Suetonius • Life of Augustus
Julius Caesar and his rise to power in the Roman Republic and the relationship between Caesar and Sulla. Learn about the First Triumvirate. Augustus Caesar was named named as the principal heir of Julius Caesar. The young Augustus used Caesar's money and name to start As relations with Antony broke down, it was better to wage war petitions and resolving the problems long neglected by the inertia of the Senate under the Republic. Julius Caesar Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars . To show more plainly that he p regretted his connection with the former party, .. 4 On questions of special importance he called upon the senators to give their.
His grandfather had served in several local political offices. His father, also named Gaius Octaviushad been governor of Macedonia. His mother, Atiawas the niece of Julius Caesar. Philippus never had much of an interest in young Octavius. Because of this, Octavius was raised by his grandmother, Juliathe sister of Julius Caesar. When he had recovered, he sailed to the front, but was shipwrecked ; after coming ashore with a handful of companions, he crossed hostile territory to Caesar's camp, which impressed his great-uncle considerably.
Walters Art MuseumBaltimore. He rejected the advice of some army officers to take refuge with the troops in Macedonia and sailed to Italy to ascertain whether he had any potential political fortunes or security. Roman citizens adopted into a new family usually retained their old nomen in cognomen form e.
However, though some of his contemporaries did,  there is no evidence that Octavius ever himself officially used the name Octavianus, as it would have made his modest origins too obvious. They had been granted a general amnesty on 17 March, yet Antony had succeeded in driving most of them out of Rome with an inflammatory eulogy at Caesar's funeral, mounting public opinion against the assassins.
Mark Antony had lost the support of many Romans and supporters of Caesar when he initially opposed the motion to elevate Caesar to divine status. During the summer, he managed to win support from Caesarian sympathizers and also made common with the Optimatesthe former enemies of Caesar, who saw him as the lesser evil and hoped to manipulate him. Antony besieged him at Mutina  and rejected the resolutions passed by the Senate to stop the fighting. The Senate had no army to enforce their resolutions.
This provided an opportunity for Octavian, who already was known to have armed forces. It was with great reluctance that he allowed even his generals to visit their wives, and then only in the winter season.History vs. Cleopatra - Alex Gendler
If any cohorts gave way in battle, he decimated them, 21 and fed the rest on barley. He presented Marcus Agrippa with a blue banner in Sicily after his naval victory.
Those who had celebrated triumphs were the only ones whom he thought ineligible for prizes, even though they had been the companions of his campaigns and shared in his victories, on the ground that they themselves had the privilege of bestowing such honours wherever they wished. He did not begin all his consulships in Rome, but the fourth in Asia, the fifth on the Isle of Samos, the eighth and ninth at Tarraco.
However, to show his regret for this inflexibility, he later honoured Titus Vinius Philopoemen with equestrian rank, because it was said that he had hidden his patron, who was on the list. For example, when he was addressing the soldiers and a throng of civilians had been admitted to the assembly, noticing that Pinarius, a Roman knight, was taking notes, he ordered that he be stabbed on the spot, thinking him an eavesdropper and a spy.
Because Tedius Afer, consul elect, railed at some act of his in spiteful terms, he uttered such terrible threats that Afer committed suicide. He was also given the supervision of morals and of the laws for all time, and by the virtue of this position, although without the title of censor, he nevertheless took the census thrice, the first and last time with a colleague, the second time alone. He made it safe too for the future, so far as human foresight could provide for this.
Therefore it was opened to the public with some haste, before the temple of Mars was finished, and it was provided that the public prosecutions be held there apart from the rest, as well as the selection of jurors by lot.
He joined to it colonnades with Latin and Greek libraries, and when he was getting to be an old man he often held meetings of the senate there as well, and revised the lists of jurors. More than that, he often urged other prominent men to adorn the city with new monuments or to restore and embellish old ones, each according to his means.
To guard against fires he devised a system of stations of night watchmen, and to control the floods he widened and cleared out the channel of the Tiber, which had for some time been filled with rubbish and narrowed by jutting buildings. At the Lupercalia he forbade beardless youths to join in the running, and at the Secular Games he wouldn't allow young people of either sex to attend any entertainment by night except in company with some adult relative.
Accordingly he restored the works of such men with their original inscriptions, and in the two colonnades of his forum dedicated statues of all of them in triumphal garb, declaring besides in a proclamation: He made over to their holders places in the city to which the claim of the state was uncertain. He struck off the lists the names of those who had long been under accusation, from whose humiliation 37 nothing was to be gained except the gratification of their enemies, with the stipulation that if anyone was minded to renew the charge, he should be liable to the same penalty.
He enrolled as jurors men of thirty years or more, that is five years younger than usual. In his administration of justice he was both highly conscientious and very lenient; for to save a man clearly guilty of parricide from being sown up in the sack, 40 a punishment which was inflicted only on those who pleaded guilty, he is said to have put the question to him in this form: And on finding that the spirit of the law was being evaded by betrothal with immature girls and by frequent changes of wives, he shortened the duration of betrothals and set a limit on divorce.
On the latter occasion it is thought that he wore a coat of mail under his tunic as he presided, and a sword by his side, while ten of the most robust of his friends among the senators stood by his chair. Some he shamed into resigning, but he allowed even these to retain their distinctive dress, as well as the privilege of viewing the games from the orchestra and taking part in the public banquets of the order.
He also adopted the plan of privy councils chosen by lot for terms of six months, with which to discuss in advance matters which were to come before the entire body. He appointed censors, an office which had long been discontinued. He increased the number of praetors.
The Roman Empire: in the First Century. The Roman Empire. Emperors. Augustus | PBS
He also demanded that whenever the consulship was conferred on him, he should have two colleagues instead of one; but this was not granted, since all cried out that it was a sufficient offence to his supreme dignity that he held the office with another and not alone. But he would not allow an accuser to force anyone to dismount as he rode by, as was often done in the past; and he permitted those who were conspicuous because of old age or any bodily infirmity 47 to send on their horses in the review, and come on foot to answer to their names whenever they were summoned.
The mildest form of reprimand was to hand them a pair of tablets publicly, which they were to read in silence on the spot.
He censured some because they had borrowed money at low interest and invested it at a higher rate. Moreover, since many knights whose property was diminished during the civil wars did not venture to view the games from the fourteen rows 49 through fear of the penalty of the law regarding theatres, he declared that none were liable to its provisions, if they themselves or their parents had ever possessed a knight's estate.
When Tiberius requested citizenship for a Grecian dependent of his, Augustus wrote in reply that he would not grant it unless the man appeared in person and convinced him that he had reasonable grounds for the request; and when Livia asked it for a Gaul from a tributary province, he refused, offering instead freedom from tribute, and declaring that he would more willingly suffer a loss to his privy purse than the prostitution of the honour of Roman citizenship.
For example, by bringing the royal treasures to Rome in his Alexandrian triumph he made ready money so abundant, that the rate of interest fell, and the value of real estate rose greatly; and after that, whenever there was an excess of funds from the property of those who had been condemned, he loaned it without interest for fixed periods to any who could give security for double the amount.
Claiming the throne He formed a strategic alliance with Marc Antony, a successful and ambitious general. Over the next few years, they defeated their enemies in Rome and chased the survivors to Greece, where they finished them off in two of the bloodiest battles in Roman history.
The killing over, the empire was theirs and they divided the spoils. Augustus kept Rome, while Antony took Egypt. Trouble in Egypt Romans feared that Cleopatra wanted the throne for herself and his relationship with her made Mark Antony a hated man in Rome. His alliance with Augustus disintegrated but, before Antony and Cleopatra could strike Rome, Augustus attacked. Cleopatra and Marc Antony killed themselves and, finally, the Roman Empire now included the land of the pharaohs.
Local hero Back home, Augustus was a hero. Winning the war had been difficult, but was nothing compared to the challenge of winning the peace. He had divorced his wife and married his pregnant mistress, Livia.
Many immediately suspected him of wanting to create a dynasty to rule Rome for generations to come. But a series of disasters panicked Romans. They became convinced that only he could save them and begged the Senate to vote him absolute ruler. Augustus agreed, but did so cleverly.