The Empire of Augustus Caesar
Augustus Caesar | Index
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
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.
Improved City Life
Augustusí 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. Augustusí 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.
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 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.
Return to Bible History Online
Images and Busts of
Augustus on romanemperors.com
Augustus Bibliography Resources
Augustus Caesar's World - By Foster, 347 Pages, Pub.
Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor - By
Everitt, 432 Pages, Pub. 2007