Augustus Essay

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AUGUSTUS
Augustus was born in Rome on September 23, 63 B.C. He was originally named Gaius Octavianus, but when his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, was murdered, he took his name. Augustus’ real father died when his son was only four. Augustus was adopted in Julius Caesar’s will and was left to be his heir at the age of eighteen. Caesar was very fond of his grand-nephew and he sent him to the College of Pontifices at the age of sixteen. When Caesar was assassinated, Augustus was in Illyria, where he was sent to serve. It was only when he returned to Italy that he learned he was his great-uncle’s heir.
     Caesar’s death brought turmoil to into Rome. Augustus was determined to avenge his adopted father’s death and
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Augustus took over Italy and the West, while Antony ruled the East. Lepidus was given Africa. Augustus and Antony had their differences when assigning the ruler of Italy, but they were over come when Augustus gave Antony his sister in marriage. Augustus stripped Lepidus of his power when Antony was away in the east fighting the Parthians. The Triumvirate was falling apart. Antony started neglecting his provinces and spent time in sent his wife back to Rome and married the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. Cleopatra had been installed as queen by Caesar. She had a son with Caesar named Caesarion and recognized him as her coruler. This undercut Augustus’ position as Caesar’s only son and the war was inevitable. Augustus defeated Antony and Cleopatra’s forces in a naval battle and the following year, the two committed suicide. Caesarion was murdered. Augustus returned to Rome and at the age of 34, he was “the sole master of the Roman world”. (Augustus, 1996)
In 27 B.C., the Roman Senate gave Augustus his name. The name Augustus means “consecrated” or “holy”, implying that Augustus was more than a man, but not quite a god. The Senate gave him other great names and titles that had been held by other officials in the Republic. They also gave him the legal power to rule Rome's religious, civil and military affairs, with the Senate as an advisory body, effectively making him Emperor. After the death of Lepidus, he gained even more power with the title of Pontifex

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