Augustus Ceasar Essay Research Paper Two of

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Augustus Ceasar Essay, Research Paper Two of the most destructive problems facing the late Roman Republic were the instability and disunity caused by incessant civil wars. Rome’s rapid expansion, after the Punic Wars, resulted in socioeconomic changes that permanently divided the state. Both aristocratic and plebeian parties sought total control of Rome and tried to destroy each other. Civil war was the continuation of party politics by other means. Consequently, the power of the military became supreme. Control of Rome’s armies steadily shifted away from the legitimate government to the generals because the soldiers began to give their allegiance to their generals rather than to the civil authorities. On dismissal from military service, the legionnaires had no farms to

return to, and they depended entirely on whatever land and money their generals could provide since the government was unwilling or unable to supply veterans with livelihoods. Thus, the generals became autonomous centers of power. The general who dominated the strongest army ruled the state. Repeated power struggles of these military strongmen ignited more civil wars that further undermined the stability and unity of the late Roman Republic. Augustus saw how divisive to the Roman polity civil war was. He understood that control of the legions by the civil government was necessary for the establishment of peace and order throughout the Roman Empire. He wanted to reorganize and institute changes in the military to assure that it would not rise again in support of some triumphant

general to challenge the legitimacy of the state. Since warfare within the Empire was eliminated, the role of the legions changed. Its main objectives consisted in protecting the borders from foreign foes and pacifying conquered lands through the gradual introduction of the Roman language, law, administration, and engineering. Augustus’ priority was to reduce the number of the legions from 60 to 28, settling in the process more than 100,000 veterans in colonies in Italy, Africa, Asia, and Syria. While proscription financed previous resettlement efforts, the vast wealth of Egypt, which he seized after Antony’s defeat, subsidized Augustus’ massive resettlement program. He raised the troops’ salary and regularized the payment of pensions, which consisted of land and money,

to veterans. Augustus, thus, reduced the old threat of soldiers giving their allegiance to wealthy generals rather than to the state. He also standardized the length of military service. The Roman legion became a professional, long service force with an esprit de corp that earlier legions did not have. Each legion was commanded by an officer of senatorial rank whom Augustus personally appointed, and the legionnaires pledged their allegiance to Augustus as commander-in-chief. Furthermore, Augustus recruited soldiers from the Roman provinces. These auxiliary troops were granted Roman citizenship upon completion of military service, and they became important agents of Romanization because the provinces now had a share in the defense of the Empire. In addition, Augustus raised a new

military force, the 9,000-strong Praetorian Guard, to act as personal bodyguards of the Emperor and to specifically protect the city of Rome from all enemies, foreign or domestic. He also created a police force for the city, which then had a population of more than 1,000,000. This measure greatly reduced the crime rate and the frequency of public riots, both of which were constant problems. Another problem plaguing the late Roman Republic was the constant revolt of the provinces because of corruption and mismanagement. Under the early Republic, the appointed provincial governors served short terms. Many of these politically appointed governors were either inexperienced or incompetent, so corruption and fiscal mismanagement were common practices. The greed of these governors was