Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian (Rome, 23 September 63 BC – Nola, 19 August 14 A.D.) Military Leader, Political Leader, Noble and Roman Emperor, known as Caesar Augustus. He was the first Roman emperor and the one who reigned over Rome for the longest.
Augustus laid the foundations of the Roman Empire, which remained for several centuries, to the point that his name became the Title with which his successors were invested, and began to be synonymous with “emperor”, which is why he is considered one of the most influential men in history.
He was born in Rome on September 23, 63 BC, to a wealthy family. His father was a senior official. His mother was the niece of Julius Caesar, Octavian’s predecessor, who adopted him as heir in 45 BC, due to his great political skills and military skills. In 44 BC, during a campaign in Epirus against the Parthians, he received the news of the death of Julius Caesar, leaving immediately for Rome.
Fight for power
Upon his arrival he found that Mark Antony, lieutenant of Julius Caesar had usurped power, along with Lepidus. Octavian confronted them, with the support of Cicero and the Republicans. With the economic power of very wealthy people, such as Patrons, Octavian managed to finance himself an army with which he defeated Mark Antony at the Battle of Dodena.
Triumphant, he demanded from the Senate his appointment as Consul, but obtained the refusal, under the argument of his age. He was only 20 years old. Octavian marched on Rome, to assume power. He didn´t have to fight in battle, in his advance he received the support, even from the troops sent against him. In 43 BC, he proclaimed himself Consul and assumed extraordinary powers.
Republicans resisted his mandate. Brutus and Cassius faced him from the east. Octavian allied himself with his former rivals Mark Antony and Lepidus. After a meeting in Bologna they decided to establish a military dictatorship, known as Triumvirate. They began the persecution against the Republicans, in the midst of which Cicero died, concluding in 42 BC at the Battle of Philippi, Macedonia, where they were eventually defeated by this triple alliance.
Lepidus was sidelined. Octavian divided power with Mark Antony, whom he left the east of the territory, while he stayed with the West. However, the agreement was broken. In 41 BC, they clashed again in the War of Perugia, where Octavian again defeated.
The territory was divided among the leaders of the triumvirate, reunited again. In Brindisi, in 40 BC, it was decided that Octavian would rule the West; Lepidus, Africa; Mark Antony would assume east, but only until the River Drin; while Italy would be neutral territory, over which all three would dominate. Peace was finished being sealed with the marriage between Mark Antony and Octavian’s sister. However, it lasted only four years.
Birth of the Roman Empire
In 36 BC, Octavian fought Pompey, defeating him at the Battle of Nauloque in Sicily. For his part, Mark Antony already maintained a loving relationship with Cleopatra VII, sovereign of Egypt, orientalizing his government, for the benefit of the Egyptians.
Octavian confronted Cleopatra. In 32 BC the Ptolemaic War broke out, culminating a year later with the Battle of Actium. In 30 BC, Octavian triumphantly entered Alexandria. Cleopatra and Mark Antony committed suicide. Egypt was annexed to The Roman territory, giving Octavian power over the Mediterranean.
He erected in Rome an Empire, where power was divided in two, one part resided in the Senate and the people, while the other was exercised by the emperor. He proclaimed himself annually Consul, along with other titles he assumed, as he gained power.
In 28 BC he proclaimed himself First Senator (Princeps Senatus). In 27 BC, he assumed the divine title of Augustus and that of Imperator Proconsulare in Gaul, Hispania and Syria, being the highest military authority. In 23 BC he became a Lifetime Tribune, gaining veto power over the Magistrates.
In 19 BC he took over the Prefect of Customs and Grand Pontiff, becoming religious chief. Finally, in 12 BC he assumed the title of Father of the Fatherland.
Legacy and later years
He established one of the longest-running and most lifelong empires in history. It produced major reforms, such as the construction of long roads and roads, which led to Rome, from anywhere in the territory.
He protected the limits of his empire against childbirth and Germans, achieving peace. He created the first Roman fire and police forces, standardized and gave state character to taxes, established a system of post office, among other novelties, which translated into development of the Roman Empire. The month of August is named after him.
He died on August 19, 14 A.D., aged 76. His successor was Tandius, his son-in-son- son-in-one, whom he adopted, in order to inherit the throne, by having no male children of his own. History refers to his last words in public being “Look, I found a brick Rome, and I leave you a marble Rome”.
Image source: vavel.com
July 27, 2019