Overview of the History of Augustus Caesar
Augustus Caesar | Index
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.
Map of the Roman Empire
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.
Map of Imperial Rome
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.
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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