Facts about Augustus the Roman Emperor

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Augustus is known as the first Roman Emperor who replaced the Roman Republic led by the triumvirates.  Augustus under his long reign had a strong monarchic government and helped bring peace, stability and prosperity to the kingdom.

Here are some facts about Augustus.

  • Augustus was born in 63 BC in Rome and reined over Rome from 27 BC to 14 AD. He was born under the name of Gaius Octavius. He took the name Augustus which implied ‘lofty’ or ‘serene’.

  • Augustus’ mother Atia was the daughter of Julia who was the sister of Julius Caesar. He lost his father at the age of 4.

  • He is said to have been a great orator who delivered his first funeral oration at the age of 12 for his grandmother Julia. His speech had greatly impressed his great uncle Julius Caesar.

  • During his early years he accompanied Julius Caesar in the public processions led after the victory of Caesar in Africa.

  • Augustus Caesar gathered much political support as an orator in the Roman Senate and fought to avenge the assassination of his uncle Julius Caesar in 43BC and after having defeated Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium, became the ruler of the Roman Empire.

  • Before becoming the emperor however, Augustus also had to fight Caesar’s friend and General Marc Antony, one of the triumvirates and an equally powerful man in Rome.

  • Augustus was also the heir to Caesar’s fortune and name; Caesar himself having had no son of his own.

  • Unlike his uncle Julius Caesar who believed in dictatorship, Augustus founded the principate: considered a system of monarchy in which the emperor held power for life.

  • During his rule, he held absolute power and the army too was under his direct control. Under his reign, there were many civil wars which took place but Augustus put all to rest successfully.

  • Rome experienced progress and expansion through the building of roads, buildings and bridges bringing economic prosperity to the empire. He is also credited for having rebuilt much of the city of Rome.

  • Augustus is said to be the first Roman emperor to have created a standing army with the objective of making Rome safe from the Barbarians which helped bring peace and stability within the kingdom.

  • Tiberius and Drusus were Augustus’ stepsons by marriage to Livia. They contributed in the expansion of the Roman Empire advancing its frontiers from the Rhine to the Elbe in Germany and right up to the Danube River.

  • Famous poet Ovid was exiled under Augustan rule due to the criticisms Augustus faced by Ovid having mocked his moral reforms.

  • Augustus had no sons but a daughter named Julia while his nephew Marcellus and grandsons Gaius and Lucius predeceased him. Tiberius succeeded Augustus much to his reluctance.

The last few years wasn’t pleasant for Augustus and much of it was clouded in military disaster and having to cope with the loss of Augustus’ grandsons. Augustus died on 19th August, 14 AD. After the death of Augustus, Tiberius had to deal with a series of revolts that started in Germania and Pannonia.

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