Augustus Caesar and His Historical Legacy

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Z. Alexander
History 101
25 July 2012
Augustus Caesar and His Historical Legacy
Augustus Caesar was a highly respected ruler of the Roman Empire. Augustus rose to his power after his uncle, Julius Caesar, was killed. He was forced to clean up the mess Julius had left after his assassination. The Roman Republic was shattered after all the fighting that took place to decipher the future leader of Rome. The problems that occurred were not from outside threats, it was inside the city where the disruption began and tore the city apart. Augustus Caesar believed that only a strong monarchy could bring the city back up on its feet. He ruled with republican views because he knew the ruling class would support him, and that was what he needed. Later on once he became a legitimate ruler of Rome he took the name princeps, which meant first citizen, rather than dictator or king. This made him seem as if he was not as powerful and overbearing as past rulers of the Roman Empire. Augustus Caesar had a very positive historical legacy. He did many things for the public to keep them safe and also helped the impoverished people while rewarding those who were successful. Caesar improved every aspect of Rome from the law, to the people, to taxes. He was an all-around gratuitous ruler. Augustus Caesar was a strong ruler from the beginning of his reign to the end, his techniques for ruling were highly successful, and he left behind a very positive legacy.

Augustus Caesar was Julius Caesar’s grandnephew. Once Julius Caesar was assassinated he left the Roman Republic to be handed down to Augustus, Octavian at the time, to rule. He later gained the name Augustus once he became ruler of the Roman Empire. His ruling exemplified the transition of Rome from a republic to an empire. He ruled from 31 B.C. to A.D. 14 (SPARKNOTES). This was a time of great prosperity and expansion for Rome.

Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and Cassius. In order to keep the Roman Republic in the family, Augustus, then Octavian, fought against Mark Antony, Cassius, Brutus, and Lepidus (Perry86). Octavian fought out all the others and became master of Rome. Caesar won because he was the superior general overall and because his army was better, faster, and had the bases for survival (SPARKNOTES). He was the first Roman emperor (Perry 86). From the very beginning of his reign, Octavian had his hands full because the entire Roman society was crushed to ruins from the effects of all the battles fought for leader of Rome. Every aspect of a Roman society had fallen to pieces, and it was Octavian’s job to rebuild it. Caesar knew only a strong republican government could being the empire back together, he also knew the Roman ruling class would be in high support of this and he needed their approval. Octavian held absolute power without breaking the republican past that Rome was known for (Perry 86). He inconspicuously hid his absolute power by considering himself part of the Senate which was weakened by the loss of many others due to the battles fought after Julius Caesar’s death. Octavian cleverly offered to give up his reign because he knew the Senate would not allow it. They demanded that he should continue to rule the state. Now Octavian was able to be an authentic ruler of Rome and not a uncontrolled dictator, which was very disliked by the Roman Empire. Octavian decided to keep the presence of a traditional republican government and refused to be called king or dictator like Julius Caesar did. This showed the people that he was not like Julius and that he was trustable. He would be referred to as principate (Perry87). The Senate also dubbed him the name Augustus (Perry 87). This signified the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.

Augustus Caesar was a very controversial ruler, but at the same time he was also a prodigious ruler. He terminated the aristocratic form of politics and unveiled the one-man ruler (Perry 87). Although...
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