By David Shotter

Historical past sees Augustus Caesar because the first emperor of Rome, whose procedure of ordered executive supplied an organization and solid foundation for the successive growth and prosperity of the Roman Empire over the subsequent centuries. Hailed as restorer of the Republic' and considered by way of a few as a deity in his personal lifetime, Augustus turned an item of emulation for plenty of of his successors. This pamphlet experiences the facts for you to position Augustus firmly within the context of his personal occasions. It explores the heritage to his excellent upward thrust to strength, his political and imperial reforms, and the production of the Respublica of Augustus and the legacy left to his successors. by means of analyzing the hopes and expectancies of his contemporaries and his personal own traits of statesmanship and unscrupulous ambition, Shotter unearths that the explanations for Augustus' luck lie in part within the complexity of the guy himself, and in part within the particular nature of the days within which he lived.

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Following Philippi, territorial spheres of interest were carved out by the Three. On the face of things, Antony was the chief beneficiary, in that he took control of the east which had always been regarded as a great reservoir of resources. Octavian received Italy; this had the advantage of being the heart of the empire, but it was also the place where great disruption and hardship would have to be inflicted in acquiring the land necessary for settling the veteran legionaries whom the Three wished to demobilise.

Until relatively late in his life, Augustus must personally have canvassed for the candidates he favoured, as Tiberius evidently envisaged doing at the beginning of his reign. It was only the onset of old age that led Augustus, from about AD 8, to prefer a more direct way of indicating his favoured candidates, by a method that evidently heralded the later common practice of formal recommendation (commendatio). His readiness, however, to leave the procedures apparently open must be taken as an indication of the success which attended his use of traditional canvassing practices.

The victory at Actium, and the consequent deaths of Antony and Cleopatra, set the seal on his success. Without doubt or rival he was the man of auctoritas, who guaranteed the establishment of peace and thus the continuation of the Respublica; the unscrupulous, even murderous, behaviour of Octavian the triumvir was no barrier to this. The victor of Actium, however, was not only prestigious; he was wealthy too. Victories brought booty, and to guarantee a continuing source of wealth he succeeded in achieving what in the 60s, 50s and 40s had eluded Pompey, Crassus and Caesar—control of Egypt’s immense wealth; the realm of the Ptolemies never became a regular province, but remained the private property of the princeps and an important source of his wealth.

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