Augustus Project

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Augustus Propaganda in the Res Gestae Divi Augusti

The image that Gaius Octavius Thurinus, Gaius Julius Caesar, Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, the same man one and all, wanted to portray in his book, the Res Gestae, was one of a patriotic, religious, lawful, chosen by both the senate and the citizens of Rome, modest, generous, independent, benevolent, successful leader, worldly recognised and travelled Roman citizen. Augustus wanted to portray himself as the ideal Roman, one to look up to, one to be a pillar of the old ways and customs. He wanted to be the Pater Patriae, or “Father of the country.” He succeeded, by viewing the writings in his book, indeed portray himself as an ideal Roman for the rest of the world to see.

Patriot
In ‘chapter 1,’ ‘line 2’ of the Res Gestae Augustus portrays himself as a patriot by saying “...per quem rem publicam dominatione factionis oppressam in libertatem vindicavi.” This shows that Augustus wants his readers to believe that he was a defender of the republic from the oppressive domination of the ‘faction’ (Cassius and Brutus.) A technique that Augustus uses in this sentence is one of word order. The word order of “publicam dominatione factionis oppressam in libertatem” reinforces the words “dominatione factionis oppressam,” meaning in this context the oppressing tyrannical faction, and “publicam...libertatem,” meaning public and liberty. This word order emphasizes the oppressing tyrannical faction showing how big a menace Augustus faced to defend the republic. Also in ‘chapter 27,’ ‘line 1’ of the Res Gestae patriotism is evident in the words “Aegyptum imperio populi Romani adicei,” because he was stating that he was increasing Rome’s territory. A technique shown in this sentence is sound play for “populi Romani adicei,” which emphasises the words and makes them more than the sum of their parts. This then shows that Augustus has given more to the Roman people and more to Rome as a whole which is the meaning of...
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