Octavian Augustus (63 BC–14 AD)

Octavian Augustus

63 BC On September 23rd, Octavian was born, that would change Rome’s history; he was the son of Octavius and of Caius Julius Caesar’s sister’s, Atia. His father died when Octavian was only four years old. He got a good education and his first public appearance happened when his grandmother, Julia, died and he spoke the funeral speech.

46 BC He took part in Caesar triumph and got military honours. During this time, he also joined Patrician Order.

45 BC He followed Caesar to Spain and to fight against Pompey’s hutment at Munda and impressed Caesar by his risky actions.

44 BC When Caesar was killed, Octavian was to Apollonia (Ilyricum) preparing to join the campaign against the parts. The officers advised him to flee with his army in Macedonia, but the family thought that it was better to go back to Rome as a simple citizen.

By a great courage he returned to Italy, at Brundisium. Here he found out that Caesar had adopted him, even the family was desperate because saw him as the targeted attacks of the enemies of late leader. He proved again a huge courage when he was against the family’s desire to give up to adoption and took the name of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian. A big part of the troops in Brundisium supported him.

44 BC In the end of April he came back to Rome and asked for a meeting to Marcus Antonius, who had been ignoring him until that moment. It was a failure; Marcus Antonius blocked the access to any position. Octavian was glad because of Cicero’s help, a Marcus Antonius’ enemy, but considered the army a safer way to value his heritage so he came from Mutina to Rome with eight legions.

43 BC One year later he became a consul and tried to make peace with Marcus Antonius, who wanted to take over Caesar’s legacy. They met on an island on a river near Bononia and established a politic agreement based on the model of the first triumvirate between Julius Caesar, Crassius and Pompey. This time the agreement was legal because of the new law, Tice, in November 27th, 43 BC. The second triumvirate was available until 31st of December 38 BC and Octavian got Sardinia, Sicilia and Africa, Marcus Antonius received Gallia Cisalpine and Transalpine and Lepidus got Spain and Gallia Narbonensis. Immediately, the three men proceeded to punish the guilty people of Caesar’s murder and reintroduced the proscriptions, also by financial reasons.

41 BC Marcus Antonius’ brother, Lucius declared war to him but he lost. Next year, Marcus Antonius besieged Brundisium but an arrangement was possible, the so-called “Pact of Brundisium”: Gallia was given to Octavian and Marcus Antonius married to Octavian’s sister, Octavia (his wife, Fulvia, had just died).

37 BC The Triumvirate had been renewed and then Octavian was concerned Sextus’ defeat, son of Pompey.

30 BC Marcus Antonius was defeated due to war declaration made against him by Octavian. At that moment the power was his but he was skilful in order not to have his adoptive father’s fate.

27 BC On January 13th, he shocked the Senate declaring that he would retire to his private life. Of course that the Senators asked him to remain but Octavian accepted after a false hesitation. He took the control over Spain, Gallia, Cyprus and Egypt, for ten years and on the 16th of January 27 BC he became Augustus.

2 AD Among many other important titles in Rome, he was given that of “pater patriae”. Octavian had also failures during the conflicts against Germans, one of Lallius, another of Varus. According to historian Suetonius, within his work “the Lieves of the Twelve Caesars”, Lallius’ defeat was rather ethical, but that of Varus was almost destructive for the state. Three legions with their officers and commanders and also auxiliary troops were butchered. It is said that Octavian let his beard and hair to grow for some months and he usually hit his head on a door shouting: “Quintilus Varus, give me back the legions!”.

14 AD On August 19th, Octavian died at Nola and was buried with great pomp in his mausoleum in Rome. He was agreed to the Roman pantheon and was called Divus Augustus. “Roman Peace”, pax Romana, had been established.

His age, which became the Golden Age for Rome, took over his name. He strengthened the empire because he was concerned of army reorganization, of administration and enlarged the borders and supported the culture. Virgil, Horace and Ovid were Octavian Augustus’ contemporaries.

 

 

Bibliography:

    • ro.biography.name

 

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