Augustus - Octavianus Augustus Caesar (born 23 September 63 BC, Rome - d. 19 August 14 AD, Nola), formerly known as Octavian, was the first Roman Emperor.

Although he retained the appearance of the Roman Republic, he led as a dictator for more than 40 years. It ended a century of civil wars and brought an era of peace, prosperity and imperial majesty. It is known by historians with the title of Augustus, which he took in 27 BC.




Throughout his life he was known with many names: At birth he was named Gaius Octavius ​​after his biological father, Gaius Octavius, to whom Thurinus was added as a child in honor of Thuria victory against fugitive slaves where his father attended.

After his posthumous adoption by Julius Caesar (44 BC), he took his name and became Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus according to Roman standards in the case of adoption. Although he soon renounced Octavianus from his name and his contemporaries referred to him calling him Caesar during this period, historians refer to him between 44 BC and 27 BC calling him Octavian. In 42 BC, in order to strengthen his political relations with the former soldiers of Julius Caesar, after his deification, he added to his name the title Divi Filius (Divine Son), becoming Gaius Iulius Cezar Divi Filius.

In 38 BC, he replaced his first name Gaius and the name Julius with the Imperator.

Octavian strengthened his reputation in the west, Antony maintained his relationship with Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, displaying a lifestyle specific to a Hellenistic king and divorced from Octavian's sister. As Oriental kings were not well seen in Rome, Octavian took advantage of the situation. Antony reorganized the eastern provinces, but his prestige suffered from the failed campaign against the parties. In July 32, Octavian illegally obtained Antoniu's will and read it in public. It was learned that Anthony had given her inherited heritage to the children he had with Cleopatra.

The Battle of Actium

The Senate could not tolerate such a will and declared war. The decisive battle took place in Actium, on the west coast of Greece on 2 September 31 BC. Actium was a promontory on the western coast of Greece at the mouth of the vast Amrakia bay. Antony set up his camp on the southern side of the entrance, while Octavian settled on the northern promontory, 8 km from the mouth of the bay. The dry troops were numerically equal, but at sea, Octavian had the advantage of a large fleet, battled in combat, led by Marcus Agrippa. Agrippa's blockade weakened Antoniu's position, which decided to try to flee to the sea. Cleopatra's squadron broke the line of enemy ships and Antony followed her with a few ships. But the fleet's thickness surrendered. Antoniu's fleet was surrounded and attempted to break the enemy fleet, but only a few ships succeeded, the rest, along with a large army of land, surrendered to Octavian. Antony and Cleopatra returned to Egypt, and in 30 BC, Octavian resumed the offensive. Alexandria was conquered, and Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide. The Ptolemaic treasure fell into the hands of Octavian, and Egypt was transformed into a Roman province. Following the victory at Actium, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world.


But he faced the dispute over his constitutional status. Not intending to give up power, but learning from the assassination of Caesar, has come to a compromise with the Senate. He could not rule by himself, needing people in the administration.

He was not a great military leader, but he had the modesty to recognize it. He relied on Marcus Agrippa, who ordered the fleet at Actium. Augustus also took over the command in a single campaign, in the Cantabrian War in Spain. It is overwhelmed with notable victories, the most important being the conquest of Egypt, which became the grain of Rome. Grains, imported free of charge, were of crucial importance to the Empire's population. He won a diplomatic victory in 20 BC, when Roman legions recovered flags captured by the parties during the disastrous Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. He was concerned about the strengthening of the borders.

To the east, the Syrian desert and the Euphrates River formed a natural boundary. To the north, where, following the wars of Caesar, a natural border was established along the Rhine. Augustus pushed the Balkan border to the Danube, following the campaigns of conquering the tribes of the Alps and pacifying the northern Balkans. He placed his stepfather, Drusus, at the head of the legions of the Rhine, commanding him to advance to Elba. After the death of Drusus, Tiberius was transferred command, continuing until 4, but they planned to conquer Bohemia and Moravia in June, was called in to quell a riot Balkans. In the 9th year, the catastrophic defeat in the Teutoburg forest took place. Quintilius Varus, commander of the legions over the Rhine, spent the summer of 9 on the bank of the Wser River.

Considering it was quiet in Germany, he did not take precautions as he headed back to the Rin winter camp. In September, he was attacked by Cherokee in a surprise attack in the Teutoburgica forest near Osnabruck, and his three legions were annihilated. Tiberius went to the border of the Rhine, to prevent the German invasion of Gaul, but Augustus was strongly shocked, taking into mourning for months, leaving his beard and hair grow, hitting his head on the door and shouting: "Quintilius Varus , give me the legions back! "

The german conquest was abandoned and became more cautious Augustus, Tiberius leaving a written record of his own hand, in which it advised to keep the borders of the empire at that time. The overall strategy was to keep the number of military formations to the minimum necessary to ensure peace within the empire and to guard the borders. He reduced the number of legions to 28, most of them being imprisoned at the borders of the empire. After the disaster caused by Varus, eight of the remaining 25 legions were moved along the Rhine, seven along the Danube and four in Syria. Legion control was essential to Augustus. In his capacity as imperator, he swore to his soldiers the faith, not the senate, nor the state. Introduced during military service and soldiers, he established the Praetorian Guard, the elite new cohorts, each 500 people, setting them near Rome, to protect the king.

Last years

The sons of Livia, Drusus and Tiberius, did not consider them equal and not true successors because they belonged to the Claudian line. He married Scribonia's daughter, Julia, and Marcellus. After Marcellus died, Julia was married to Agrippa in 21 BC, from which three boys and two girls were born, and Augustus focused his attention on Caius and Lucius, being adopted by him, and Agrippa held the position of a heir apparently. But Agrippa died in 12 BC, and Augustus felt compelled to marry Julia with Tiberius the following year. But because of disagreements with Julia, Tiberius had self-exiled on the island of Rhodes. Caius continued his political ascension, becoming the consul in Year 1, leaving for Syria, reaffirming the Roman authority in Armenia. Later, Caius and Lucius died. In the 4th year, Augustus adopted Tiberius, with Agrippa Postumus, his last remaining nephew. Tiberius adopted Augustus' grandson, Germanicus. Agrippa Postumus was exiled to Planasia. Livia would have killed the other heirs, one by one. Augustus withdrew from public life, invoking old age to be absent from banquets and senate sessions. He left Rome in the year 14, with the intention to travel with Tiberius to Capri, and from there to Beneventum, whereby Tiberius would lead Pannonia alone. Augustus got sick of diarrhea on the road. He stayed on Capri for four days. He died on the way back to Rome in Nola on August 19, 14, a month before he was 76 years old. On the deathbed, he was joking about the theater he had to play, asking for a mirror to be combed and shaved, and asked his friends to applaud him to show he played his role well . He boasted that he found Rome a brick city and left it like a marble town. His body was transported to Rome, on Mars Field, where he had grandiose funerals. The ash was deposited in the nearby Mausoleum. On two bronze pillars at the entrance of the mausoleum there was an account of Augustus' achievements.

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