Caesar Augustus the Peaceful Ruler

Even though we may think of the Roman Empire as a cruel and vicious time in history, not all aspects of the era were so. Born Gaius Octavius on Sept. 23rd, 63 B.C., this man was the founder and the first emperor of the Roman Empire after the reign of Julius Caesar. However, it wasn't a victorious overthrowing that achieved him this high honor, but Julius Caesar's own admiration for his great-nephew that awarded him this role. - much to everyone's surprise Augustus was named sole heir in Caesar's will and also his adopted son. Unfortunately, his rise to power came on the heels of Julius Caesar's assassination.

In retaliation to Caesar's murder, Augustus formed an alliance with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, to set up the Second Triumvirate. After Caesar's murderer's were dealt with the Second Triumvirate soon fell apart - Antony committed suicide after his defeat in the Battle of Actium and Lepidus was driven into exile - leaving Augustus as the sole ruler.

Augustus wanted to restore Rome, so he instituted the help of governmental power with executive magistrates and also legislative assemblies; however, he was still considered the final authority and had the ultimate power as a military dictator over the Republic.

Although, Augustus could have done many things with his power he choose to work for the betterment of his people and the government. During his reign, Augustus was able to restore peace and harmony to the Roman Empire. This is largely due to his humble character that saw himself as equal to the other members of his "cabinet." Augustus refused to be called by monarchical titles and referred to himself as "Princeps Civitatis" or First Citizen. As a result of Augustus's peace-minded efforts he was able to start the first phase of the Roman Empire known as the Principate (first among equals). Under this precept, the rulers wouldn't flaunt their power, but were confident knowing when it came down to it, they did have final say.

Could the actions of Augustus have set the tone for today's modern day government? Although this took place hundreds of years-ago, this peace-minded man certainly set the Roman Empire on a new path through history.

 

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