Augustus, The Greatest Ruler of Rome

Topics: Roman Empire, Julius Caesar, Augustus Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: December 5, 2013
Ethics Portfolio: Final Essay Prompt
Please write a 750-900 word essay that responds to the following: “Was Octavian/Augustus’s rise to power ethically questionable? If so, how? Was it justified?” In analyzing justifications, be sure to take account not just of the immediate historical context, but also what you have learned about Roman history before and after Augustus’s rule.

Grading: In grading your final essay, we will be looking for your ability to identify and explain ethically questionable actions; to formulate informed, to the point, and sophisticated arguments about the justifications (or lack thereof) for that action that take account of historical facts; and to demonstrate an ability to apply what you have learned about Roman history to a specific situation.

Note: Ethics Portfolios are due no later than 3 pm in Dr. Ebbeler’s office (WAG 14CA) on 22 November 2013. No portfolios will be accepted late, for any reason. We will accept portfolios early.
Your final ethics portfolio should include: Worksheets 1a, 1b; 2a, 2b, 2c; 3a, 3b, 3c; 4a, 4b + Final essay. You may and are encouraged to revise any worksheet. Be sure to include the original worksheet with Luke’s comments as well as the revised version. Please hand in the portfolio in a soft folder like this:

Gaius Octavius, later renamed Augustus, was one of the greatest rulers of Rome. He was the founder of the Roman Empire and became its first Emperor. Despite the great contributions and peace he brought to Rome, his climb up the ladder for power was paved with destruction and violence. Octavian was ruthless in killing anyone he supposed was a threat to his power. He had no regard for any Roman laws and carried out his actions with the intention of building his own glory. It is easy to establish that Octavian’s rise to power was filled with unethical decisions. Before dying, Caesar adopted his grandnephew Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in his will, making him Caesar’s principal heir. Octavian...
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