The Reign of Octavian

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Octavian, the sole heir and successor of Julius Caesar overcame significant impediments in his rise to becoming Rome’s first emperor. Aged only nineteen at the time of Caesars assassination in March 44BC Octavian’s intelligence and fortitude proved successful over the barriers of youth, inexperience and the political opposition that he faced. Octavian went on to have one of the most famous political careers of all time to defeat the Senate, Marc Antony, and gain sole control over the Roman Empire.

Before Caesars assassination Caesar and Octavian had built a powerful relationship that proved instrumental in Octavian’s career. Octavian “learned a great deal about provincial administration, warfare and political manipulation while a part
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Antony’s actions after Caesars death solidified his expectations of inheriting power as he moved to take control of Caesars assets, and publically read his will and he thought himself to be the strongest contender to carry on Caesars political legacy.

To assert political power in the Roman Empire Octavian’s first action was to gain loyalty among the Roman people and build his reputation. In Illyricum at the time of Caesars assassination he took with him a small group of friends that went to the south of Italy to visit Caesars allies and clients. Whilst there he assessed the position in Rome and the best course of action he could take to gain control. Once in Rome he concentrated on commemorating Caesars death and seeking vengeance against his assassins which was in contrast with Antony’s views. Octavian then began to build a relationship with the Roman mob, they were one of Caesars main power bases and very influential in the Roman Empire. To build a positive relationship he first paid the legacies that were left to the people of Rome by Caesar. As the processing of Caesars will was held up and Antony refused to return Caesars money Octavian pad the people out of his own pocket. This action gained loyalty and began to pave the way for a constructive relationship between Octavian and the Roman people.

The next action that Octavian took was to undermine his political opponents, he wanted to achieve a high political position in Rome and eliminate Marc Antony. To do
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