The Assassination of Julius Caesar

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On the Ides of March one of the most famous assassinations took place; the assassination of the leader of the Roman republic, Julius Caesar. The death of Julius Caesar allowed Gaius Julius Octavius who would later be given the title Augustus by the senate, to enter the political realm of Rome by accepting his inherited power. But before Augustus could gain any control in Rome he had to defeat his opposition, Mark Antony who also sought to gain control of Rome at the time. Augustus managed to defeat Antony during the Final War of the Roman Republic. As the wars between potential leaders continued the people of Rome grew tired of the bloodshed and political uncertainty, so they began to yearn for some stability in Rome. The lust for political steadiness from the citizens and senate of Rome allowed Augustus to eventually force himself into power and become known as the first Emperor of Rome. Augustus was aware that the residents of Rome had just experienced the fall of many political figures and were skeptical and wary of his rule so he needed to legitimize his position and to do so he used portraiture. He employed art as a way portray his power and to push political messages such as the message of peace and old Roman traditions in order to appease the people, while solidifying his position as ruler.

Once emperor, Augustus used structures, statues and other forms of artwork to convey himself as powerful. Similar to today’s leaders, emperors were not frequently seen by the
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