Augustus Essay Research Paper Octavian Augustus 63

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Augustus Essay, Research Paper Octavian Augustus (63 B.C 14 A.D) is known as the first, and one of the greatest Roman emperors of our time. Octavian enables the long, peaceful time of the Pax Romona by changing Rome from its fragile state, to one of the most powerful empires. At this time, Rome is using the method of a republican government, but Augustus comes up with an entirely new method of governing the empire. This relies on the traditional ways of politics, which his great-uncle Caesar ignored. Octavian s government is strong enough to withstand weak emperors who mismanage the Empire. In the words of biographer Fergus Millar, His changes proved to be the cornerstone of the greatest empire the world has ever seen (Millar 17). Augustus becomes such a successful emperor

due to his intelligence, courage, and determination, as well as the army he creates, and the fact that he realizes the importance of the traditional republican forms of government. He was both a culmination of the old order, last of the mighty generals, and the beginning of something entirely new (Scarre 16). Because of this, Augustus succeeds in an almost impossible task, and manages to be the greatest emperor of Rome, as well as the first. The wisdom and personality of Augustus helps him gain his popularity with the people. He was unusually handsome and exceedingly graceful at all periods of his life, though he cared nothing for personal adorement. He was so far from being particular about the dressing of his hair, that he would have several barbers working at the same time,

and as for his beard he now had it clipped and then shaved, while at the very same time he would either be reading or writing something. He is greatly involved with the arts, and literature, and contributed a lot to the Roman culture. One of his architectural contributions is the Temple of Mars. He promised to make this offering to the gods once he tracks down his great-uncle s murderers. When the temple is finished, Augustus uses the temple as his military headquarters. After all, Mars is the god of war. The temple also serves as a public meeting place in the center of Rome. Here the people of Rome can shop and gossip while they also admire their emperor s generosity. Augustus generosity is also seen through his love for the game of dice. He often provided his guests with the

money to place bets (Clarke 13). Augustus is also very tolerant of criticism. Many criticize Augustus as he attempts to bring back the old style of government. But, without his patience and tolerance, he would not be able to succeed as an emperor of such a large empire. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Chris Scarre, Chronicle of the Roman Emperors ( London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1995) 16. He also has a good sense of humour, and a liking for phrases such as quicker than you can cook an asparagus (Clarke 29). Unlike following emperors, such as Tiberius, Augustus regularly attends senate meetings, as well as social gatherings. Augustus has set a model for many soon to follow emperors such as Titus. One of the keys to his success

is to win the popularlity of the people. He did this by hosting games, and social events. Also, on occasion, Augustus distributes gifts to the people of Rome. He also has a fondness for writing. According to Daniel Cohen, We know that he wrote an autobiography in 13 volumes, taking his life story up to the times of the Cantabrian War (26-25 B.C), but nothing of it has survived (Cohen 23). Because of his wisdom and knowledge, and his contributions to society and culture, Augustus was able to be a well- accomplished emperor. Augustus has no desire for military glory, although he wishes to stabilize Rome, after many years of civil wars. So, he creates the official borders of the empire, and then reduces the size of the army. With the army not as large as it once was, Rome is not as