Augustus Ceaser

Essay by MckenzieHargensCollege, UndergraduateB, November 2014

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McKenzie Hargens 10/26/14 The Roman Republic and Augustus Caesar At age 19, following the assassination of Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar became the wealthiest man in Rome and began developing the framework for a republican empire solely under his rule. With his newfound social status, Augustus became head of state and head of tribune, all while maintaining the image of being a "people's person." Through careful manipulation of Roman politics and the Roman people, Augustus was able to successfully disguise a military monarchy. Augustus created a façade of someone who was equal with the people. "I exceeded all in influence, but I had no greater power than others … ." He actively attempted to show strong checks and balances by promoting great authority with equal power (Res Gestae, 34). One of the reasons he was able to so easily disguise his monarchy was how he interacted with the people of his empire. At his own expense, with money left to him by Julius Cesar, he often supplied food at the height of food shortages as well as donated property from conquered enemies to the men of his legions. He followed the Roman belief of Familia and patron client relationships, where the citizens became his clients at his own expense in exchange for their loyalty. He disguised his absolute power with what appeared to be good deeds, done for the benefit of the people of the Roman Empire. Augustus was careful to continually show the people of Rome he was not interested in sole power and wished to promote a republic (Res Gestae, 5). "When the dictatorship was offered to me both in my presence and in my absence … I did not accept it." But in this republic, Augustus was both head of state and head of tribune, giving him...