Approach to the Politics | Julius Caesar and Augustus
Julius Caesar was born in July BC and named Gaius Julius Caesar was the mother of Octavian, who became Augustus, Rome's first emperor. 8. Caesar's uncle by marriage, Gaius Marius, is one of the most important figures in Roman history Find out more with this audio guide on ddttrh.info William Shakespeare based Julius Caesar on real events. A Roman leader son and heir. One minor difference is that in the play Augustus is called Octavius. 1 Julius Caesar - The Man Who Ended the Republic watching helpless animals abused in all sorts of hideous ways, laughing and .. The political marriage of Julia and Pompey had meant to cement the ties between the two powerful men.
This showed a quick and manipulative young mind. At sixteen he was appointed a priest pontifexand it is thought that Caesar had some hand in the appointment. He also had him appointed praefectus urbi during the celebration of Feriae Lainae which gave him some administrative experience in keeping the plebs from getting too uppity, and maintaining public order in the absence of the magistrates during the celebration.
Why Augustus Should Be Remembered Alongside Julius Caesar
During this period Octavius was continuing his education and quietly observing the political scene, and becoming knowledgeable in the realities of Roman society. It was also considered vitally important that youths gain some military experience, so Julius Caesar proposed taking him on his expedition to Africa to finish-off the Pompeians.
Octavius was often plagued by ill health, and on this occasion, Atia protested and Caesar gave way so as not to endanger his nephew. Illnesses of unknown causes continued throughout his life and defy explanation. Considering his delicate health, his subsequent career and rise to power is all the more remarkable. There is no doubt that Octavius was being put on the fast track to success.
It is thought that Caesar discussed matters of politics and policies with his nephew. This favor was to pay handsome dividends later. Others approached him to intercede on their behalf, but he was discreet enough not to push his luck too far with Caesar in this regard.
One can only imagine the trauma of this loss to the young Octavius who was only eighteen; he had lost his surrogate father and mentor. He set out for Italy with Agrippa and some friends and landed at Brundisium where he heard that Julius Caesar had made him his heir.
Against the advice of his ever cautious stepfather and others, he decided to take up the perilous inheritance. Understandably, Marcus Antonius Mark Antony considered himself to be the rightful heir to Julius Caesar ; he was senior in years and military experience to the youthful Octavius, to whom he was contemptuous.
Antonius was an excellent general and field commander and with his charismatic personality had a good relationship with his men.
However, he was a half educated profligate, and his good qualities were nullified by some of his vices, among them the drinking and womanizing which had made him popular with his men. Julius Caesar could see in Octavius more intrinsically steadfast qualities of character coupled with a quiet self-controlled but nevertheless ruthless ambition to succeed. Moreover he was well educated and more suited to administer the empire that Caesar hoped would exist after the various war-lording factions had ceased to exist.
He therefore chose to make Octavius his heir and adopted son. The choice was the right one and profoundly affected the future of the Roman world. The political situation at this time had become tense; the assassination of Caesar had destabilized the political scene; the assassins had left Rome, having been fobbed off by the senate with the job assuring a steady corn supply, a job they disdained, instead, they assembled armies in the East and Macedonia.
Also, Sextus Pompeius was waiting in the wings ready to stir things up at the first opportunity. Octavius now proceeded to assert himself against the contemptuous attitude of Antonius.
His first step was to celebrate the Games of Victory of Caesar to win public support. He made overtures to the Republican Party which that were well received, and two legions went over to him. On the initiative of Cicero, the senate granted him the status of senator, and enlisted his support against Antonius. Octavius, with his own legions, accompanied two consuls and their troops on the campaign against Antonius who was duly defeated at Mutina, and forced to retreat into Gaul.
The two consuls bit the dust during this campaign; one died instantly and the other of his wounds. Octavius asked the senate for their legions, but was refused. The senate proposed handing them over to Decimus Brutus. This of course was anathema to Octavius, who sensed that he had been used and was now being sidelined.
He promptly took matters into his own hands by taking command of the troops. The senate became alarmed at this sudden acquisition of power, especially when he crossed the Rubicon, and marched upon Rome, nearly frightening the senators out of their togas, especially those connected to the conspirators.
Laughably, the Senate's final effort was to import three legions from Africa to protect the city. These legions promptly went over to Octavius when they saw the force they were up against which possibly originated the saying "if you can't beat them, join them". He entered the city and demanded a consulship which the Senate granted. From the treasury he paid the bounties promised to his troops.
The murderers of Caesar were put on trial in absentia and outlawed. A legal recognition of his inheritance was now granted and his name by Roman custom was now, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, a name which he did not actually use. To his troops he was known as Caesar, but he was generally known as Octavian from then onwards.
Octavian could see that in order to avoid a civil war, it was necessary to reach some accommodation with Antonius. A meeting was arranged by Lepidus who had been a supporter of Julius Caesar. The meeting took place on an island in a tributary of the river Po. After shaking each other warmly by the throat, Antonius, Octavian and Lepidus sat down and carved up the empire between them, mafia fashion. Thus the union of the Caesarians was formed known as the Second Triumvirate and was officially allocated a five year appointment as triumvirs for the constitution of the state.
In the course of the meeting, a proscription list of their enemies was drawn up. They were not going to repeat Caesar 's mistake of clemency. Each of the three had his own enemies and there was some overlap. At Antonius' insistence, Cicero was included. It would have made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Stalin used to say "eliminate the man, eliminate the problem". The Triumvirate could have taught Stalin a thing or two; not only did they eliminate the man, they killed his wife, children, family members, plus any personal infrastructure such as agents, bankers etc.
It was a preemptive surgical strike against any who had slightest possibility of plotting against them in the future. Rome was sealed off to prevent escape, and the killing proceeded. As can be imagined, there were acts of heroism and acts of cowardice; some slaves tried to protect their masters, others betrayed them.
Some committed suicide to avoid being subjected to such Roman niceties as torture or crucifixion. Some two thousand equites and three hundred senators were slaughtered — terminally laid off one could say.
Among the victims was the orator Cicero who met his end bravely. His severed head was brought to Antonius' charming wife, Fulvia who further mutilated it, after which it was nailed, together with his hands to the Rostra in the forum where he had made his speeches. Cicero the great orator Was vocal and exceedingly clever But with a sword at his neck and A nail through his head His tongue was silenced for ever After this episode, Antonius and Octavian crossed into Macedonia to settle their score with Brutus and the lean-and-hungry-looking Cassius who were defeated and killed at Phillipi.
Barbatius Pollio moneyer, Ephesus mint. Octavian went back to Italy. The conflict became known as the Perusine war culminating in the terrible siege of Perusia in 41 BCE. However, not long after, in 40 BCE, he reached an agreement with Antonius which jettisoned Sextus, encouraging Octavian to dump Scribonia, which he did by divorcing her on the very day she gave birth to their daughter Julia.
He then forged a link with the aristocracy, by marrying the young and beautiful Livia Drusilla, who had married very young and had two sons from her previous marriage, one of whom was Tiberius. They remained life-long partners despite a few infidelities on his part.
Approach to the Politics
Octavian now had to deal with Sextus in Sicily. After some serious reverses, Octavian called upon Agrippa to take supreme command realizing that his own expertise was civilian not military. Sextus Pompeius fled to Asia where he was later hunted down and killed by Antonius, an action which did not enhance his reputation with some Romans.
At the same time, Lepidus, probably piqued by having been fobbed off with Africa, saw fit to challenge Octavian militarily with his twenty two legions and demanded Sicily for himself, but his troops were not willing to shed more blood on his behalf and preferred Octavian. Lepidus was disarmed, stripped of his triumvirate powers, and forced into permanent retirement, but retained his post as pontifex maximus.
In the following years, Octavian busied himself founding colonies for his loyal ex-soldiers and making the Northeast borders safer.History vs. Augustus - Peta Greenfield & Alex Gendler
Assisted by Agrippa, Octavian spent massive sums on the architectural adornment of Rome. Over the years, Octavian had engendered popular goodwill, based not only on his name, but on a solid reputation for achievement.
For his part Antonius had plenty to do; the northern marches of Macedonia had to be secured, and also, the Parthians never ceased to threaten Asia Minor. All this needed money, and he became increasingly dependent upon the wealth of Egypt through Cleopatra. In 37 BCE, he packed a pregnant Octavia off back to Italy, and shortly afterwards publicly acknowledged his twin children by Cleopatra who was dreaming of recreating the great empire of her Ptolemaic ancestors.
In the Autumn of 34 Antonius celebrated the triumph for his Armenian campaign in Alexandria which was an insult to Rome. Cleopatra sat on a high golden throne and assumed the place of Jupiter Optimus Maximus to receive the gift of prisoners.
These were reckless and unwise actions on the part of Antonius who was becoming his own worst enemy. The political equilibrium that had existed under the triumvirate was beginning to unravel, and a power struggle between Antonius and Octavian was almost inevitable. The rift between Octavian and Antonius was growing wider, and the conflict was about to begin.
The triumvirate had officially come to an end in 32 BCE. Antonius had made a serious political blunder by teaming up with Cleopatra; she was queen of a people who the Romans considered inferior and whom they neither liked nor trusted.
Octavian was able to exploit this to the full, which he did by conducting a virulent propaganda war against Antonius and Cleopatra.
Military operations continued in many frontier areas. In 25 bce recalcitrant Alpine tribes were reduced, and Galatia central Asia Minor was annexed. Mauretaniaon the other hand, was transferred from Roman provincial status to that of a client kingdom, for such dependent monarchiesas in the later republic, bore a considerable part of the burden of imperial defense.
Augustus himself visited Gaul and directed part of a campaign in Spain until his health gave out; in 23 bce he fell ill again and seemed on the point of death. Feeling, amid reports of conspiraciesthat new constitutional steps were necessary, he proceeded to terminate his series of consulships in favour of a power imperium majus that was separated altogether from office and its practical inconveniences. He was also awarded the power of a tribune tribunicia potestas for life.
Why Augustus Should Be Remembered Alongside Julius Caesar | Yale University Press Blog
Earlier he had accepted certain privileges of a tribune. The full power he now assumed carried with it practical advantages, notably the right to convene the Senate. This was, perhaps, needed all the more because Augustus himself—while admittedly supporting the interests of poorer people by a great extension of the right of judicial appeal—tended to back the established classes as the keystone of his system. Meanwhile Augustus himself traveled in SicilyGreeceand Asia 22— In 19 bce Agrippa completed the subjugation of Spain.
In 17 there were resplendent celebrations of ancient ritual, known as the Secular Gamesto purify the Roman people of their past sins and provide full religious inauguration of the new age. Although the principate was not an office which could be automatically handed on, Augustus seemed to be indicating his views regarding his ultimate successor when he adopted the two sons of his daughter Julia, boys aged three and one, who were henceforward known as Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar.
Proceeding across the Alpsthey annexed Noricum and Raetiacomprising large parts of what are now SwitzerlandAustriaand Bavariaand extended the imperial frontier from Italy to the upper Danube 16—15 bce.
It was probably during these years that an executive, or drafting, committee consilium of the Senate was established in order to help Augustus to prepare senatorial business. His administrative burden was also lightened by the expansion of his own staff knights, who could also now rise to a number of key posts, and freedmen to form the beginnings of a civil servicewhich had never existed before but was destined to become an essential feature of the imperial system.
Gradually, too, a completely reformed administrative structure of RomeItalyand the whole empire was evolved. The financial system that made this possible was evidently far more effective than anything the empire had ever seen until then. The system was based on the central treasury aerariumbut the details of its relationship with the treasuries of the provincesand particularly the provincia of Augustus, are still imperfectly understood, partly because, although the emperor proudly recorded his gifts to the central treasury, he did not report what funds passed in the opposite direction.
The taxation providing these resources apparently included two main direct taxes: There were also indirect taxes, which as in the past were farmed out to contractors because their yield was unpredictable and the embryonic civil service lacked the resources to handle them. The republican customs dues continued; but the rates were low enough not to hamper trade, which, in the peaceful conditions created by Augustus, flourished in wholly unprecedented fashion.
Industries did not exist on a very large scale, but commerce was greatly stimulated by a sweeping reform and expansion of the Roman coinage. Gold and silver pieces, their designs reflecting many facets of imperial publicity, were issued in great quantities at a number of widely distributed mints. The Rome mint was reopened for this purpose about 20 bce.
The absence of bronze token coinage, which had been sparse for many decades, was remedied by the creation of abundant mintages in yellow orichalcum and red copper. In the west the principal mint for these pieces, besides Rome, was Lugdunum Lyonwhose coins displayed a view of the Altar of Rome and Augustus that formed a model for other provincial capitals. The Roman citizen colonies of the west, many of them established by Augustus to settle his veterans, supplemented this output by their own local coinages, and in the east, particularly Asia Minor and Syria, numerous Greek cities were also allowed to issue small change.
Expansion of the empire The death in 12 bce of Lepidus enabled Augustus finally to succeed him as the official head of the Roman religionthe chief priest pontifex maximus. In the same year, Agrippa, too, died. Augustus compelled his widow, Julia, to marry Tiberius against both their wishes. During the next three years, however, Tiberius was away in the field, reducing Pannonia up to the middle Danubewhile his brother Drusus crossed the Rhine frontier and invaded Germany as far as the Elbe, where he died in 9 bce.
In the following year, Augustus lost another of his intimatesMaecenaswho had been the adviser of his early days and was an outstanding patron of letters. Roman EmpireThe extent of the Roman Empire in ce. But shortly afterward he went into retirement on the island of Rhodes.
Gaius was sent to the east and Lucius to the west. Both, however, soon died. Tiberius returned home in 2, and in 4 Augustus adopted him as his son, who in turn was required to adopt Germanicusthe son of his brother Drusus.
An invasion of Bohemia was planned and had already been launched from two directions when news came in 6 that Pannonia and Illyricum had revolted.
It took three years for the rebellion to be put down; and this had only just been completed when Arminius raised the Germans against their Roman governor Varus and destroyed him and his three legions.
As Augustus could not readily replace the troops, the annexation of western Germany and Bohemia was postponed indefinitely; Tiberius and Germanicus were sent to consolidate the Rhine frontier.
Although Augustus was now feeling his age, these years in association with Tiberius were marked by administrative innovations: When, in the same year, the powers of Augustus were renewed for 10 years—such renewals had been granted at intervals throughout the reign—Tiberius was made his equal in every constitutional respect.
The best-preserved copy of the latter document is on the walls of the Temple of Rome and Augustus at AnkaraTurkey the Monumentum Ancyranum. In 14 ce Tiberius was due to leave for Illyricum but was recalled by the news that Augustus was gravely ill.
He died on August 19, and on September 17 the Senate enrolled him among the gods of the Roman state. Agrippa Postumuswho had been named his coheir but was later banished, was put to death.
The order to kill him may already have been given by Augustus, but this is not certain. AtilimGunesBaydin Personality and achievement Augustus was one of the great administrative geniuses of history.
The gigantic work of reorganization that he carried out in every field of Roman life and throughout the entire empire not only transformed the decaying republic into a new, monarchic regime with many centuries of life ahead of it but also created a durable Roman peacebased on easy communications and flourishing trade.
Julius and Augustus
It was this Pax Romana that ensured the survival and eventual transmission of the classical heritage, Greek and Roman alike, and provided the means for the diffusion of Judaism and Christianity. Although his regime was an autocracy, Augustus, being a tactful and imaginative master of propaganda of many kinds, knew how to cloak that autocracy in traditionalist forms that would satisfy a war-worn generation—perhaps, most of all, the upper bourgeoisie immediately below the leading nobility, since it was they who benefited from the new order more than anyone.
He was also able to win the approbationthrough the patronage of Maecenasof some of the greatest writers the world has ever known, including VirgilHoraceand Livy. AugustusAugustus, statue in Rome. This was in contrast to the views of Antony and Cleopatra, who had envisaged some sort of Greco-Roman partnership such as began to prevail only three or four centuries later. These were also partly responsible for his patriotic, antiquarian attachment to the ancient religion and for his puritanical social policy.