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30 BC ~ Octavian was given the title of Imperator, and was used in the Eastern provinces. Imperium suggests unlimited imperium (or power) (Antiquity 2 Interpreting The Past) This was the first of many titles that were to be given to Octavian after his defeat of Mark Antony in 31 BC at the Battle of Actium. It indicates that the provinces thought Octavian was worthy of being honoured, and that the power he possessed at the time should remain. Therefore making it the first factor that led to the rise of Octavian.
28 BC ~ During the struggle between Octavian and Antony, both men had purged the Senate of men who they viewed as posing a threat to them and who might initiate a revolt. These men were often replaced with loyal supporters. In 28
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Therefore, although Dio Cassius was writing approximately two centuries after the events, it would have been possible for him to have quoted direct speeches made by Octavian. Dio Cassius’ context also needs to be taken into account. He was a Senator, consul and proconsul himself, and was therefore, like most ancient Roman historians, an elite male, writing about an elite male, for other elite males. Octavian himself does not clearly state whether or not the transfer took place at one point, or over an extended period of time in a series of steps (as is the belief of some historians), “I transferred the republic from my power to the dominion of the Senate and people of Rome.” (Res Gestae Divi August) caution needs to be taken when assessing this source as it is Octavian’s own account of what happened, and so is obviously extremely biased, aiming to portray himself and his achievements as he wanted them to be remembered. Regardless of the time period the significance of Octavian's actions are clear. He gave up his powers and returned absolute authority in the provinces as well as his control of the legions that were sanctioned there. (Antiquity 2 Interpreting The Past) This was significant as these legions had been the basis of his power. As Eck highlights in his The Age of Augustus Octavian theoretically gave up his authority, but in reality the Senate and people of Rome had little power as they lacked the ability to initiate
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