People - Ancient Rome : Augustus Caesar


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...

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