master of Horse for 43 B.C. After a time Octavian was elected to the pontifical college and sent to Apollonia, in Epirus, to study philosophy and the arts of war. He took with him his two dearest friends, Marcus Agrippa and Marcus Rufus. His studies were cut short by the assassination of Caesar in Rome. Octavian was only 18 years old, but the will of his uncle declared him his chief heir and adopted son and not Marc Antony as was expected. Octavian’s position in Rome was now became radically different and bound by the obligation to avenge Caesar’s death. His family, now fearful for his life, urged him to renounce the adoption but Octavian traveled to Rome. Instead of rash action he found that cautious deliberation would be far more useful. His patience was a characteristic that would mark his later years.

The Death of Augustus Caesar In his later years, Augustus withdrew more and more from the public eye, although he continued to transact public business. He was getting older and Tiberius had been installed as his successor and by 13 A.D. he was virtually emperor already. He had already received grants of both proconsular and tribunician power and Tiberius's imperium had been made co-extensive with that of Augustus. While traveling in Campania, Augustus died peacefully at Nola on August 19, 14 A.D. Tiberius, who was en route to Illyricum, hurried to the scene and, either, depending on the source, arrived too late or spent a day discussing his rule with the dying emperor. The tradition that Livia poisoned her husband is scandalous and probably not true. Whatever the case about these details, Imperator Caesar Augustus, adopted son of Julius Caesar, called "Father of his Country," the man who had ruled the Roman world alone for almost half a century, was dead. He was given a magnificent funeral, buried in the mausoleum he had built in Rome, and entered the Roman pantheon as Divus Augustus. In his will, he left 1,000 sesterces to each of the men of the Praetorian guard, 500 to the urban cohorts, and 300 to each of the legionaries. In death, as in life, Augustus acknowledged what he considered the true source of his power. The inscription entitled "The Achievements of the Divine Augustus" (Res Gestae Divi Augustae; usually abbreviated RG) remains a remarkable piece of evidence deriving from Augustus's reign. The fullest copy of it is the bilingual Greek and Latin version carved into the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at Ancyra in Galatia (for this reason the RG used to be commonly referred to as the Monumentum Ancyranum). Other evidence, however, demonstrates that the original was inscribed on two bronze pillars that flanked the entrance to the Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome. The inscription remains the only first-person summary of any Roman emperor's political career and, as such, offers invaluable insights into the Augustan era as it was publicly presented.

The Deeds of the Divine Augustus Ancient text written attributed to Caesar Augustus.

The Deified Augustus The Lives of the Caesars - The Deified Augustus by Suetonius

The Empire of Augustus Octavian brought peace to the Roman Empire and became a popular leader. In 27 B.C., the Senate voted to give him the title Augustus, which means "the respected one." He ruled the empire until 14 A.D. Augustus had learned well from his father's mistakes. He continued many of the reforms that had been started by Caesar. He knew that the people wanted a republic, so he always claimed to be restoring the government of the Roman Republic. But Augustus was always in charge and held the real power. He controlled nearly all of the military troops. He appointed the most important officials of government, those who governed the provinces. He carefully avoided using the title of king. Instead, he called himself "first citizen" to show that he was one of the people. Augustus ruled an empire. He is considered to be the first Roman emperor. The people welcomed him because they longed for a strong leader. They desperately wanted peace and order after all of the civil wars and turmoil that followed Julius Caesar's death.

The Empire that Augustus Built Conclusion. The awesome empire that Augustus had shaped was immense. Its boundaries were--the Atlantic on the west; the Euphrates on the east; the Black Sea, the Danube, and the British Channel on the north; and the deserts of Africa and Arabia, and the cataracts of the Nile, on the south. Only the German tribes in the far north, and the Parthians on the east, remained independent. The population of the Roman Empire during the time of Augustus was probably between 85,000 and 120,000. His standing professional army consisted of over 170,000 soldiers, besides the troops stationed in the capital, and it was they who guarded the frontiers from the many barbarous tribes. Augustus administered the whole Empire through the Provinces, who were governed by officers that received their commission from Rome. People grew up without knowing any form of government other than the Principate. Augustus brought peace and prosperity throughout the empire, but it was Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who would ultimately utilize this young empire and bring true peace to mankind. It is amazing to see just how much the Lord had prepared the world for the spreading of His gospel. Edward Arthur Litton well said: "The devout student of history must recognize in the political state of the world at this time a remarkable preparation for the promulgation of Christianity. The peace which the empire enjoyed; the excellent roads which the Romans constructed wherever they established themselves; the presence of the imperial legions in every important place repressing the outbreaks of religious fanaticism, and so affording protection to the infant church; the increase of commerce; and the leveling tendency of an imperial despotism--all manifestly contributed to the success of the gospel...There could not have been a more favorable moment for the heralds of the gospel to commence their mission."

The Pax Romana under Augustus The Pax Romana Augustus's reign marked the beginning of a remarkable period in Rome's history. For more than 200 years, the vast Roman Empire was united and, for the most part, peaceful. This period from 27 B.C. to 180 A.D. is called the Pax Romana, or "Peace of Rome." Augustus Caesar died at Nola in Campania, in his 76th year, in 14 A.D. After his death, the title "Augustus" was given to all of the Roman emperors.

The Princeps and Augustus Caesar The Princeps was an unofficial but important title that mean "First Citizen" or "First Statesman." During the Republican era the princeps was used to give honor to special leaders. Pompey the Great was called princeps out of recognition for his victories for the state and his position within Rome. Others received the name, including Cicero for the Catiline Affair in 63 B.C. Julius Caesar won the title from Cicero in 49 B.C. Julius Caesar had wanted to transform Roman society and Octavian wanted to re-establish it within a new order. For example Octavian forced men out of the Senate if they were not a direct descendant of the highest Roman nobility. He made a decree that no Roman citizen could marry a freeman, or anyone outside his own rank. Octavian restored the old Republican Temples with marble and the old forms of the Republican government were to be observed. When Octavian acted it was only through the Senate and Assembly. In 27 B.C. he laid down all of his powers and it was the Senate who would grant them back to him through the people. Therefore by senatorial proclamation Octavian became: Princeps – The head of the Senate and first citizen of the state Imperator Caesar Divi filius – Commander-in-chief of the armed forces and son of the divine Julius (thus he became an object of worship). Augustus – Restorer and augmenter of the state (a title bestowed on gods). The Senate therefore recognized that the old order was gone and new times had come. After nearly a century of civil war the biggest desire of all Romans was peace and order and Augustus Caesar would give it to them.

The Provinces of the Roman Empire under Augustus The Roman Empire beyond Italy was divided into about 40 provinces, or territories. Each province had its own governor, who was appointed by the emperor or named by the Senate. The governors' work mainly included keeping order and collecting taxes. Augustus and the emperors who followed him expanded the empire by conquering new territories. By the end of the first century A.D. the Roman Empire had a population of about 60 million. This was more than one-fifth of the total population of the world at that time.

The Second Triumvirate and Augustus Caesar In 43 B.C., Octavian, Lepidus, and Mark Antony were named as the Second Triumvirate, the three rulers who shared the office of emperor. Civil war broke out after Caesar's assassination. Two of the assassins, Brutus and Cassius, led one side. Octavian and Mark Antony, one of Caesar's lieutenants, took the other. In 2 quick battles, the assassins were crushed. The victory catapulted young Octavian— or Augustus, as he was later called— 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." –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." Antony failed to recognize that in Octavian he was dealing with a natural born politician. Octavian never was an imposing figure physically, and he owed his military victories largely to the skill of his able lieutenants. Yet In the political arena he was without peer, rising as a virtual unknown in 44 B.C. to become the first of the Julio-Claudian emperors by 27 B.C. Antony's days of power were numbered. When Antony had divorced Octavia (Octavian’s sister) to marry Cleopatra, Octavian declared war and a showdown took place at Actium in 31 B.C. Octavian won a decisive victory over Antony, 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 to make a bold move. When he was to meet with Octavian, he took off his crown and placed it at the leader's feet. This 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. After the death of Herod in 4 B.C., his dominions were divided among his sons by Augustus, almost in exact accordance with his will. In 27 B.C. Octavian became Rome's first emperor, being surnamed Augustus Caesar "majestic." He was saluted as emperor (imperator, military commander in chief originally). Leaving the names and rights of the chief republican officers unchanged, he united them all, one by one, in himself. 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. Augustus was emperor at the birth and during half the lifetime of our Lord, and his name occurs in the Bible (Luke 2:1) as the emperor who ordered the census, and because of this edict Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, the place where the Messiah was to be born. Augustus brought order and prosperity to the Roman Empire after the long period of civil war, and for his successes he was worshiped in many places. With him began the emperor cult, and Herod the Great built temples to the divine Augustus at Caesarea and Samaria; both of these have been excavated. Augustus was worshiped in Ephesus too, and a great lintel with an inscription to the divine Augustus has been excavated there and re-erected over the gate to the Greek agora. Paul would have seen it and passed under it often as he ministered in the city for most of three years on his third missionary journey.

The Title Augustus Caesar That the empire survived the civil wars that destroyed the republic was largely due to the long life (63 B.C.-14 A.D.) and political skill of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, later known as Augustus. In 44 B.C. Octavian, great nephew and adopted son of the murdered dictator, rallied Caesar's veterans and used them first against Marc Antony, the chief leader of the Caesarians, and then in alliance with Antony and Lepidus (the Second Triumvirate), against the republicans. Proscriptions caused the death of some 300 senators and 2000 nobles. Opponents of the triumvirate were defeated, and much property was made available with which to reward the troops. After Brutus and Cassius had been defeated at Philippi (42 B.C.), and Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium (31 B.C.), Octavian was now without opposition and master of the empire. Octavian brought peace to the Roman Empire and became a popular leader. In 27 B.C., the Senate voted to give him the title Augustus, which means "the respected one." He ruled the empire until 14 A.D. In the Bible Luke refers to him as "Caesar Augustus." With the settlement of 27 B.C. he laid the foundations of the `principate', a system of government that was to give the empire internal peace with only brief interruptions for around 250 years. In reality this monarchy was much different than in the previous era and it was much more acceptable to men familiar with free republican institutions. The ruler was not king but first citizen (princeps). Of his formal titles, Caesar proclaimed that he was a descendant of the dead dictator, and Imperator (emperor), that he was commander in chief. The Senate made aware the fact that this citizen had unique prestige and influence by giving him the title of Augustus. The princeps' power was like that of a king in that it rested on hereditary loyalty, especially of the army, to himself, his family and descendants (whether by birth or adoption). His personality was magnified and publicized through the so-called imperial cult, a complex of ceremonies making use of the forms of religion to express and instill loyalty to the ruler. At the same time Augustus voluntarily restricted his actions within the limits of various constitutional powers conferred by the Senate, for which, taken singly, republican precedent could be found. Moreover, he let his position evolve through a series of settlements, and thus avoided outrage to public and especially senatorial opinion. In 27 B.C. he was granted a proconsular command, or province including Gaul, Spain and Syria, and by far the greatest part of the Roman army. In 23 B.C. he received the power of a tribune, and his proconsular authority was made greater than that of any other provincial governor. In 19 sc he received (probably) consular powers that entitled him to introduce administrative reforms in Rome and Italy. This complex of powers remained the constitutional basis of the imperial office and continued to be granted by the Senate, which thus retained, in theory at least, a share in the appointment of the emperor. Augustus reduced the huge armies of the civil war to around 300,000 men, made up half of Roman citizens serving in legions and half of provincials in auxiliary units. The army was stationed in frontier provinces. After around 25 years service legionaries received a lump-sum pension from a military treasury fed by two special taxes. Auxiliaries, on retirement, were given Roman citizenship. Augustus was lucky to have able yet reliable generals, notably his friend Agrippa, and in later years his stepsons Tiberius and Drusus. These and others expanded the empire very considerably until in 9 A.D. the loss of three legions in the disastrous battle of the Teutoburg Forest ended a sustained attempt to conquer Germany, and reconciled Augustus to frontiers stabilized along the Rhine, Danube and Euphrates. By and large growth of the empire had come to an end. The conquest of Britain, begun under Claudius, was the only major post-Augustan addition to the empire to prove lasting. Suspicion of successful generals, and the strain on the economy of recruiting, paying and pensioning the extra troops required by expansion reconciled most emperors to a basically defensive policy. In time the army had to be enlarged nevertheless-at great social cost. Augustus reorganized the administration of the whole empire. At Rome he appointed an equestrian praefectus annonae to organize supplies for the free issue of corn that was the privilege of the inhabitants of the capital. For the first time the city received a police force, fire brigade and organization for flood control. After the death of Augustus the public assemblies lost their electoral and legislative functions to the Senate. Public opinion could still find expression in demonstrations in the theatre or circus, where emperors were expected to watch the shows in the midst of huge numbers of their subjects. Numerous colonies were founded for the settlement of veterans, especially in southern France, in Spain and North Africa. In this way the surplus population of Italy, which had contributed to the instability of the late republic, was dispersed, and the raising of revolutionary armies made much more difficult for the future. Appointment of provincial governors was shared between emperor and Senate. Imperial provinces were governed by a legatus Augusti of senatorial rank or by an equestrian official. Senatorial provinces were governed by ex-consuls or ex-quaestors, with the title of proconsul. In imperial provinces finance was in the hands of an equestrian procurator, in senatorial provinces of a quaestor. But inhabitants of both kinds of province looked upon the emperor as their head of state. Similarly resolutions of the Senate (senatus consulta) had legal force for the whole empire. Under Augustus literature flourished. The epic of Virgil (70-19 B.C.), history of Livy (59 B.C.-17 A.D.), the personal poetry of Horace (65-8 B.C.), Propertius (after 16 B.C.), Tibullus (48-19 B.C.) and Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.) were soon recognized as Latin classics worthy to be mentioned with those of the Greeks. Among the themes treated most memorably were the history and traditional values of the Roman people and the emotions of personal relations, especially of love. After his death, the title "Augustus" was given to all Roman emperors. The "Augustus Caesar" mentioned in Acts 25:21, 25, for instance, is not Octavian but Nero.

If you notice a broken link or any error PLEASE report it by clicking HERE
© 1995-2016 Bible History Online

More Bible History