Augustus Caesar and The Princeps
Augustus Caesar | Index
Princeps was an unofficial but important title that mean "First
Citizen" or "First Statesman."
Imperator Caesar Divi filius
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
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
– 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.
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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