Emperor Augustus

Augustus – Rome’s First Emperor

Early Life

He was born ‘Gaius Octavius’ on 23 September 63BC. He was the son of Julius Caesar’s sister.

He was a well-educated and cultured man who found pleasure in literature and poetry.

Following the death of Julius Caesar, Octavian as he was known to his family was named in Caesar’s will as his adopted son and rightful heir.

At this time, Cassius and Brutus now ruled Rome, but they fled after Marc Antony rallied the mob against them. Antony then ruled, but not officially.

Octavian and Antony formed an alliance and ruled Rome and it’s territories together with Lepidus.

These territories were split into three, and they ruled as a Triumvirate.

Octavian ruled Rome
Marc Antony ruled Egypt
Lepidus ruled Africa

This alliance was to fall apart and Octavian fought Marc Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31BC.

Following Octavian’s victory, Marc Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide.

Octavian returned to Rome and became First Citizen (princips)

Emperor 27BC – 14AD

He became Emperor in 27BC and the senate named him Augustus.

He therefore became the First Emperor of Rome.

During his time as Emperor, he arranged for much of the city to be rebuilt with new buildings, roads and aqueducts.

This was a time of great peace in Rome (Pax Romana).

He became Emperor at age 36, although he had already ruled for some time, and he ruled until his death at age 77. It is believed that his wife Livia may have been involved in his death.

On his deathbed he stated ‘I inherited a city of clay and turned it into marble’.

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