Augustus Essay Research Paper Augustus Caesaar is

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Augustus Essay, Research Paper Augustus Caesaar is known as one of the most prominent and capable leaders in Roman history. Born as Gaius Octavius Thurnius, Augustus became a member of the Second Triumvirate. He eventually defeated the army of his fellow Triumvirate member, Marcus Antonius and became sole ruler of Rome. Octavius was renamed Augustus by the Roman Senate and the era of Pax Romana (Roman peace) was ushered in. Pax Romana lasted for two hundred years. This era, known as the Golden Age, is the longest period in time that there has been peace in human history. Gaius Octavius Thurnius was born on September 23, 63 B.C. to Atia, who was the niece of Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar was the dictator of Rome at this time. Octavians’ first public appearance came when he

was twelve years old, in 51 B.C. His grandmother Julia died and he delivered the eulogy at her funeral. Octavius was adopted by Julius Caesar and “after the assassination of Julius on March 15, 44 B.C. (The Ides Of March) Rome plunged into chaos” (Matthews, 108). Due to the fact that Julius Caesar had put Octavian in his will, Octavian had the right to the name Caesar and assumed the name C. Julius Caesar Octavianus. The nineteen-year-old Octavian was given minimal power by the senate in 43 B.C., only to have it taken away again. Angered by this move by the senate, Octavian formed an alliance called the Second Triumvirate with Marcus Antonius and Marcus Lepidus. Marcus Antonius took control of Egypt, and Marcus Lepidus assumed power in North Africa while Octavian ruled Italy,

Gaul, France and Spain. The first actions of the members of the Second Triumvirate were to kill the great speaker and writer Cicero along with more than a hundred other senators and knights. Their next move was to avenge the murder of Julius Caesar and to move against the Senators under the leadership of Brutus and Cassius. Brutus and Cassius were defeated and killed at the battle of Philippi in Macedonia in 42 B.C. The Second Triumvirate was now dominant, but did not last very long as the members began to feud amongst themselves. Marcus Lepidus tried to overthrow Octavian, but failed and was stripped of his title. Octavian confined Lepidus to house arrest and Lepidus later died. This event left Marcus Lepidus’ third of Rome for Marcus Antonius and Octavian to divide. Octavian

assumed control of the Roman forces in the West and Marcus Antonius controlled the Roman forces in the East. Inevitably, a battle for control between Octavian and Marcus Antonius ensued. This battle would be the largest civil war Rome had ever seen. Marcus Antonius, supported by the pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra, prepared his land forces and his navy in an attempt to overthrow Octavian. The two naval forces, Octavian’s navy commanded by Marcus Agrippa, and Marcus Antonius’ and Cleopatra’s navy, met at the battle of Actium on September 2, 31 BC. The naval forces of Octavian, commanded by the General Agrippa, came to be victorious. Upon hearing of Agrippa’s victory, the land forces of Antonius defected to the side of Octavian instead of putting up a fight. Marcus Antonius

survived and escaped back to Egypt with Cleopatra, however, both commited suicide by the next year. Octavian assumed control of Egypt, Rome’s richest territory and it came under his personal control. “The Battle of Actium is thought of as one of the most decisive battles ever fought because it established Octavian’s position as master of the entire Greco-Roman world” (Grant, 245). Octavian now had the funds from the conquest of Egypt to pay his army and he also had increased the size of his own army due to the defection of Antonius’ army to his side. Octavian was now the sole commander of Rome and returned to Rome in victory. After much celebration, Octavian was given the title Imperator Caesar Augustus, Augustus meaning “Holy” or “Blessed One” by the Senate.