Divi filius Augustus;[note 1] 23
September 63 BC – 19 August 14 AD) was a Roman statesman and
military leader who served as the first Emperor of the Roman Empire,
Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14.[note 2]
His status as the founder of the Roman
Principate has consolidated an
enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders
in human history.
He was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian
branch of the plebeian gens Octavia. His maternal great-uncle Julius
Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's
will as his adopted son and heir. Then known simply as Octavianus
(often anglicized to Octavian), he along with Mark Antony, and Marcus
Lepidus formed the
Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of
Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the
Triumvirate divided the
Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as
military dictators.[note 3] The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart
by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into
exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide
following his defeat at the
Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.
After the demise of the Second Triumvirate,
Augustus restored the
outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested
in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative
assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over
the Republic as a military dictator. By law,
Augustus held a
collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including
supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took
several years for
Augustus to develop the framework within which a
formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He
rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps
Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional
framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman
The reign of
Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the
Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict
for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial
expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known
as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.
Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia,
Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia; expanding possessions in Africa;
expanding into Germania; and completing the conquest of Hispania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the
Empire with a buffer region of
client states and made peace with the
Parthian Empire 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, created official
police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the
city during his reign.
Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75. He
probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed
rumors that his wife
Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor
by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius.
2 Early life
3 Rise to power
3.1 Heir to Caesar
3.2 Growing tensions
3.3 First conflict with Antony
3.4 Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Battle of Philippi and division of territory
3.4.3 Rebellion and marriage alliances
3.4.4 War with Pompeius
3.4.5 War with Antony and Cleopatra
4 Sole ruler of Rome
4.1 First settlement
4.2 Change to Augustus
4.3 Second settlement
4.4 Primary reasons for the Second settlement
4.5 Additional powers
4.7 Stability and staying power
5 War and expansion
6 Death and succession
7.2 Month of August
7.3 Building projects
8 Physical appearance and official images
11 See also
12.3 Works cited
13 Further reading
14 External links
As a consequence of Roman customs, society, and personal preference
Augustus (/ɔːˈɡʌstəs/; Classical
Latin: [awˈɡʊstʊs])[note 1] was known by many names
throughout his life:
Gaius Octavius Thurinus (/ɒkˈteɪviəs/): He received his birth
name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his first
name, "Octavius" was his surname, and "Thurinus" was his cognomen.
Some of his political opponents referred him by his birth name in an
attempt to insult him for changing his name multiple times.
Augustus replied to them surprised that "using his old name was
thought to be an insult". Historians typically refer to him by his
family name, Octavius–sometimes anglicizing it to Octavian
(/ɒkˈteɪviən/)–between his birth and his adoption by Julius
Caesar in 44 BC.
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus: After he was adopted by
he took Caesar's name in accordance with Roman adoption naming
standards. To further differentiate himself from his previous
surname, he dropped "Octavianus" from his name and was known to his
contemporaries as "Caesar" during this period. Select historians refer
to him as "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Two years after his
adoption, he founded the
Temple of Caesar
Temple of Caesar additionally adding the
title Divi Filius ("Son of the Divine") to his name in attempt to
strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following
the deification of Caesar. He assumed the name Gaius
Divi Filius as a means to that end.
Imperator Caesar Divi Filius:[note 4] In 38 BC, Octavian replaced his
praenomen "Gaius" and nomen "Julius" with Imperator, the title by
which troops hailed their leader after military success.
Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 27 BC defeat of
Mark Antony and Cleopatra, partly on his own insistence, the Roman
Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", meaning "the
venerable". He adopted his traditional name of Augustus
thereafter. Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until
his death in AD 14.
Main article: Early life of Augustus
While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri, approximately
40 kilometres (25 mi) from Rome,
Augustus was born in the city of
Rome on 23 September 63 BC. He was born at Ox Head, a small
property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. He was
given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly
commemorating his father's victory at
Thurii over a rebellious band of
Due to the crowded nature of
Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to
his father's home village at
Velletri to be raised. Octavius only
mentions his father's equestrian family briefly in his memoirs. His
paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in
Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in
several local political offices. His father, also named Gaius
Octavius, had been governor of Macedonia.[note 5] His mother,
Atia, was the niece of
A denarius from 44 BC, showing
Julius Caesar on the obverse and the
Venus on the reverse of the coin
In 59 BC, when he was four years old, his father died. His
mother married a former governor of Syria, Lucius Marcius
Philippus. Philippus claimed descent from Alexander the Great, and
was elected consul in 56 BC. Philippus never had much of an
interest in young Octavius. Because of this, Octavius was raised by
his grandmother, Julia, the sister of
Julia died in 52 or 51 BC, and Octavius delivered the funeral
oration for his grandmother. From this point, his mother and
stepfather took a more active role in raising him. He donned the toga
virilis four years later, and was elected to the College of
Pontiffs in 47 BC. The following year he was put in
charge of the Greek games that were staged in honor of the Temple of
Venus Genetrix, built by
Julius Caesar. According to Nicolaus of
Damascus, Octavius wished to join Caesar's staff for his campaign in
Africa, but gave way when his mother protested. In 46 BC, she
consented for him to join Caesar in Hispania, where he planned to
fight the forces of Pompey, Caesar's late enemy, but Octavius fell ill
and was unable to travel.
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. Velleius Paterculus reports that after that time,
Caesar allowed the young man to share his carriage. When back in
Rome, Caesar deposited a new will with the Vestal Virgins, naming
Octavius as the prime beneficiary.
Rise to power
Heir to Caesar
The Death of Caesar, by
Jean-Léon Gérôme (1867). On 15 March
44 BC, Octavius' adoptive father
Julius Caesar was assassinated
by a conspiracy led by
Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius
Longinus. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Octavius was studying and undergoing military training in Apollonia,
Julius Caesar was killed on the
Ides of March
Ides of March (15 March)
44 BC. 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.
Caesar had no living legitimate children under Roman law,[note 6] and
so had adopted Octavius, his grand-nephew, making him his primary
Mark Antony later charged that Octavian had earned his
adoption by Caesar through sexual favours, though
Antony's accusation as political slander. After landing at Lupiae
near Brundisium, Octavius learned the contents of Caesar's will, and
only then did he decide to become Caesar's political heir as well as
heir to two-thirds of his estate.
Upon his adoption, Octavius assumed his great-uncle's name Gaius
Julius Caesar. Roman citizens adopted into a new family usually
retained their old nomen in cognomen form (e.g., Octavianus for one
who had been an Octavius,
Aemilianus for one who had been an Aemilius,
etc.). 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. Historians usually refer to the new Caesar as
Octavian during the time between his adoption and his assumption of
Augustus in 27 BC in order to avoid confusing the dead
dictator with his heir.
Octavian could not rely on his limited funds to make a successful
entry into the upper echelons of the Roman political hierarchy.
After a warm welcome by Caesar's soldiers at Brundisium, Octavian
demanded a portion of the funds that were allotted by Caesar for the
intended war against the
Parthian Empire in the Middle East. This
amounted to 700 million sesterces stored at Brundisium, the staging
ground in Italy for military operations in the east.
A later senatorial investigation into the disappearance of the public
funds took no action against Octavian, since he subsequently used that
money to raise troops against the Senate's arch enemy Mark Antony.
Octavian made another bold move in 44 BC when, without official
permission, he appropriated the annual tribute that had been sent from
Rome's Near Eastern province to Italy.
Octavian began to bolster his personal forces with Caesar's veteran
legionaries and with troops designated for the Parthian war, gathering
support by emphasizing his status as heir to Caesar. On his
Rome through Italy, Octavian's presence and newly acquired
funds attracted many, winning over Caesar's former veterans stationed
in Campania. By June, he had gathered an army of 3,000 loyal
veterans, paying each a salary of 500 denarii.
A reconstructed statue of
Augustus as a younger Octavian, dated ca. 30
Rome on 6 May 44 BC, Octavian found consul Mark
Antony, Caesar's former colleague, in an uneasy truce with the
dictator's assassins. They had been granted a general amnesty on 17
March, yet Antony succeeded in driving most of them out of Rome.
This was due to his "inflammatory" eulogy given at Caesar's funeral,
mounting public opinion against the assassins.
Mark Antony was amassing political support, but Octavian still had
opportunity to rival him as the leading member of the faction
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. Octavian failed to persuade Antony to
relinquish Caesar's money to him. During the summer, he managed to win
support from Caesarian sympathizers, however, who saw the younger heir
as the lesser evil and hoped to manipulate him, or to bear with him
during their efforts to get rid of Antony.
Octavian began to make common cause with the Optimates, the former
enemies of Caesar. In September, the leading Optimate orator Marcus
Cicero began to attack Antony in a series of speeches
portraying him as a threat to the Republican order. With
Rome turning against him and his year of consular power
nearing its end, Antony attempted to pass laws that would lend him
control over Cisalpine Gaul, which had been assigned as part of his
province, from Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, one of Caesar's
Octavian meanwhile built up a private army in Italy by recruiting
Caesarian veterans and, on 28 November, he won over two of Antony's
legions with the enticing offer of monetary gain. In the
face of Octavian's large and capable force, Antony saw the danger of
Rome and, to the relief of the Senate, he fled to Cisalpine
Gaul, which was to be handed to him on 1 January.
First conflict with Antony
Augustus in Musei Capitolini, Rome
Decimus Brutus refused to give up Cisalpine Gaul, so Antony besieged
him at Mutina. Antony rejected the resolutions passed by the
Senate to stop the violence, as the Senate had no army of its own to
challenge him. This provided an opportunity for Octavian, who already
was known to have armed forces.
Cicero also defended Octavian
against Antony's taunts about Octavian's lack of noble lineage and
Julius Caesar's name, stating "we have no more brilliant
example of traditional piety among our youth."
At the urging of Cicero, the Senate inducted Octavian as senator on 1
January 43 BC, yet he also was given the power to vote alongside
the former consuls. In addition, Octavian was granted
propraetor imperium (commanding power) which legalized his command of
troops, sending him to relieve the siege along with Hirtius and Pansa
(the consuls for 43 BC). In April 43 BC, Antony's
forces were defeated at the battles of Forum Gallorum and Mutina,
forcing Antony to retreat to Transalpine Gaul. Both consuls were
killed, however, leaving Octavian in sole command of their
The senate heaped many more rewards on Decimus Brutus than on Octavian
for defeating Antony, then attempted to give command of the consular
legions to Decimus Brutus—yet Octavian decided not to cooperate.
Instead, Octavian stayed in the
Po Valley and refused to aid any
further offensive against Antony. In July, an embassy of
centurions sent by Octavian entered
Rome and demanded that he receive
the consulship left vacant by Hirtius and Pansa.
Octavian also demanded that the decree should be rescinded which
declared Antony a public enemy. When this was refused, he marched
on the city with eight legions. He encountered no military
opposition in Rome, and on 19 August 43 BC was elected consul
with his relative
Quintus Pedius as co-consul. Meanwhile,
Antony formed an alliance with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another
Roman aureus bearing the portraits of
Mark Antony (left) and Octavian
(right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the establishment of the
Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in
43 BC. Both sides bear the inscription "III VIR R P C", meaning
"One of Three Men for the Regulation of the Republic".
In a meeting near
Bologna in October 43 BC, Octavian, Antony, and
Lepidus formed a junta called the Second Triumvirate. This
explicit arrogation of special powers lasting five years was then
supported by law passed by the plebs, unlike the unofficial First
Triumvirate formed by Pompey,
Julius Caesar, and Marcus Licinius
Crassus. The triumvirs then set in motion proscriptions in
which 300 senators and 2,000 equites allegedly were branded as outlaws
and deprived of their property and, for those who failed to escape,
The estimation that 300 senators were proscribed was presented by
Appian, although his earlier contemporary
Livy asserted that only 130
senators had been proscribed. This decree issued by the
triumvirate was motivated in part by a need to raise money to pay the
salaries of their troops for the upcoming conflict against Caesar's
Marcus Junius Brutus
Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger and Gaius Cassius
Longinus. Rewards for their arrest gave incentive for Romans to
capture those proscribed, while the assets and properties of those
arrested were seized by the triumvirs.
Contemporary Roman historians provide conflicting reports as to which
triumvir was most responsible for the proscriptions and killing.
However, the sources agree that enacting the proscriptions was a means
by all three factions to eliminate political enemies. Marcus
Velleius Paterculus asserted that Octavian tried to avoid proscribing
officials whereas Lepidus and Antony were to blame for initiating
Cassius Dio defended Octavian as trying to spare as many as
possible, whereas Antony and Lepidus, being older and involved in
politics longer, had many more enemies to deal with.
This claim was rejected by Appian, who maintained that Octavian shared
an equal interest with Lepidus and Antony in eradicating his
Suetonius said that Octavian was reluctant to proscribe
officials, but did pursue his enemies with more vigor than the other
Plutarch described the proscriptions as a ruthless and
cutthroat swapping of friends and family among Antony, Lepidus, and
Octavian. For example, Octavian allowed the proscription of his ally
Cicero, Antony the proscription of his maternal uncle Lucius Julius
Caesar (the consul of 64 BC), and Lepidus his brother Paullus.
A denarius minted c. 18 BC. Obverse: CAESAR AVGVSTVS; reverse:
DIVVS IVLIV[S] (DIVINE JULIUS)
Battle of Philippi
Battle of Philippi and division of territory
Further information: Liberators' civil war
On 1 January 42 BC, the Senate posthumously recognized Julius
Caesar as a divinity of the Roman state, Divus Iulius. Octavian was
able to further his cause by emphasizing the fact that he was Divi
filius, "Son of God". Antony and Octavian then sent 28 legions by
sea to face the armies of Brutus and Cassius, who had built their base
of power in Greece. After two battles at Philippi in Macedonia in
October 42, the Caesarian army was victorious and Brutus and Cassius
Mark Antony later used the examples of these
battles as a means to belittle Octavian, as both battles were
decisively won with the use of Antony's forces. In addition to
claiming responsibility for both victories, Antony also branded
Octavian as a coward for handing over his direct military control to
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa instead.
After Philippi, a new territorial arrangement was made among the
members of the Second Triumvirate.
Gaul and the provinces of Hispania
and Italia were placed in the hands of Octavian. Antony traveled east
to Egypt where he allied himself with Queen
Cleopatra VII, the former
Julius Caesar and mother of Caesar's infant son Caesarion.
Lepidus was left with the province of Africa, stymied by Antony, who
Hispania to Octavian instead.
Octavian was left to decide where in Italy to settle the tens of
thousands of veterans of the Macedonian campaign, whom the triumvirs
had promised to discharge. The tens of thousands who had fought on the
republican side with Brutus and Cassius could easily ally with a
political opponent of Octavian if not appeased, and they also required
land. There was no more government-controlled land to allot as
settlements for their soldiers, so Octavian had to choose one of two
options: alienating many Roman citizens by confiscating their land, or
alienating many Roman soldiers who could mount a considerable
opposition against him in the Roman heartland. Octavian chose the
former. There were as many as eighteen Roman towns affected by the
new settlements, with entire populations driven out or at least given
Rebellion and marriage alliances
There was widespread dissatisfaction with Octavian over these
settlements of his soldiers, and this encouraged many to rally at the
side of Lucius Antonius, who was brother of
Mark Antony and supported
by a majority in the Senate. Meanwhile, Octavian asked for a
divorce from Clodia Pulchra, the daughter of
Fulvia (Mark Antony's
wife) and her first husband Publius Clodius Pulcher. He returned
Clodia to her mother, claiming that their marriage had never been
Fulvia decided to take action. Together with Lucius
Antonius, she raised an army in Italy to fight for Antony's rights
against Octavian. Lucius and
Fulvia took a political and martial
gamble in opposing Octavian, however, since the Roman army still
depended on the triumvirs for their salaries. Lucius and his
allies ended up in a defensive siege at
Perusia (modern Perugia),
where Octavian forced them into surrender in early 40 BC.
Lucius and his army were spared, due to his kinship with Antony, the
strongman of the East, while
Fulvia was exiled to Sicyon. Octavian
showed no mercy, however, for the mass of allies loyal to Lucius; on
15 March, the anniversary of
Julius Caesar's assassination, he had 300
Roman senators and equestrians executed for allying with Lucius.
Perusia also was pillaged and burned as a warning for others. This
bloody event sullied Octavian's reputation and was criticized by many,
such as Augustan poet Sextus Propertius.
Fresco paintings inside the House of Augustus, his residence during
his reign as emperor
Sextus Pompeius was the son of First Triumvir
Pompey and still a
renegade general following
Julius Caesar's victory over his father. He
was established in
Sardinia as part of an agreement reached
Second Triumvirate in 39 BC. Both Antony and
Octavian were vying for an alliance with Pompeius, who was a member of
the republican party, ironically, not the Caesarian faction.
Octavian succeeded in a temporary alliance in 40 BC when he
married Scribonia, a daughter of
Lucius Scribonius Libo who was a
Sextus Pompeius as well as his father-in-law.
Scribonia gave birth to Octavian's only natural child, Julia, who was
born the same day that he divorced her to marry
Livia Drusilla, little
more than a year after their marriage.
While in Egypt, Antony had been engaged in an affair with Cleopatra
and had fathered three children with her. Aware of his
deteriorating relationship with Octavian, Antony left Cleopatra; he
sailed to Italy in 40 BC with a large force to oppose Octavian,
laying siege to Brundisium. This new conflict proved untenable for
both Octavian and Antony, however. Their centurions, who had become
important figures politically, refused to fight due to their Caesarian
cause, while the legions under their command followed suit.
Meanwhile, in Sicyon, Antony's wife
Fulvia died of a sudden illness
while Antony was en route to meet her. Fulvia's death and the mutiny
of their centurions allowed the two remaining triumvirs to effect a
In the autumn of 40, Octavian and Antony approved the Treaty of
Brundisium, by which Lepidus would remain in Africa, Antony in the
East, Octavian in the West. The
Italian Peninsula was left open to all
for the recruitment of soldiers, but in reality, this provision was
useless for Antony in the East. To further cement relations of
alliance with Mark Antony, Octavian gave his sister, Octavia Minor, in
marriage to Antony in late 40 BC. During their marriage,
Octavia gave birth to two daughters (known as
Antonia the Elder
Antonia the Elder and
War with Pompeius
Further information: Sicilian revolt
A denarius of Sextus Pompeius, minted for his victory over Octavian's
fleet, on the obverse the Pharus of Messina, who defeated Octavian, on
the reverse, the monster Scylla
Sextus Pompeius threatened Octavian in Italy by denying shipments of
grain through the
Mediterranean Sea to the peninsula. Pompeius' own
son was put in charge as naval commander in the effort to cause
widespread famine in Italy. Pompeius' control over the sea
prompted him to take on the name Neptuni filius, "son of Neptune".
A temporary peace agreement was reached in 39 BC with the treaty
of Misenum; the blockade on Italy was lifted once Octavian granted
Pompeius Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, and the Peloponnese, and ensured
him a future position as consul for 35 BC.
The territorial agreement between the triumvirate and Sextus Pompeius
began to crumble once Octavian divorced
Scribonia and married
17 January 38 BC. One of Pompeius' naval commanders betrayed
him and handed over
Sardinia to Octavian. Octavian lacked
the resources to confront Pompeius alone, however, so an agreement was
reached with the Second Triumvirate's extension for another five-year
period beginning in 37 BC.
In supporting Octavian, Antony expected to gain support for his own
campaign against the Parthian Empire, desiring to avenge Rome's defeat
at Carrhae in 53 BC. In an agreement reached at Tarentum,
Antony provided 120 ships for Octavian to use against Pompeius, while
Octavian was to send 20,000 legionaries to Antony for use against
Parthia. Octavian sent only a tenth of those promised, however,
which Antony viewed as an intentional provocation.
Octavian and Lepidus launched a joint operation against Sextus in
Sicily in 36 BC. Despite setbacks for Octavian, the naval
Sextus Pompeius was almost entirely destroyed on 3 September
by general Agrippa at the naval Battle of Naulochus. Sextus fled
to the east with his remaining forces, where he was captured and
Miletus by one of Antony's generals the following
year. As Lepidus and Octavian accepted the surrender of Pompeius'
troops, Lepidus attempted to claim
Sicily for himself, ordering
Octavian to leave. Lepidus' troops deserted him, however, and
defected to Octavian since they were weary of fighting and were
enticed by Octavian's promises of money.
Lepidus surrendered to Octavian and was permitted to retain the office
Pontifex Maximus (head of the college of priests), but was ejected
from the Triumvirate, his public career at an end, and effectively was
exiled to a villa at Cape Circei in Italy. The Roman dominions
were now divided between Octavian in the West and Antony in the East.
Octavian ensured Rome's citizens of their rights to property in order
to maintain peace and stability in his portion of the Empire. This
time, he settled his discharged soldiers outside of Italy, while also
returning 30,000 slaves to their former Roman owners—slaves who had
fled to join Pompeius' army and navy. Octavian had the Senate
grant him, his wife, and his sister tribunal immunity, or
sacrosanctitas, in order to ensure his own safety and that of Livia
and Octavia once he returned to Rome.
War with Antony and Cleopatra
Main article: Final War of the Roman Republic
Further information: Early life of
Cleopatra VII, Reign of Cleopatra
VII, and Death of Cleopatra
Anthony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Meanwhile, Antony's campaign turned disastrous against Parthia,
tarnishing his image as a leader, and the mere 2,000 legionaries sent
by Octavian to Antony were hardly enough to replenish his forces.
On the other hand,
Cleopatra could restore his army to full strength;
he already was engaged in a romantic affair with her, so he decided to
send Octavia back to Rome. Octavian used this to spread propaganda
implying that Antony was becoming less than Roman because he rejected
a legitimate Roman spouse for an "Oriental paramour". In
36 BC, Octavian used a political ploy to make himself look less
autocratic and Antony more the villain by proclaiming that the civil
wars were coming to an end, and that he would step down as
triumvir—if only Antony would do the same. Antony refused.
Roman troops captured the Kingdom of Armenia in 34 BC, and Antony
made his son
Alexander Helios the ruler of Armenia. He also awarded
the title "Queen of Kings" to Cleopatra, acts that Octavian used to
Roman Senate that Antony had ambitions to diminish the
preeminence of Rome. Octavian became consul once again on 1
January 33 BC, and he opened the following session in the Senate
with a vehement attack on Antony's grants of titles and territories to
his relatives and to his queen.
The Battle of Actium, by Laureys a Castro, painted 1672, National
Maritime Museum, London
The breach between Antony and Octavian prompted a large portion of the
Senators, as well as both of that year's consuls, to leave
defect to Antony. However, Octavian received two key deserters from
Antony in the autumn of 32 BC: Munatius Plancus and Marcus
Titius. These defectors gave Octavian the information that he
needed to confirm with the Senate all the accusations that he made
Octavian forcibly entered the temple of the
Vestal Virgins and seized
Antony's secret will, which he promptly publicized. The will would
have given away Roman-conquered territories as kingdoms for his sons
to rule, and designated
Alexandria as the site for a tomb for him and
his queen. In late 32 BC, the Senate officially revoked
Antony's powers as consul and declared war on Cleopatra's regime in
In early 31 BC, Antony and
Cleopatra were temporarily stationed
in Greece when Octavian gained a preliminary victory: the navy
successfully ferried troops across the
Adriatic Sea under the command
of Agrippa. Agrippa cut off Antony and Cleopatra's main force
from their supply routes at sea, while Octavian landed on the mainland
opposite the island of Corcyra (modern Corfu) and marched south.
Trapped on land and sea, deserters of Antony's army fled to Octavian's
side daily while Octavian's forces were comfortable enough to make
This mid-1st-century-BC Roman wall painting in Pompeii, Italy, showing
Venus holding a cupid is most likely a depiction of
Cleopatra VII of
Ptolemaic Egypt as
Venus Genetrix, with her son
Caesarion as the
cupid, similar in appearance to the now lost statue of Cleopatra
Julius Caesar in the
Temple of Venus Genetrix
Temple of Venus Genetrix (within the
Forum of Caesar). The owner of the House of Marcus Fabius Rufus at
Pompeii walled off the room with this painting, most likely in
immediate reaction to the execution of
Caesarion on orders of Augustus
in 30 BC, when artistic depictions of
Caesarion would have been
considered a sensitive issue for the ruling regime.
Antony's fleet sailed through the bay of
Actium on the western coast
of Greece in a desperate attempt to break free of the naval blockade.
It was there that Antony's fleet faced the much larger fleet of
smaller, more maneuverable ships under commanders Agrippa and Gaius
Sosius in the
Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium on 2 September 31 BC. Antony
and his remaining forces were spared only due to a last-ditch effort
by Cleopatra's fleet that had been waiting nearby.
Octavian pursued them and defeated their forces in
Alexandria on 1
August 30 BC—after which Antony and
suicide. Antony fell on his own sword and was taken by his soldiers
Alexandria where he died in Cleopatra's arms.
soon after, reputedly by the venomous bite of an asp or by
poison. Octavian had exploited his position as Caesar's heir to
further his own political career, and he was well aware of the dangers
in allowing another person to do the same. He therefore followed the
Arius Didymus that "two Caesars are one too many", ordering
Julius Caesar's son by Cleopatra, killed, while sparing
Cleopatra's children by Antony, with the exception of Antony's older
son. Octavian had previously shown little mercy to
surrendered enemies and acted in ways that had proven unpopular with
the Roman people, yet he was given credit for pardoning many of his
opponents after the Battle of Actium.
Sole ruler of Rome
Main article: Constitutional Reforms of Augustus
Further information: Elections in the Roman Republic
Aureus of Octavian, circa 30 BC, British Museum
Actium and the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra, Octavian was in a
position to rule the entire Republic under an unofficial
principate—but he had to achieve this through incremental power
gains. He did so by courting the Senate and the people while upholding
the republican traditions of Rome, appearing that he was not aspiring
to dictatorship or monarchy. Marching into Rome, Octavian
and Marcus Agrippa were elected as dual consuls by the Senate.
Years of civil war had left
Rome in a state of near lawlessness, but
the Republic was not prepared to accept the control of Octavian as a
despot. At the same time, Octavian could not simply give up his
authority without risking further civil wars among the Roman generals
and, even if he desired no position of authority whatsoever, his
position demanded that he look to the well-being of the city of Rome
and the Roman provinces. Octavian's aims from this point forward were
Rome to a state of stability, traditional legality, and
civility by lifting the overt political pressure imposed on the courts
of law and ensuring free elections—in name at least.
Main articles: Constitution of the
Roman Empire and History of the
Constitution of the Roman Empire
Octavian as a magistrate. The statue's marble head was made c.
30–20 BC, the body sculpted in the 2nd century AD (Louvre,
In 27 BC, Octavian made a show of returning full power to the Roman
Senate and relinquishing his control of the Roman provinces and their
armies. Under his consulship, however, the Senate had little
power in initiating legislation by introducing bills for senatorial
debate. Octavian was no longer in direct control of the provinces
and their armies, but he retained the loyalty of active duty soldiers
and veterans alike. The careers of many clients and adherents
depended on his patronage, as his financial power was unrivaled in the
Roman Republic. Historian
Werner Eck states:
The sum of his power derived first of all from various powers of
office delegated to him by the Senate and people, secondly from his
immense private fortune, and thirdly from numerous patron-client
relationships he established with individuals and groups throughout
the Empire. All of them taken together formed the basis of his
auctoritas, which he himself emphasized as the foundation of his
To a large extent, the public were aware of the vast financial
resources that Octavian commanded. He failed to encourage enough
senators to finance the building and maintenance of networks of roads
in Italy in 20 BC, but he undertook direct responsibility for
them. This was publicized on the Roman currency issued in 16 BC,
after he donated vast amounts of money to the aerarium Saturni, the
According to H. H. Scullard, however, Octavian's power was based on
the exercise of "a predominant military power and ... the
ultimate sanction of his authority was force, however much the fact
The Senate proposed to Octavian, the victor of Rome's civil wars, that
he once again assume command of the provinces. The Senate's proposal
was a ratification of Octavian's extra-constitutional power. Through
the Senate, Octavian was able to continue the appearance of a
still-functional constitution. Feigning reluctance, he accepted a
ten-year responsibility of overseeing provinces that were considered
The provinces ceded to him for that ten-year period comprised much of
the conquered Roman world, including all of
Hispania and Gaul, Syria,
Cilicia, Cyprus, and Egypt. Moreover, command of these
provinces provided Octavian with control over the majority of Rome's
While Octavian acted as consul in Rome, he dispatched senators to the
provinces under his command as his representatives to manage
provincial affairs and ensure that his orders were carried out.
The provinces not under Octavian's control were overseen by governors
chosen by the Roman Senate. Octavian became the most powerful
political figure in the city of
Rome and in most of its provinces, but
he did not have a monopoly on political and martial power.
The Senate still controlled North Africa, an important regional
producer of grain, as well as
Illyria and Macedonia, two strategic
regions with several legions. However, the Senate had control of
only five or six legions distributed among three senatorial
proconsuls, compared to the twenty legions under the control of
Octavian, and their control of these regions did not amount to any
political or military challenge to Octavian.
The Senate's control over some of the Roman provinces helped maintain
a republican façade for the autocratic Principate. Also,
Octavian's control of entire provinces followed Republican-era
precedents for the objective of securing peace and creating stability,
in which such prominent Romans as
Pompey had been granted similar
military powers in times of crisis and instability.
Change to Augustus
Bust of Augustus, wearing the Civic Crown. Glyptothek, Munich
On 16 January 27 BC the Senate gave Octavian the new titles of
Augustus and Princeps.
Augustus is from the Latin word Augere
(meaning to increase) and can be translated as "the illustrious
one". It was a title of religious authority rather than political
authority. According to Roman religious beliefs, the title
symbolized a stamp of authority over humanity—and in fact
nature—that went beyond any constitutional definition of his status.
After the harsh methods employed in consolidating his control, the
change in name served to demarcate his benign reign as
his reign of terror as Octavian.
His new title of
Augustus was also more favorable than Romulus, the
previous one which he styled for himself in reference to the story of
the legendary founder of Rome, which symbolized a second founding of
Rome. The title of
Romulus was associated too strongly with
notions of monarchy and kingship, an image that Octavian tried to
Princeps comes from the Latin phrase primum caput, "the
first head", originally meaning the oldest or most distinguished
senator whose name would appear first on the senatorial roster. In the
case of Augustus, however, it became an almost regnal title for a
leader who was first in charge.
Princeps had also been a title
under the Republic for those who had served the state well; for
Pompey had held the title.
Augustus also styled himself as
Imperator Caesar divi filius,
"Commander Caesar son of the deified one". With this title, he
boasted his familial link to deified
Julius Caesar, and the use of
Imperator signified a permanent link to the Roman tradition of
victory. The word Caesar was merely a cognomen for one branch of
the Julian family, yet
Augustus transformed Caesar into a new family
line that began with him.
Augustus was granted the right to hang the corona civica above his
door, the "civic crown" made from oak, and to have laurels drape his
doorposts. This crown was usually held above the head of a Roman
general during a triumph, with the individual holding the crown
charged to continually repeat to the general "memento mori", or
"Remember that you are mortal". Additionally, laurel wreaths were
important in several state ceremonies, and crowns of laurel were
rewarded to champions of athletic, racing, and dramatic contests.
Thus, both the laurel and the oak were integral symbols of Roman
religion and statecraft; placing them on Augustus' doorposts was
tantamount to declaring his home the capital.
Augustus renounced flaunting insignia of power such as
holding a scepter, wearing a diadem, or wearing the golden crown and
purple toga of his predecessor
Julius Caesar. If he refused to
symbolize his power by donning and bearing these items on his person,
the Senate nonetheless awarded him with a golden shield displayed in
the meeting hall of the Curia, bearing the inscription virtus, pietas,
clementia, iustitia—"valor, piety, clemency, and justice."
Augustus show the emperor with idealized features
By 23 BC, some of the un-Republican implications were becoming
apparent concerning the settlement of 27 BC. Augustus' retention
of an annual consulate drew attention to his de facto dominance over
the Roman political system, and cut in half the opportunities for
others to achieve what was still nominally the preeminent position in
the Roman state. Further, he was causing political problems by
desiring to have his nephew Marcus
Claudius Marcellus follow in his
footsteps and eventually assume the
Principate in his turn,[note 7]
alienating his three greatest supporters – Agrippa, Maecenas,
and Livia. Feeling pressure from his core group of adherents,
Augustus turned to the Senate for help.
He appointed noted Republican Calpurnius Piso as co-consul in
23 BC, after his choice
Aulus Terentius Varro Murena (who had
Julius Caesar and supported Cassius and Brutus)
was executed in consequence of his involvement in the Marcus Primus
affair, with an eye to bolstering his support among the
In the late spring
Augustus suffered a severe illness, and on his
supposed deathbed made arrangements that would ensure the continuation
Principate in some form, while allaying senators'
suspicions of his anti-republicanism.
Augustus prepared to
hand down his signet ring to his favored general Agrippa.
Augustus handed over to his co-consul Piso all of his
official documents, an account of public finances, and authority over
listed troops in the provinces while Augustus' supposedly favored
nephew Marcellus came away empty-handed. This was a surprise
to many who believed
Augustus would have named an heir to his position
as an unofficial emperor.
Augustus bestowed only properties and possessions to his designated
heirs, as an obvious system of institutionalized imperial inheritance
would have provoked resistance and hostility among the
republican-minded Romans fearful of monarchy. With regards to the
Principate, it was obvious to
Augustus that Marcellus was not ready to
take on his position; nonetheless, by giving his signet ring to
Augustus intended to signal to the legions that Agrippa was
to be his successor, and that constitutional procedure
notwithstanding, they should continue to obey Agrippa.
Blacas Cameo showing
Augustus wearing a gorgoneion on a three
layered sardonyx cameo, AD 20–50
Soon after his bout of illness subsided,
Augustus gave up his
consulship. The only other times
Augustus would serve as consul
would be in the years 5 and 2 BC, both times to
introduce his grandsons into public life. This was a clever ploy
by Augustus; ceasing to serve as one of two annually elected consuls
allowed aspiring senators a better chance to attain the consular
position, while allowing
Augustus to exercise wider patronage within
the senatorial class. Although
Augustus had resigned as consul,
he desired to retain his consular imperium not just in his provinces
but throughout the empire. This desire, as well as the Marcus Primus
Affair, led to a second compromise between him and the Senate known as
the Second Settlement.
Primary reasons for the Second settlement
The primary reasons for the Second Settlement were as follows. First,
Augustus relinquished the annual consulship, he was no longer in
an official position to rule the state, yet his dominant position
remained unchanged over his Roman, 'imperial' provinces where he was
still a proconsul. When he annually held the office of
consul, he had the power to intervene with the affairs of the other
provincial proconsuls appointed by the Senate throughout the empire,
when he deemed necessary. When he relinquished his annual
consulship, he legally lost this power because his proconsular powers
applied only to his imperial provinces.
Augustus wanted to keep this
A second problem later arose showing the need for the Second
Settlement in what became known as the "Marcus Primus Affair". In
late 24 or early 23 BC, charges were brought against Marcus
Primus, the former proconsul (governor) of Macedonia, for waging a war
without prior approval of the Senate on the
Odrysian kingdom of
Thrace, whose king was a Roman ally. He was defended by Lucius
Lucinius Varro Murena, who told the trial that his client had received
specific instructions from Augustus, ordering him to attack the client
state. Later, Primus testified that the orders came from the
recently deceased Marcellus. Such orders, had they been given,
would have been considered a breach of the Senate's prerogative under
the Constitutional settlement of 27 BC and its aftermath—i.e.,
Augustus was granted imperium proconsulare maius—as Macedonia
was a Senatorial province under the Senate's jurisdiction, not an
imperial province under the authority of Augustus. Such an action
would have ripped away the veneer of Republican restoration as
promoted by Augustus, and exposed his fraud of merely being the first
citizen, a first among equals. Even worse, the involvement of
Marcellus provided some measure of proof that Augustus' policy was to
have the youth take his place as Princeps, instituting a form of
monarchy – accusations that had already played out.
Augustus as Jove, holding a scepter and orb (first half of 1st century
The situation was so serious that
Augustus himself appeared at the
trial, even though he had not been called as a witness. Under oath,
Augustus declared that he gave no such order. Murena disbelieved
Augustus' testimony and resented his attempt to subvert the trial by
using his auctoritas. He rudely demanded to know why
turned up to a trial to which he had not been called;
that he came in the public interest. Although Primus was found
guilty, some jurors voted to acquit, meaning that not everybody
believed Augustus' testimony, an insult to the 'August One'.
The Second Constitutional Settlement was completed in part to allay
confusion and formalize Augustus' legal authority to intervene in
Senatorial provinces. The Senate granted
Augustus a form of general
imperium proconsulare, or proconsular imperium (power) that applied
throughout the empire, not solely to his provinces. Moreover, the
Senate augmented Augustus' proconsular imperium into imperium
proconsulare maius, or proconsular imperium applicable throughout the
empire that was more (maius) or greater than that held by the other
proconsuls. This in effect gave
Augustus constitutional power superior
to all other proconsuls in the empire.
Augustus stayed in Rome
during the renewal process and provided veterans with lavish donations
to gain their support, thereby ensuring that his status of proconsular
imperium maius was renewed in 13 BC.
During the second settlement,
Augustus was also granted the power of a
tribune (tribunicia potestas) for life, though not the official title
of tribune. For some years,
Augustus had been awarded tribunicia
sacrosanctitas, the immunity given to a
Tribune of the Plebs. Now he
decided to assume the full powers of the magistracy, renewed annually,
in perpetuity. Legally, it was closed to patricians, a status that
Augustus had acquired some years earlier when adopted by Julius
Caesar. This power allowed him to convene the Senate and people
at will and lay business before them, to veto the actions of either
the Assembly or the Senate, to preside over elections, and to speak
first at any meeting. Also included in Augustus' tribunician
authority were powers usually reserved for the Roman censor; these
included the right to supervise public morals and scrutinize laws to
ensure that they were in the public interest, as well as the ability
to hold a census and determine the membership of the Senate.
With the powers of a censor,
Augustus appealed to virtues of Roman
patriotism by banning all attire but the classic toga while entering
the Forum. There was no precedent within the Roman system for
combining the powers of the tribune and the censor into a single
position, nor was
Augustus ever elected to the office of censor.
Julius Caesar had been granted similar powers, wherein he was charged
with supervising the morals of the state. However, this position did
not extend to the censor's ability to hold a census and determine the
Senate's roster. The office of the tribunus plebis began to lose its
prestige due to Augustus' amassing of tribunal powers, so he revived
its importance by making it a mandatory appointment for any plebeian
desiring the praetorship.
Augustus as Pontifex Maximus, Roman artwork of the late
Augustan period, last decade of the 1st century BC
Augustus was granted sole imperium within the city of
Rome itself, in
addition to being granted proconsular imperium maius and tribunician
authority for life. Traditionally, proconsuls (Roman province
governors) lost their proconsular "imperium" when they crossed the
Pomerium – the sacred boundary of
Rome – and entered the city. In
Augustus would have power as part of his tribunician
authority but his constitutional imperium within the Pomerium would be
less than that of a serving consul. That would mean that, when he was
in the city, he might not be the constitutional magistrate with the
most authority. Thanks to his prestige or auctoritas, his wishes would
usually be obeyed, but there might be some difficulty. To fill this
power vacuum, the Senate voted that Augustus' imperium proconsulare
maius (superior proconsular power) should not lapse when he was inside
the city walls. All armed forces in the city had formerly been under
the control of the urban praetors and consuls, but this situation now
placed them under the sole authority of Augustus.
In addition, the credit was given to
Augustus for each subsequent
Roman military victory after this time, because the majority of Rome's
armies were stationed in imperial provinces commanded by Augustus
through the legatus who were deputies of the princeps in the
provinces. Moreover, if a battle was fought in a Senatorial
province, Augustus' proconsular imperium maius allowed him to take
command of (or credit for) any major military victory. This meant that
Augustus was the only individual able to receive a triumph, a
tradition that began with Romulus, Rome's first King and first
triumphant general. Lucius Cornelius Balbus was the last man
outside Augustus' family to receive this award, in 19 BC.
(Balbus was the nephew of
Julius Caesar's great agent, who was
governor of Africa and conqueror of the Garamantes.) Tiberius,
Augustus' eldest son by marriage to Livia, was the only other general
to receive a triumph—for victories in
Germania in 7 BC.
Many of the political subtleties of the Second Settlement seem to have
evaded the comprehension of the Plebeian class, who were Augustus'
greatest supporters and clientele. This caused them to insist upon
Augustus' participation in imperial affairs from time to time.
Augustus failed to stand for election as consul in 22 BC, and
fears arose once again that he was being forced from power by the
aristocratic Senate. In 22, 21, and 19 BC, the people rioted in
response, and only allowed a single consul to be elected for each of
those years, ostensibly to leave the other position open for
Augustus. Likewise, there was a food shortage in
22 BC which sparked panic, while many urban plebs called for
Augustus to take on dictatorial powers to personally oversee the
crisis. After a theatrical display of refusal before the Senate,
Augustus finally accepted authority over Rome's grain supply "by
virtue of his proconsular imperium", and ended the crisis almost
immediately. It was not until AD 8 that a food crisis of this
Augustus to establish a praefectus annonae, a permanent
prefect who was in charge of procuring food supplies for Rome.
A colossal statue of Augustus, seated and wearing a laurel wreath
Nevertheless, there were some who were concerned by the expansion of
powers granted to
Augustus by the Second Settlement, and this came to
a head with the apparent conspiracy of Fannius Caepio. Some time
prior to 1 September 22 BC, a certain Castricius provided Augustus
with information about a conspiracy led by Fannius Caepio. Murena
was named among the conspirators, the outspoken Consul who defended
Primus in the Marcus Primus Affair. The conspirators were tried in
Tiberius acting as prosecutor; the jury found them
guilty, but it was not a unanimous verdict. All the accused were
sentenced to death for treason and executed as soon as they were
captured—without ever giving testimony in their defence.
Augustus ensured that the facade of Republican government continued
with an effective cover-up of the events.
In 19 BC, the Senate granted
Augustus a form of 'general consular
imperium', which was probably 'imperium consulare maius', like the
proconsular powers that he received in 23 BC. Like his tribune
authority, the consular powers were another instance of gaining power
from offices that he did not actually hold. In addition, Augustus
was allowed to wear the consul's insignia in public and before the
Senate, as well as to sit in the symbolic chair between the two
consuls and hold the fasces, an emblem of consular authority.
This seems to have assuaged the populace; regardless of whether or not
Augustus was a consul, the importance was that he both appeared as one
before the people and could exercise consular power if necessary. On 6
March 12 BC, after the death of Lepidus, he additionally took up
the position of pontifex maximus, the high priest of the college of
the Pontiffs, the most important position in Roman religion.
On 5 February 2 BC,
Augustus was also given the title pater
patriae, or "father of the country".
Stability and staying power
A final reason for the Second Settlement was to give the Principate
constitutional stability and staying power in case something happened
Princeps Augustus. His illness of early 23 BC and the Caepio
conspiracy showed that the regime's existence hung by the thin thread
of the life of one man,
Augustus himself, who suffered from several
severe and dangerous illnesses throughout his life. If he were to
die from natural causes or fall victim to assassination,
Rome could be
subjected to another round of civil war. The memories of Pharsalus,
the Ides of March, the proscriptions, Philippi, and Actium, barely
twenty-five years distant, were still vivid in the minds of many
citizens. Proconsular imperium was conferred upon Agrippa for five
years, similar to Augustus' power, in order to accomplish this
constitutional stability. The exact nature of the grant is uncertain
but it probably covered Augustus' imperial provinces, east and west,
perhaps lacking authority over the provinces of the Senate. That came
later, as did the jealously guarded tribunicia potestas.
Augustus' accumulation of powers were now complete. In fact, he dated
his 'reign' from the completion of the Second Settlement, July 1, 23
BC. Almost as importantly, the
Principate now had constitutional
stability. Later Roman Emperors were generally limited to the powers
and titles originally granted to Augustus, though often newly
appointed Emperors would decline one or more of the honorifics given
Augustus in order to display humility. Just as often, as their
reigns progressed, Emperors would appropriate all of the titles,
regardless of whether they had been granted them by the Senate. Later
Emperors took to wearing the civic crown, consular insignia, and the
purple robes of a Triumphant general (toga picta), which became the
imperial insignia well into the Byzantine era.
War and expansion
Main article: Wars of Augustus
Further information: Roman–Persian relations
The victorious advance of Hermann, depiction of the 9 AD Battle of the
Teutoburg Forest, by Peter Janssen, 1873
Imperator ("victorious commander") to be his first
name, since he wanted to make an emphatically clear connection between
himself and the notion of victory, and consequently became known as
Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus By the year 13, Augustus
boasted 21 occasions where his troops proclaimed "imperator" as his
title after a successful battle. Almost the entire fourth chapter
in his publicly released memoirs of achievements known as the Res
Gestae was devoted to his military victories and honors.
Augustus also promoted the ideal of a superior Roman civilization with
a task of ruling the world (to the extent to which the Romans knew
it), a sentiment embodied in words that the contemporary poet Virgil
attributes to a legendary ancestor of Augustus: tu regere imperio
populos, Romane, memento—"Roman, remember by your strength to rule
the Earth's peoples!" The impulse for expansionism was apparently
prominent among all classes at Rome, and it is accorded divine
sanction by Virgil's Jupiter in Book 1 of the Aeneid, where Jupiter
Rome imperium sine fine, "sovereignty without end".
By the end of his reign, the armies of
Augustus had conquered northern
Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal) and the Alpine regions of
Noricum (modern Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria,
Slovenia), Illyricum and
Pannonia (modern Albania, Croatia,
Hungary, Serbia, etc.), and had extended the borders of the
Africa Province to the east and south.
Bust of Tiberius, a successful military commander under Augustus
before he was designated as his heir and successor
Judea was added to the province of Syria when
Augustus deposed Herod
Archelaus, successor to client king Herod the Great
(73–4 BC). Syria (like Egypt after Antony) was governed by
a high prefect of the equestrian class rather than by a proconsul or
legate of Augustus.
Again, no military effort was needed in 25 BC when Galatia
(modern Turkey) was converted to a
Roman province shortly after
Galatia was killed by an avenging widow of a slain prince
from Homonada. The rebellious tribes of
modern-day Spain were finally quelled in 19 BC, and the territory
fell under the provinces of
Hispania and Lusitania. This region
proved to be a major asset in funding Augustus' future military
campaigns, as it was rich in mineral deposits that could be fostered
in Roman mining projects, especially the very rich gold deposits at
Conquering the peoples of the
Alps in 16 BC was another important
victory for Rome, since it provided a large territorial buffer between
the Roman citizens of Italy and Rome's enemies in
Germania to the
Horace dedicated an ode to the victory, while the monument
Trophy of Augustus
Trophy of Augustus near
Monaco was built to honor the occasion.
The capture of the Alpine region also served the next offensive in
12 BC, when
Tiberius began the offensive against the Pannonian
tribes of Illyricum, and his brother
Claudius Drusus moved
against the Germanic tribes of the eastern Rhineland. Both
campaigns were successful, as Drusus' forces reached the
Elbe River by
9 BC—though he died shortly after by falling off his
horse. It was recorded that the pious
Tiberius walked in front of
his brother's body all the way back to Rome.
Muziris in the
Chera Kingdom of Southern India, as shown in the Tabula
Peutingeriana, with depiction of a "Temple of Augustus" ("Templum
Augusti"), an illustration of
Indo-Roman relations in the period
Kushan ruler Kujula Kadphises, in the style of Roman emperor
Augustus. British Museum
To protect Rome's eastern territories from the Parthian Empire,
Augustus relied on the client states of the east to act as territorial
buffers and areas that could raise their own troops for defense.
To ensure security of the Empire's eastern flank,
Augustus stationed a
Roman army in Syria, while his skilled stepson
with the Parthians as Rome's diplomat to the East.
responsible for restoring Tigranes V to the throne of the Kingdom of
A Parthian returning an aquila, relief in the heroic cuirass of the
Augustus of Prima Porta
Augustus of Prima Porta statue
Yet arguably his greatest diplomatic achievement was negotiating with
Phraates IV of Parthia
Phraates IV of Parthia (37–2 BC) in 20 BC for the return
of the battle standards lost by
Crassus in the Battle of Carrhae, a
symbolic victory and great boost of morale for Rome.
Werner Eck claims that this was a great disappointment for Romans
seeking to avenge Crassus' defeat by military means. However,
Maria Brosius explains that
Augustus used the return of the standards
as propaganda symbolizing the submission of Parthia to Rome. The event
was celebrated in art such as the breastplate design on the statue
Augustus of Prima Porta
Augustus of Prima Porta and in monuments such as the Temple of Mars
Ultor ('Mars the Avenger') built to house the standards.
Parthia had always posed a threat to
Rome in the east, but the real
battlefront was along the
Danube rivers. Before the
final fight with Antony, Octavian's campaigns against the tribes in
Dalmatia were the first step in expanding Roman dominions to the
Danube. Victory in battle was not always a permanent success, as
newly conquered territories were constantly retaken by Rome's enemies
A prime example of Roman loss in battle was the Battle of Teutoburg
Forest in AD 9, where three entire legions led by Publius Quinctilius
Varus were destroyed by Arminius, leader of the Cherusci, an apparent
Augustus retaliated by dispatching
Drusus to the
Rhineland to pacify it, which had some success although
the battle of AD 9 brought the end to Roman expansion into
Germany. Roman general
Germanicus took advantage of a Cherusci
civil war between
Arminius and Segestes; they defeated Arminius, who
fled that battle but was killed later in 21 due to treachery.
Death and succession
The illness of
Augustus in 23 BC brought the problem of
succession to the forefront of political issues and the public. To
ensure stability, he needed to designate an heir to his unique
position in Roman society and government. This was to be achieved in
small, undramatic, and incremental ways that did not stir senatorial
fears of monarchy. If someone was to succeed Augustus' unofficial
position of power, he would have to earn it through his own publicly
Some Augustan historians argue that indications pointed toward his
sister's son Marcellus, who had been quickly married to Augustus'
daughter Julia the Elder. Other historians dispute this due to
Augustus' will being read aloud to the Senate while he was seriously
ill in 23 BC, instead indicating a preference for Marcus
Agrippa, who was Augustus' second in charge and arguably the only one
of his associates who could have controlled the legions and held the
After the death of Marcellus in 23 BC,
Augustus married his
daughter to Agrippa. This union produced five children, three sons and
two daughters: Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Vipsania Julia, Agrippina
the Elder, and
Postumus Agrippa, so named because he was born after
Marcus Agrippa died. Shortly after the Second Settlement, Agrippa was
granted a five-year term of administering the eastern half of the
Empire with the imperium of a proconsul and the same tribunicia
potestas granted to
Augustus (although not trumping Augustus'
authority), his seat of governance stationed at
Samos in the eastern
Aegean. This granting of power showed Augustus' favor for
Agrippa, but it was also a measure to please members of his Caesarian
party by allowing one of their members to share a considerable amount
of power with him.
The Mausoleum of Augustus
Augustus' intent became apparent to make Gaius and
Lucius Caesar his
heirs when he adopted them as his own children. He took the
consulship in 5 and 2 BC so that he could personally usher them
into their political careers, and they were nominated for the
consulships of AD 1 and 4.
Augustus also showed favor to his
stepsons, Livia's children from her first marriage
Germanicus (henceforth referred to as Drusus) and Tiberius
Claudius (henceforth Tiberius), granting them military commands and
public office, though seeming to favor Drusus. After Agrippa died in
Tiberius was ordered to divorce his own wife Vipsania
Agrippina and marry Agrippa's widow, Augustus' daughter Julia—as
soon as a period of mourning for Agrippa had ended. Drusus'
Antonia Minor was considered an unbreakable affair,
whereas Vipsania was "only" the daughter of the late Agrippa from his
Tiberius shared in Augustus' tribune powers as of 6 BC, but
shortly thereafter went into retirement, reportedly wanting no further
role in politics while he exiled himself to Rhodes. No
specific reason is known for his departure, though it could have been
a combination of reasons, including a failing marriage with
Julia, as well as a sense of envy and exclusion over
Augustus' apparent favouring of his young grandchildren-turned-sons
Gaius and Lucius. (Gaius and Lucius joined the college of priests at
an early age, were presented to spectators in a more favorable light,
and were introduced to the army in Gaul.)
After the early deaths of both Lucius and Gaius in AD 2 and 4
respectively, and the earlier death of his brother Drusus (9 BC),
Tiberius was recalled to
Rome in June AD 4, where he was adopted by
Augustus on the condition that he, in turn, adopt his nephew
Germanicus. This continued the tradition of presenting at least
two generations of heirs. In that year,
Tiberius was also granted
the powers of a tribune and proconsul, emissaries from foreign kings
had to pay their respects to him, and by AD 13 was awarded with his
second triumph and equal level of imperium with that of Augustus.
Augustus hovers over
Tiberius and other Julio-Claudians in
the Great Cameo of France
The only other possible claimant as heir was
Postumus Agrippa, who had
been exiled by
Augustus in AD 7, his banishment made permanent by
senatorial decree, and
Augustus officially disowned him. He
certainly fell out of Augustus' favor as an heir; the historian Erich
S. Gruen notes various contemporary sources that state Postumus
Agrippa was a "vulgar young man, brutal and brutish, and of depraved
Postumus Agrippa was murdered at his place of exile
either shortly before or after the death of Augustus.
On 19 August AD 14,
Augustus died while visiting
Nola where his father
had died. Both
Cassius Dio wrote that
Livia was rumored to
have brought about Augustus' death by poisoning fresh figs.
This element features in many modern works of historical fiction
pertaining to Augustus' life, but some historians view it as likely to
have been a salacious fabrication made by those who had favoured
Postumus as heir, or other of Tiberius' political enemies.
long been the target of similar rumors of poisoning on the behalf of
her son, most or all of which are unlikely to have been true.
Alternatively, it is possible that
Livia did supply a poisoned fig
(she did cultivate a variety of fig named for her that
said to have enjoyed), but did so as a means of assisted suicide
rather than murder. Augustus' health had been in decline in the months
immediately before his death, and he had made significant preparations
for a smooth transition in power, having at last reluctantly settled
Tiberius as his choice of heir. It is likely that
not expected to return alive from Nola, but it seems that his health
improved once there; it has therefore been speculated that Augustus
Livia conspired to end his life at the anticipated time, having
committed all political process to accepting Tiberius, in order to not
endanger that transition.
Augustus' famous last words were, "Have I played the part well? Then
applaud as I exit"—referring to the play-acting and regal authority
that he had put on as emperor. Publicly, though, his last words were,
"Behold, I found
Rome of clay, and leave her to you of marble." An
enormous funerary procession of mourners traveled with Augustus' body
Nola to Rome, and on the day of his burial all public and private
businesses closed for the day.
Tiberius and his son Drusus
delivered the eulogy while standing atop two rostra. Augustus'
body was coffin-bound and cremated on a pyre close to his mausoleum.
It was proclaimed that
Augustus joined the company of the gods as a
member of the Roman pantheon. The mausoleum was despoiled by the
Goths in 410 during the Sack of Rome, and his ashes were scattered.
Historian D. C. A. Shotter states that Augustus' policy of favoring
the Julian family line over the Claudian might have afforded Tiberius
sufficient cause to show open disdain for
Augustus after the latter's
Tiberius was always quick to rebuke those who
criticized Augustus. Shotter suggests that Augustus' deification
Tiberius to suppress any open resentment that he might have
harbored, coupled with Tiberius' "extremely conservative" attitude
Also, historian R. Shaw-Smith points to letters of
Tiberius which display affection towards
Tiberius and high regard for
his military merits. Shotter states that
Tiberius focused his
anger and criticism on
Gaius Asinius Gallus (for marrying Vipsania
Tiberius to divorce her), as well as toward the
two young Caesars, Gaius and Lucius—instead of Augustus, the real
architect of his divorce and imperial demotion.
Further information: Cultural depictions of Augustus
The Virgin Mary and Child, the prophetess Sibyl Tivoli bottom left and
Augustus in the bottom right, from the Très Riches Heures
du duc de Berry. The likeness of
Augustus is that of the Byzantine
emperor Manuel II Palaiologos
Augustus cameo at the center of the Medieval Cross of Lothair
Augustus' reign laid the foundations of a regime that lasted, in one
form or another, for nearly fifteen hundred years through the ultimate
decline of the Western
Roman Empire and until the Fall of
Constantinople in 1453. Both his adoptive surname, Caesar, and his
Augustus became the permanent titles of the rulers of the Roman
Empire for fourteen centuries after his death, in use both at Old Rome
and at New Rome. In many languages, Caesar became the word for
Emperor, as in the German
Kaiser and in the Bulgarian and subsequently
Tsar (sometimes Csar or Czar). The cult of Divus Augustus
continued until the state religion of the
Empire was changed to
Christianity in 391 by Theodosius I. Consequently, there are many
excellent statues and busts of the first emperor. He had composed an
account of his achievements, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, to be
inscribed in bronze in front of his mausoleum. Copies of the text
were inscribed throughout the
Empire upon his death. The
inscriptions in Latin featured translations in Greek beside it, and
were inscribed on many public edifices, such as the temple in Ankara
dubbed the Monumentum Ancyranum, called the "queen of inscriptions" by
historian Theodor Mommsen.
There are a few known written works by
Augustus that have survived
such as his poems Sicily, Epiphanus, and Ajax, an autobiography of 13
books, a philosophical treatise, and his written rebuttal to Brutus'
Eulogy of Cato. Historians are able to analyze existing letters
Augustus to others for additional facts or clues about his
Augustus to be Rome's greatest emperor; his policies
certainly extended the Empire's life span and initiated the celebrated
Pax Romana or Pax Augusta. The
Roman Senate wished subsequent emperors
to "be more fortunate than
Augustus and better than Trajan". Augustus
was intelligent, decisive, and a shrewd politician, but he was not
perhaps as charismatic as
Julius Caesar, and was influenced on
occasion by his third wife,
Livia (sometimes for the worse).
Nevertheless, his legacy proved more enduring. The city of
utterly transformed under Augustus, with Rome's first
institutionalized police force, fire fighting force, and the
establishment of the municipal prefect as a permanent office. The
police force was divided into cohorts of 500 men each, while the units
of firemen ranged from 500 to 1,000 men each, with 7 units assigned to
14 divided city sectors.
A praefectus vigilum, or "
Prefect of the Watch" was put in charge of
the vigiles, Rome's fire brigade and police. With Rome's civil
wars at an end,
Augustus was also able to create a standing army for
the Roman Empire, fixed at a size of 28 legions of about 170,000
soldiers. This was supported by numerous auxiliary units of 500
soldiers each, often recruited from recently conquered areas.
With his finances securing the maintenance of roads throughout Italy,
Augustus also installed an official courier system of relay stations
overseen by a military officer known as the praefectus
vehiculorum. Besides the advent of swifter communication among
Italian polities, his extensive building of roads throughout Italy
also allowed Rome's armies to march swiftly and at an unprecedented
pace across the country. In the year 6
Augustus established the
aerarium militare, donating 170 million sesterces to the new military
treasury that provided for both active and retired soldiers.
One of the most enduring institutions of
Augustus was the
establishment of the
Praetorian Guard in 27 BC, originally a
personal bodyguard unit on the battlefield that evolved into an
imperial guard as well as an important political force in Rome.
They had the power to intimidate the Senate, install new emperors, and
depose ones they disliked; the last emperor they served was Maxentius,
as it was
Constantine I who disbanded them in the early 4th century
and destroyed their barracks, the Castra Praetoria.
Augustus in an Egyptian-style depiction, a stone carving of the
Kalabsha Temple in Nubia
Although the most powerful individual in the Roman Empire, Augustus
wished to embody the spirit of Republican virtue and norms. He also
wanted to relate to and connect with the concerns of the plebs and lay
people. He achieved this through various means of generosity and a
cutting back of lavish excess. In the year 29 BC,
400 sesterces each to 250,000 citizens, 1,000 sesterces each to
120,000 veterans in the colonies, and spent 700 million sesterces in
purchasing land for his soldiers to settle upon. He also restored
82 different temples to display his care for the Roman pantheon of
deities. In 28 BC, he melted down 80 silver statues erected
in his likeness and in honor of him, an attempt of his to appear
frugal and modest.
The longevity of Augustus' reign and its legacy to the Roman world
should not be overlooked as a key factor in its success. As Tacitus
wrote, the younger generations alive in AD 14 had never known any form
of government other than the Principate. Had
earlier (in 23 BC, for instance), matters might have turned out
differently. The attrition of the civil wars on the old Republican
oligarchy and the longevity of Augustus, therefore, must be seen as
major contributing factors in the transformation of the Roman state
into a de facto monarchy in these years. Augustus' own experience, his
patience, his tact, and his political acumen also played their parts.
He directed the future of the
Empire down many lasting paths, from the
existence of a standing professional army stationed at or near the
frontiers, to the dynastic principle so often employed in the imperial
succession, to the embellishment of the capital at the emperor's
expense. Augustus' ultimate legacy was the peace and prosperity the
Empire enjoyed for the next two centuries under the system he
initiated. His memory was enshrined in the political ethos of the
Imperial age as a paradigm of the good emperor. Every Emperor of Rome
adopted his name, Caesar Augustus, which gradually lost its character
as a name and eventually became a title. The Augustan era poets
Augustus as a defender of Rome, an upholder
of moral justice, and an individual who bore the brunt of
responsibility in maintaining the empire.
However, for his rule of
Rome and establishing the principate,
Augustus has also been subjected to criticism throughout the ages. The
contemporary Roman jurist
Marcus Antistius Labeo (d. AD 10/11), fond
of the days of pre-Augustan republican liberty in which he had been
born, openly criticized the Augustan regime. In the beginning of
his Annals, the Roman historian
Tacitus (c. 56–c.117) wrote that
Augustus had cunningly subverted Republican
Rome into a position of
slavery. He continued to say that, with Augustus' death and
swearing of loyalty to Tiberius, the people of
Rome simply traded one
slaveholder for another. Tacitus, however, records two
contradictory but common views of Augustus:
Fragment of a bronze equestrian statue of Augustus, 1st century AD,
National Archaeological Museum of Athens
Intelligent people praised or criticized him in varying ways. One
opinion was as follows. Filial duty and a national emergency, in which
there was no place for law-abiding conduct, had driven him to civil
war—and this can neither be initiated nor maintained by decent
methods. He had made many concessions to Anthony and to Lepidus for
the sake of vengeance on his father's murderers. When Lepidus grew old
and lazy, and Anthony's self-indulgence got the better of him, the
only possible cure for the distracted country had been government by
one man. However,
Augustus had put the state in order not by making
himself king or dictator, but by creating the Principate. The Empire's
frontiers were on the ocean, or distant rivers. Armies, provinces,
fleets, the whole system was interrelated. Roman citizens were
protected by the law. Provincials were decently treated.
had been lavishly beautified. Force had been sparingly used—merely
to preserve peace for the majority.
According to the second opposing opinion:
filial duty and national crisis had been merely pretexts. In actual
fact, the motive of Octavian, the future Augustus, was lust for
power ... There had certainly been peace, but it was a
blood-stained peace of disasters and assassinations.
In a recent biography on Augustus,
Anthony Everitt asserts that
through the centuries, judgments on Augustus' reign have oscillated
between these two extremes but stresses that:
Opposites do not have to be mutually exclusive, and we are not obliged
to choose one or the other. The story of his career shows that
Augustus was indeed ruthless, cruel, and ambitious for himself. This
was only in part a personal trait, for upper-class Romans were
educated to compete with one another and to excel. However, he
combined an overriding concern for his personal interests with a
deep-seated patriotism, based on a nostalgia of Rome's antique
virtues. In his capacity as princeps, selfishness and selflessness
coexisted in his mind. While fighting for dominance, he paid little
attention to legality or to the normal civilities of political life.
He was devious, untrustworthy, and bloodthirsty. But once he had
established his authority, he governed efficiently and justly,
generally allowed freedom of speech, and promoted the rule of law. He
was immensely hardworking and tried as hard as any democratic
parliamentarian to treat his senatorial colleagues with respect and
sensitivity. He suffered from no delusions of grandeur.
Virgil reading the
Augustus and Octavia, by Jean-Joseph
Tacitus was of the belief that
Nerva (r. 96–98) successfully
"mingled two formerly alien ideas, principate and liberty". The
Cassius Dio acknowledged
Augustus as a benign,
moderate ruler, yet like most other historians after the death of
Augustus, Dio viewed
Augustus as an autocrat. The poet Marcus
Annaeus Lucanus (AD 39–65) was of the opinion that Caesar's victory
Pompey and the fall of
Cato the Younger
Cato the Younger (95 BC–46 BC)
marked the end of traditional liberty in Rome; historian Chester G.
Starr, Jr. writes of his avoidance of criticizing Augustus, "perhaps
Augustus was too sacred a figure to accuse directly."
Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), in his Discourse
on the Contests and Dissentions in Athens and Rome, criticized
Augustus for installing tyranny over Rome, and likened what he
believed Great Britain's virtuous constitutional monarchy to Rome's
moral Republic of the 2nd century BC. In his criticism of
Augustus, the admiral and historian Thomas Gordon (1658–1741)
Augustus to the puritanical tyrant Oliver Cromwell
(1599–1658). Thomas Gordon and the French political philosopher
Montesquieu (1689–1755) both remarked that
Augustus was a coward in
battle. In his Memoirs of the Court of Augustus, the Scottish
scholar Thomas Blackwell (1701–1757) deemed
Augustus a Machiavellian
ruler, "a bloodthirsty vindicative usurper", "wicked and worthless",
"a mean spirit", and a "tyrant".
Augustus found at the
Pudukottai hoard, from an ancient Tamil
Pandyan Kingdom of present-day
Tamil Nadu in India, a
testimony to Indo-Roman trade. British Museum
Augustus' public revenue reforms had a great impact on the subsequent
success of the Empire.
Augustus brought a far greater portion of the
Empire's expanded land base under consistent, direct taxation from
Rome, instead of exacting varying, intermittent, and somewhat
arbitrary tributes from each local province as Augustus' predecessors
had done. This reform greatly increased Rome's net revenue from
its territorial acquisitions, stabilized its flow, and regularized the
financial relationship between
Rome and the provinces, rather than
provoking fresh resentments with each new arbitrary exaction of
The measures of taxation in the reign of
Augustus were determined by
population census, with fixed quotas for each province. Citizens
Rome and Italy paid indirect taxes, while direct taxes were exacted
from the provinces. Indirect taxes included a 4% tax on the price
of slaves, a 1% tax on goods sold at auction, and a 5% tax on the
inheritance of estates valued at over 100,000 sesterces by persons
other than the next of kin.
An equally important reform was the abolition of private tax farming,
which was replaced by salaried civil service tax collectors. Private
contractors who collected taxes for the State were the norm in the
Republican era. Some of them were powerful enough to influence the
number of votes for men running for offices in Rome. These tax
farmers called publicans were infamous for their depredations, great
private wealth, and the right to tax local areas.
Rome's revenue equaled the amount of the successful bids to farm the
taxes. The tax farmers' profits consisted of additional amounts they
could forcibly wring from the populace with Rome's blessing or turning
a blind eye. Lack of effective supervision, combined with tax farmers'
desire to maximize their profits, produced a system of arbitrary
exactions regarded quite rightly as barbarously cruel to taxpayers,
unfair, and very harmful to investment and the economy.
1st century coin of the
Himyarite Kingdom, southern coast of the
Arabian peninsula. This is also an imitation of a coin of Augustus.
The use of Egypt's immense land rents to finance the Empire's
operations resulted from Augustus' conquest of Egypt and the shift to
a Roman form of government. As it was effectively considered
Augustus' private property rather than a province of the Empire, it
became part of each succeeding emperor's patrimonium. Instead of
a legate or proconsul,
Augustus installed a prefect from the
equestrian class to administer Egypt and maintain its lucrative
seaports; this position became the highest political achievement for
any equestrian besides becoming
Prefect of the Praetorian Guard.
The highly productive agricultural land of Egypt yielded enormous
revenues that were available to
Augustus and his successors to pay for
public works and military expeditions, as well as bread and
circuses for the population of Rome.
During his reign the circus games resulted in the killing of 3,500
Month of August
The month of August (Latin: Augustus) is named after Augustus; until
his time it was called
Sextilis (named so because it had been the
sixth month of the original
Roman calendar and the Latin word for six
is sex). Commonly repeated lore has it that August has 31 days because
Augustus wanted his month to match the length of
Julius Caesar's July,
but this is an invention of the 13th century scholar Johannes de
Sextilis in fact had 31 days before it was renamed, and it
was not chosen for its length (see Julian calendar). According to a
senatus consultum quoted by Macrobius,
Sextilis was renamed to honor
Augustus because several of the most significant events in his rise to
power, culminating in the fall of Alexandria, fell in that month.
Main page: Category:Augustan building projects
Vitruvius and De architectura
Close up on the sculpted detail of the
Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace),
13 BC to 9 BC
On his deathbed,
Augustus boasted "I found a
Rome of bricks; I leave
to you one of marble." Although there is some truth in the literal
meaning of this,
Cassius Dio asserts that it was a metaphor for the
Marble could be found in buildings of Rome
before Augustus, but it was not extensively used as a building
material until the reign of Augustus.
Although this did not apply to the
Subura slums, which were still as
rickety and fire-prone as ever, he did leave a mark on the monumental
topography of the centre and of the Campus Martius, with the Ara Pacis
(Altar of Peace) and monumental sundial, whose central gnomon was an
obelisk taken from Egypt. The relief sculptures decorating the
Ara Pacis visually augmented the written record of Augustus' triumphs
in the Res Gestae. Its reliefs depicted the imperial pageants of
the praetorians, the Vestals, and the citizenry of Rome.
He also built the Temple of Caesar, the Baths of Agrippa, and the
Forum of Augustus
Forum of Augustus with its Temple of Mars Ultor. Other projects
were either encouraged by him, such as the Theatre of Balbus, and
Agrippa's construction of the Pantheon, or funded by him in the name
of others, often relations (e.g. Portico of Octavia, Theatre of
Marcellus). Even his
Mausoleum of Augustus
Mausoleum of Augustus was built before his death
to house members of his family.
To celebrate his victory at the Battle of Actium, the Arch of Augustus
was built in 29 BC near the entrance of the Temple of Castor and
Pollux, and widened in 19 BC to include a triple-arch
design. There are also many buildings outside of the city of Rome
that bear Augustus' name and legacy, such as the Theatre of Mérida in
modern Spain, the
Maison Carrée built at
Nîmes in today's southern
France, as well as the
Trophy of Augustus
Trophy of Augustus at La Turbie, located near
The Temple of
Livia in Vienne, late 1st century BC
After the death of Agrippa in 12 BC, a solution had to be found
in maintaining Rome's water supply system. This came about because it
was overseen by Agrippa when he served as aedile, and was even funded
by him afterwards when he was a private citizen paying at his own
expense. In that year,
Augustus arranged a system where the
Senate designated three of its members as prime commissioners in
charge of the water supply and to ensure that Rome's aqueducts did not
fall into disrepair.
In the late Augustan era, the commission of five senators called the
curatores locorum publicorum iudicandorum (translated as "Supervisors
of Public Property") was put in charge of maintaining public buildings
and temples of the state cult.
Augustus created the senatorial
group of the curatores viarum (translated as "Supervisors for Roads")
for the upkeep of roads; this senatorial commission worked with local
officials and contractors to organize regular repairs.
Corinthian order of architectural style originating from ancient
Greece was the dominant architectural style in the age of
the imperial phase of Rome.
Suetonius once commented that Rome
was unworthy of its status as an imperial capital, yet
Agrippa set out to dismantle this sentiment by transforming the
Rome upon the classical Greek model.
Physical appearance and official images
Meroë Head of Augustus, bronze
Roman portraiture bust from
Kingdom of Kush
Kingdom of Kush (Nubia, modern Sudan), 27-25 BC
His biographer Suetonius, writing about a century after Augustus'
death, described his appearance as: "... unusually handsome and
exceedingly graceful at all periods of his life, though he cared
nothing for personal adornment. He was so far from being particular
about the dressing of his hair, that he would have several barbers
working in a hurry at the same time, and as for his beard he now had
it clipped and now shaved, while at the very same time he would either
be reading or writing something ... He had clear, bright
eyes ... His teeth were wide apart, small, and ill-kept; his hair
was slightly curly and inclined to golden; his eyebrows met. His ears
were of moderate size, and his nose projected a little at the top and
then bent ever so slightly inward. His complexion was between dark and
fair. He was short of stature, although
Julius Marathus, his freedman
and keeper of his records, says that he was five feet and nine inches
(just under 5 ft. 7 in., or 1.70 meters, in modern height
measurements), but this was concealed by the fine proportion and
symmetry of his figure, and was noticeable only by comparison with
some taller person standing beside him...", adding that "his
shoes [were] somewhat high-soled, to make him look taller than he
really was". Scientific analysis of traces of paint found in his
official statues show that he most likely had light brown hair and
eyes (his hair and eyes were depicted as the same color).
His official images were very tightly controlled and idealized,
drawing from a tradition of
Hellenistic royal portraiture rather than
the tradition of realism in Roman portraiture. He first appeared on
coins at the age of 19, and from about 29 BC "the explosion in the
number of Augustan portraits attests a concerted propaganda campaign
aimed at dominating all aspects of civil, religious, economic and
military life with Augustus' person." The early images did indeed
depict a young man, but although there were gradual changes his images
remained youthful until he died in his seventies, by which time they
had "a distanced air of ageless majesty". Among the best known of
many surviving portraits are the
Augustus of Prima Porta, the image on
the Ara Pacis, and the Via Labicana Augustus, which shows him as a
priest. Several cameo portraits include the
Blacas Cameo and Gemma
Julio-Claudian family tree
Julio-Claudian family tree and Family tree of the Octavii
Ancestors of Augustus
16. Gaius Octavius I
8. Gaius Octavius II
4. Gaius Octavius III
2. Gaius Octavius IV
Marcus Atius Balbus
Marcus Atius Balbus
26. Sextus Pompeius
3. Atia Balba Caesonia
Gaius Julius Caesar II
Gaius Julius Caesar III
7. Julia Minor
30. Lucius Aurelius Cotta
15. Aurelia Cotta
Augustus' only biological (non-adopted) child was his daughter.
Julia (Julia Major) (39 BC – AD 14)
Gaius Julius Caesar (20 BC – AD 4), no issue
Vipsania Julia (Julia Minor) (19 BC – AD 28)
Aemilia Lepida (fiancee of Claudius)
Aemilia Lepida (fiancee of Claudius) (4 BC – AD 53)
Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus (14 – 54)
Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus the younger (50–66), died young
Junia Calvina (15–79), no issue
Decimus Junius Silanus Torquatus (d. 64), no issue
Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus the elder (d. 49), no issue
Junia Lepida (ca 18–65), issue unknown
Unnamed illegitimate son by Decimus Junius Silanus (d. AD 8), ordered
to be exposed by Augustus
Julius Caesar (17 BC – AD 2), no issue
Vipsania Agrippina II (Agrippina Major) (14 BC – AD 33)
Germanicus (6–30), no issue
Germanicus (7–33), no issue
Gaius Julius Caesar
Germanicus Major (died before AD 12)
Gaius Julius Caesar
Germanicus Minor (Caligula) (12–41)
Julia Drusilla (39–41), died young
Julia Agrippina (Agrippina Minor) (15–59)
Germanicus (Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus)
Claudia Augusta (Jan. 63 – April 63), died young
Julia Drusilla (16–38), no issue
Julia Livilla (18–42), no issue
Julius Caesar (? – ?), either born before
Drusus Caesar and
Gaius Caesar Minor (Caligula) or
Gaius Caesar Minor (Caligula) and Julia Agrippina
Son (? – ?), referenced as Ignotus
Agrippa Postumus (12 BC – AD 14), no
Tiberillus (born and died almost immediately 11 BC), son by
Augustan literature (ancient Rome)
Gaius Octavian (
Indo-Roman trade and relations
Julio-Claudian family tree
Family tree of the Octavii Rufi
Temple of Augustus
^ a b Classical Latin spelling and reconstructed Classical Latin
pronunciation of the names of Augustus:
IPA: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ɔkˈtaː.wi.ʊs]
GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR OCTAVIANVS
IPA: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar
IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI F(ILIVS) AVGVSTVS
IPA: [ɪm.pɛˈraː.tɔr ˈkae̯.sar ˈdiː.wiː ˈfiː.li.ʊs
The spelling AGVSTVS, indicating the pronunciation /ɔːˈɡʌstəs,
əˈɡʌs-/, occurs in inscriptions (Allen 1965, p. 61).
^ The dates of his rule are contemporary dates;
Augustus lived under
two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian
after 45 BC. Due to departures from
Julius Caesar's intentions,
Augustus finished restoring the
Julian calendar in March AD 4, and the
correspondence between the proleptic
Julian calendar and the calendar
Rome is uncertain before 8 BC. (Blackburn &
Holford-Strevens 2003: 670–1)
^ As part of the Triumvirate, Octavian ruled the Western provinces,
Antony ruled the Eastern provinces, and Lepidus ruled Africa.
Imperator Caesar Divi Filius
Augustus is translated as "Commander
Caesar, Son of the God [
Augustus The "Marcus Octavius" vetoing the agrarian law
Tiberius Gracchus in 133 BC may have been his
^ His daughter Julia had died in 54 BC.; his son
Cleopatra was not recognized by Roman law and was not mentioned in his
^ If the testimony of Marcus Primus can be believed, where during his
trial for illegally launching a war in Thrace, he asserted that he
acted on the orders of Marcellus and Augustus – see Southern,
p. 108 and Eck (2003), p. 55
Augustus Biography, Accomplishments, Full Name, & Facts".
Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
Augustus - Ancient History - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved
^ Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow,
England: Longman. ISBN 0-582-05383-8. entry "Augustus"
Augustus - Ancient History - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved
^ Goldsworthy, Adrian (2014-08-28). Augustus: First Emperor of Rome.
Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300210071.
^ Goldsworthy, Adrian (2014-08-28). Augustus: First Emperor of Rome.
Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300210071.
Suetonius • Life of Augustus". penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved
^ "Augustus". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved
^ Jo-Ann Shelton, As the Romans Did (Oxford University Press, 1998),
^ Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 2.93–94
Augustus - Ancient History - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved
^ "40 maps that explain the Roman Empire". Vox. Retrieved
Suetonius 2013, §5, footnote a) Roman calendar.
^ 5–6 on-line text.
^ Rowell (1962), 14.
^ Chisholm (1981), 23.
Augustus 4–8; Nicolaus of Damascus,
Archived 26 July 2007 at WebCite
Augustus 8.1; Quintilian, 12.6.1.
^ a b Suetonius,
^ Nicolaus of Damascus,
Augustus 4. Archived 26 July 2007 at WebCite
^ a b c Rowell (1962), 16.
^ Nicolaus of Damascus,
Augustus 6. Archived 26 July 2007 at WebCite
^ Velleius Paterculus 2.59.3.
^ a b Suetonius,
^ a b c Eck (2003), 9.
^ Rowell (1962), 15.
Augustus 68, 71.
^ Appian, Civil Wars 3.9–11.
^ E.g., Cicero. Letters to Atticus. Perseus Digital Library.
pp. 16:14. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
^ Mackay (2004), 160.
^ a b c d e f Eck (2003), 10.
Augustus pp. 20–21
Augustus pp. 21
^ a b Eck (2003), 9–10.
^ a b Rowell (1962), 19.
^ Rowell (1962), 18.
^ Eder (2005), 18.
^ Appian, Civil Wars 3.11–12.
^ Chisholm (1981), 24.
^ Chisholm (1981), 27.
^ Rowell (1962), 20.
^ Eck (2003), 11.
^ Syme (1939), 114–120.
^ Chisholm (1981), 26.
^ Rowell (1962), 30.
^ Eck (2003), 11–12.
^ Rowell (1962), 21.
^ Syme (1939), 123–126.
^ a b c d Eck (2003), 12.
^ a b c Rowell (1962), 23.
^ Rowell (1962), 24.
^ Chisholm (1981), 29.
^ Syme (1939), 167.
^ Syme (1939), 173–174
^ Scullard (1982), 157.
^ Rowell (1962), 26–27.
^ a b c Rowell (1962), 27.
^ Chisholm (1981), 32–33.
^ Eck (2003), 14.
^ Rowell (1962), 28.
^ Syme (1939), 176–186.
^ Sear, David R. "Common Legend Abbreviations On Roman Coins".
Archived from the original on 30 July 2007. Retrieved 24 August
^ a b Eck (2003), 15.
^ a b Scullard (1982), 163.
^ a b Eck (2003), 16.
^ Southern (1998), 52–53.
^ a b Scullard (1982), 164.
^ a b Scott (1933), 19–20.
^ a b c Scott (1933), 19.
^ Scott (1933), 20.
^ Syme (1939), 202.
^ Eck (2003), 17.
^ a b Eck (2003), 17–18.
^ a b Eck (2003), 18.
^ Eck (2003), 18–19.
^ a b c d Eck (2003), 19.
^ a b Rowell (1962), 32.
^ a b c d e Eck (2003), 20.
^ Scullard (1982), 162
^ Alexander Helios,
Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus
^ a b c d Eck (2003) 21.
^ a b c d Eder (2005), 19.
^ a b Eck (2003), 22.
^ Eck (2003), 23.
^ a b Eck (2003), 24.
^ a b Eck (2003), 25.
^ Eck (2003), 25–26.
^ a b c d e Eck (2003), 26.
^ Eck (2003), 26–27.
^ Eck (2003), 27–28.
^ Eck (2003), 29.
^ Eck (2003), 29–30.
^ a b Eck (2003), 30.
^ Eder (2005), 20.
^ Eck (2003), 31.
^ Eck (2003), 32–34.
^ Eck (2003), 34.
^ Eck (2003), 34–35
^ Eder (2005), 21–22.
^ Eck (2003), 35.
^ Eder (2005), 22.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 37.
^ Roller (2010), 175.
^ Walker (2008), 35, 42-44.
^ Eck (2003), 38.
^ Eck (2003), 38–39.
^ Eck (2003), 39.
^ Green (1990), 697.
^ Scullard (1982), 171.
^ a b c d Eck (2003), 49.
^ Gruen (2005), 34–35.
^ a b c d CCAA, 24–25.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 38–39.
^ a b c d e Eck (2003), 45.
^ Eck (2003), 44–45.
^ Eck (2003), 113.
^ a b Eck (2003), 80.
^ a b Scullard (1982), 211.
^ a b Eck (2003), 46.
^ Scullard (1982), 210.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 34.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 47.
^ a b c d Eder (2005), 24.
^ a b c d Eck (2003), 50.
^ Eck (2003), 149
^ Eck (2003), 3, 149.
^ Eder (2005), 13.
^ Eck (2003), 3.
^ Wells, p. 51
^ Holland, p. 294
^ a b Davies, p. 259
^ Ando, p. 140; Raaflaub, p. 426; Wells, p. 53
^ Southern, p. 108; Holland, p. 295
^ a b c Eder (2005), 25.
^ a b c d e f Eck (2003), 56.
^ Gruen (2005), 38.
^ a b Stern, Gaius, Women, children, and senators on the Ara Pacis
Augustae: A study of Augustus' vision of a new world order in 13 BC,
^ Holland, pp. 294–95; Southern, p. 108
^ a b c d e Eder (2005), 26.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 36.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 57.
^ Gruen (2005), 37.
^ Eck (2003), 56–57.
^ a b Southern, p. 109; Holland, p. 299
^ Wells, p. 53
^ a b Southern, p. 108
^ Holland, p. 300
^ Syme, p. 333
^ Syme, p. 333; Holland, p. 300; Southern, p. 108
^ Wells, p. 53; Raaflaub, p. 426
^ Eck (2003), 57–58.
^ Eck (2003), 59.
^ a b Eder (2005), 30.
^ Bunson (1994), 80.
^ Bunson (1994), 427.
^ a b Eck (2003), 60.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 61.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 117.
^ Dio 54.1, 6, 10.
^ Eck (2003), 78.
^ Swan, p. 241; Syme, p. 483
^ Wells, p. 53; Holland, p. 301
^ Davies, p. 260; Holland, p. 301
^ Holland, p. 301
^ a b Gruen (2005), 43.
^ Bowersock (1990), p. 380. The date is provided by inscribed
calendars; see also Augustus, Res Gestae 10.2. Dio 27.2 reports this
under 13 BC, probably as the year in which Lepidus died
(Bowersock (1990), p. 383).
^ Eder (2005), 28.
^ Mackay (2004), 186.
^ Eck (2003), 129.
^ Syme (1939), 337–338.
^ Everett (2006), 217.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 93.
^ Eck (2003), 95.
^ a b c d e f g Eck (2003), 94.
^ a b Eck (2003), 97.
^ Eck (2003), 98.
^ Eck (2003), 98–99.
^ a b Eck (2003), 99.
^ a b c Bunson (1994), 416.
^ a b c d e Eck (2003), 96.
^ Brosius (2006), 96–97, 136–138.
^ Eck (2003), 95–96.
^ Brosius (2006), 97; see also Bivar (1983), 66–67.
^ Rowell (1962), 13.
^ Eck (2003), 101–102.
^ Bunson (1994), 417.
^ Bunson (1994), 31.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 50.
^ Eck (2003), 114–115.
^ Eck (2003), 115.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 44.
^ a b Eck (2003), 58.
^ Syme (1939), 416–417.
^ Scullard (1982), 217.
^ Syme (1939), 417.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 116.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 46.
^ Eck (2003), 117–118.
^ Gruen (2005), 46–47.
^ Eck (2003), 119.
^ Eck (2003), 119–120.
^ a b Gruen (2005), 49.
Tacitus Annals 1.5
Cassius Dio 55.22.2; 56.30
^ a b Everitt, Anthony (2006). Agustus: The Life of rome's First
Emperor. New York: Random House. pp. 312–20.
^ a b Eck (2003), 123.
^ a b c Eck (2003), 124.
^ Shotter (1966), 210–212.
^ a b Shotter (1966), 211.
^ a b Shaw-Smith (1971), 213.
^ Setton, Kenneth M. (1976). The Papacy and the Levant (1204–1571),
Volume I: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania: The American Philosophical Society. p. 375.
^ Eck (2003), 1–2
^ Eck (2003), 2.
^ Bunson (1994), 47.
^ Bourne (1918), 53–66.
^ a b c d e Eck (2003), 79.
^ Bunson (1994), 345.
^ Eck (2003), 85–87.
^ Eck (2003), 86.
^ a b Eck (2003), 81.
^ Chisholm (1981), 122.
^ Bunson (1994), 6.
^ Bunson (1994), 341.
^ Bunson (1994), 341–342.
^ a b c Eder (2005), 23.
^ Tacitus, Annals I.3
^ Kelsall (1976), 120.
^ a b c d Starr (1952), 5.
^ Tacitus, The Annals, I 9
^ Tacitus, The Annals, I 10
^ Everitt (2006), 324–325.
^ a b Starr (1952), 6.
^ a b Kelsall (1976), 118.
^ a b Kelsall (1976), 119.
^ a b c d Eck (2003), 83–84.
^ a b c Bunson (1994), 404.
^ a b Bunson (1994), 144.
^ Bunson (1994), 144–145.
^ Bunson (1994), 145.
^ Greg Woolf (2007). Ancient civilizations: the illustrated guide to
belief, mythology, and art. Barnes & Noble. p. 397.
^ Macrobius, Saturnalia 1.12.35.
^ Dio 56.30.3
^ a b c d Bunson (1994), 34.
^ Eck (2003), 122.
^ a b Bunson (1994), 32.
^ "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus".
^ Eck (2003), 118–121
Augustus 79, translated by J. C. Rolfe.
^ Roberta Pazanelli, Eike Schmidt, Vinzenz Brinkmann, et al. "The
Color of Life: Polychromy in Sculpture from Antiquity to the Present."
Getty Research Institute; 1st edition. May 2008. Pages 116-117.
^ Walker and Burnett, pp. 1, 18, 25 (quoted)
^ Smith, 186
^ Goldsworthy (2014), 512, 514-515.
^ Goldsworthy (2014), 515.
^ Goldsworthy (2014), 512, 515.
^ CIL VI, 00889
^ CIL VI, 00888
^ CIL VI, 00890
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Augustus Why he is important – his place in world history
Born: 23 September 63 BC Died: 19 August AD 14
Emperor of the Roman Empire
27 BC – AD 14
Aulus Hirtius and Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Consul (Suffect.) of the Roman Republic
with Quintus Pedius
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Lucius Munatius Plancus
Marcus Antonius and
Lucius Scribonius Libo and Aemilius Lepidus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Volcatius Tullus
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Gaius Sosius
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus and Gaius Sosius
Consul of the Roman Empire
31 BC – 23 BC
(naming only the ordinary colleagues)
with Marcus Antonius (only in the east) and M. Valerius Messalla
Sextus Appuleius (II)
with M. Vipsanius Agrippa (twice)
with T. Statilius Taurus (I)
with M. Iunius Silanus
with C. Norbanus Flaccus
with Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso
Claudius Marcellus Aeserninus and Lucius Arruntius
Decius Laelius Balbus and Gnaeus Antistius Vetus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with L. Cornelius Sulla
Gaius Calvisius Sabinus and Lucius Passienus Rufus
Lucius Cornelius Lentulus and Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Marcus Plautius Silvanus
Cossus Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Calpurnius Piso
Marcus Aemilius Lepidus
Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Religion
12 BC – AD 14
Head of Julio-Claudian Family
44 BC – AD 14
Roman and Byzantine emperors
27 BC – 235 AD
Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
Caracalla with Geta
Macrinus with Diadumenian
Gordian I and Gordian II
Pupienus and Balbinus
Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab with Philip II
Decius with Herennius Etruscus
Trebonianus Gallus with Volusianus
Saloninus and Valerian II
Carinus and Numerian
Tetricus I with
Tetricus II as Caesar
Diocletian (whole empire)
Diocletian (East) and
Diocletian (East) and
Maximian (West) with
Galerius (East) and
Constantius Chlorus (West) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and
Constantius Chlorus (West) with Severus (West) and
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and Severus (West) with
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (West)
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and
Maxentius (West) with
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (West)
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Galerius (East) and
Licinius I (West) with Constantine the Great
Maximinus II (East) as Caesares
Licinius I (West) and
Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great
(Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens
Licinius I (East) and
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (West) with
Constantine II, and
Crispus as Caesares
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great (whole empire) with son
Crispus as Caesar
Decentius as Caesar
Constantius II with Vetranio
Valentinian the Great
Magnus Maximus with Victor
Theodosius the Great
Constantine III with son
Petronius Maximus with Palladius
Leo I the Thracian
Zeno (first reign)
Basiliscus with son Marcus as co-emperor
Zeno (second reign)
Anastasius I Dicorus
Justinian the Great
Tiberius II Constantine
Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor
Constantine IV with brothers
Tiberius and then Justinian
II as co-emperors
Justinian II (first reign)
Justinian II (second reign) with son
Tiberius as co-emperor
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo IV the Khazar
Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe with son Theophylact as co-emperor
Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor
Michael II the Amorian
Basil I the Macedonian
Leo VI the Wise
Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos
Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as
Nikephoros II Phokas
John I Tzimiskes
Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros
Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian
Michael V Kalaphates
Zoë (second reign) with Theodora
Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos (sole emperor)
Michael VI Bringas
Isaac I Komnenos
Constantine X Doukas
Romanos IV Diogenes
Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son
Nikephoros III Botaneiates
Alexios I Komnenos
John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor
Manuel I Komnenos
Alexios II Komnenos
Andronikos I Komnenos
Isaac II Angelos
Alexios III Angelos
Alexios IV Angelos
Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate)
Alexios V Doukas
Empire of Nicaea
Theodore I Laskaris
John III Doukas Vatatzes
Theodore II Laskaris
John IV Laskaris
Michael VIII Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos with
Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos as co-emperor
Andronikos III Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos with
John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos and Matthew
Kantakouzenos as co-emperors
John V Palaiologos
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
John VII Palaiologos
Andronikos V Palaiologos
Manuel II Palaiologos
John VIII Palaiologos
Constantine XI Palaiologos
Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an
Protodynastic to First Intermediate Period (<3150–2040 BC)
Narmer / Menes
Narmer / Menes
Merenre Nemtyemsaf I
Merenre Nemtyemsaf II
Neferkare III Neby
Neferkare IV Khendu
Neferkare V Tereru
Neferkare VI Pepiseneb
Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period (2040–1550 BC)
Sekhemkare Amenemhat V
Ameny Antef Amenemhet VI
Mershepsesre Ini II
New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period (1550–664 BC)
Osorkon the Elder
Late Period and
Hellenistic Period (664–30 BC)
Alexander the Great
Philip III Arrhidaeus
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy III Euergetes
Ptolemy IV Philopator
Ptolemy V Epiphanes
Ptolemy VI Philometor
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes
Ptolemy IX Soter
Ptolemy X Alexander I
Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos
Ptolemy XV Caesarion
21st to 23rd
List of pharaohs
Ancient Roman religion and mythology
Castor and Pollux
Romulus and Remus
Lucius Tarquinius Priscus
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus
The Golden Ass
Concepts and practices
Religion in ancient Rome
Glossary of ancient Roman religion
Myth and ritual
Conversion to Christianity
Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism
Ancient Roman wars
Wars of the
Punic Wars (First, Second, Third)
Illyrian Wars (First, Second, Third)
Macedonian Wars (First, Second, Third, Fourth)
Roman conquest of Hispania (First Celtiberian War, Lusitanian
War, Numantine War, Sertorian War, Cantabrian Wars)
Servile Wars (First, Second, Third)
Sulla's civil wars (First, Second)
Mithridatic Wars (First, Second, Third)
Caesar's invasions of Britain
Caesar's Civil War
End of the Republic (Post-Caesarian, Liberators', Sicilian,
Wars of the
Germanic Wars (Teutoburg, Marcomannic, Alemannic, Gothic,
Wars in Britain
Wars of Boudica
Civil War of 69
Domitian's Dacian War
Trajan's Dacian Wars
Civil Wars of the Third Century
Wars of the Fall of the Western Roman Empire
Military history of ancient Rome
715 BC: Numa Marcius
509 BC: C. Papirius
449 BC: Q. Furius
431 BC: A. Cornelius Cossus
420 BC: S. Minucius
390 BC: M. Fabius Ambustus
332 BC: P. Cornelius Calussa
304 BC: P. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus
254 BC: Ti. Coruncanius
243 BC: L. Caecilius Metellus
221 BC: L. Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus
213 BC: M. Cornelius Cethegus
212 BC: P.
180 BC: M. Aemilius Lepidus
150 BC: P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum
141 BC: P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio
132 BC: P.
Crassus Dives Mucianus
130 BC: P. Mucius Scaevola
114 BC: L. Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus
103 BC: Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus
89 BC: Q. Mucius Scaevola
81 BC: Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius
63 BC: C.
44 BC: M. Aemilius Lepidus
12 BC: C.
Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus
12 BC - AD 375: Held by the emperors.
Ancient Greek and Roman wars
First Messenian War
Second Messenian War
Punic Wars (Sicilian Wars)
Wars of the Delian League
First / Second / Third Sacred War
Social War (357–355 BC)
Rise of Macedon
Wars of Alexander the Great
Wars of the Diadochi
Social War (220–217 BC)
War against Nabis
Roman–Latin wars (First Latin War (Battle of Lake
Second Latin War)
Punic Wars (First
Macedonian Wars (Illyrian
Roman Servile Wars (First
Social War (90–88 BC)
Sulla's civil wars (First
Mithridatic Wars (First
Julius Caesar's civil war
Augustus' rise to power (Battle of Mutina
Liberators' civil war
Perusine War (Fulvia's civil war)
Final War of the Roman Republic)
Germanic Wars (Marcomannic
Conquest of Britain
Wars of Boudica
Domitian's Dacian War
Trajan's Dacian Wars
Wars against Persia
Third-century civil wars
Decline and fall of the Western Empire
Eastern Ganga dynasty
ancient great powers
medieval great powers
modern great powers
ISNI: 0000 0001 2122 7317
BNF: cb12326866z (data)