Augustus Emperor of Rome

Essay by nhardingUniversity, Bachelor'sA, March 2004

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Augustus Emperor of Rome

Emperor Augustus of Rome was born with the given name Gaius Octavius on September 23, 63 B.C. Three hundred years after Alexander the Great. He took the name Julius Caesar Octavius after the murder of his great uncle, Julius Caesar. In his will Caesar had adopted Octavius and made him his heir. Octavius would later become know as Augustus meaning "The Good". Although he had strengths and weakness through his shrewd, brilliant, hard political calculation he was able to achieve power in Rome.

In the course of Augustus long and spectacular career, he put and end to the advancing decay of the Republic and established a new basis for Roman government that was to stand for three centuries. This system called "Principate" was far from flawless, but it provided the Roman Empire with a series of rules who presided over the longest period of peace and prosperity that finally united the East and West.

While Augustus was establishing the Republic he pretended to be restoring all of the Republican political traditions. Through religion and re-organization he established his own ruling while running a full-fledged monarchy.

The Roman Republic had no written constitution but was, rather, a system of agreed upon procedures crystallized by tradition. Elected officials carried out administration, and near the end of the second century B.C. the system started to break down. Politicians began to push at the boundaries of acceptable behavior and before long politic had come to be dominated by violence. Augustus' political reinvention was about to take place. With the old system failing miserably the Roman republic finally admitted the need for a "governing leader."

Augustus was to remain in control and over the next three decades his position in the state was to establish a complexion of legal and non-legal...