Global History 108
25 April, 2015
Caesar Augustus became the first emperor of the Roman Empire after his great-uncle and adopted son after Julius Caesar passed away. When Julius was murdered, Augustus discovered that he was Julius's heir to the throne he was forced to battle the armies of both Cleopatra Vii and Marc Anthony. Who had their own plans for power following the death of Julius. Their alliance disintegrated and before Anthony and Cleopatra could thought of striking Rome, Augustus attacked with full forced to gain order and leadership in Rome. The battle of Actium in 31BC destroyed three quarters of the Egyptians fleet and led to both Cleopatra and Anthony killing them. Spartacus came from the distant land of Trace, the area of the extreme northeastern part of the Modern day Greece, Southern Bulgaria, and the small part of Turkey west to the Basporus. (Mellor, 2006) Spartacus was a gladiator who led a slave revolt with an army numbering in the tens of thousands. He defeated Roman forced over half a dozen times, marching his people up and down the Italian peninsula until he was killed in battle. Spartacus was captured and brought to Rome and sold as a slave to a man name "VAtia", who owned a gladiator school in Capua just about 120 miles Southeast of Rome. (Shaw, 2007) Augustus was undoubtedly one of the most talented, energetic and skillful leaders that the world has ever known. His work of reorganization and rehabilitation that he undertook in every division of his vast empire created a new Roman peace with matchless wealth. From his birth, Augustus has already had leadership skills. When he was little he was cruel but became gentle later on. It’s said that this might have happened because his position became more protected, so the need for cruelty lessened. Even though he was kind and gentle, he was ruthless when necessary, just like any good leader. He took in any criticism, had a good sense of humor, and was a great host to his guest. Augustus’s leadership first started to show when he got furious at Caesar for adopting him in his will. Augustus was ready to avenge Caesar’s murder. Augustus returned to Rome and found power under Mark Antony and Aemilius Lepidus; these two wanted to find a meeting ground but Augustus wanted no parts of this. Augustus wanted to show his leadership by succeeding in winning over Caear’s supports and legions. By using the tactics that he learned from Julius Caesar, he did win the genuine popular by hosting games, rehabilitating new buildings, and relating to the local empire. Augustus completely reorganized strengthened his army and posted away from Italy into the provinces. He also remodeled the civil service and substantially rebuilt some parts of Rome, including 82 temples. Although Julius Caesar was the better military leader; he overestimated his power and became irresponsible with controlling it. Augustus did learned from Julius’s mistakes and with that able to seize control by occupying political offices that together gave him absolute power. Although at this point Augustus had totally control over Rome, to the people they only saw that he restored the Empire after the Civil War. Augustus continued to restructure the Empire and watched it develop under his control. Under Augustus, he supported different types of Art which lead to the development of diverse architecture, literature, and historical stores. Because Augustus was more open-minded, it lead to the expansion of the Roman Empire and made them known for their Art. Augustus gave his people freedom that Caesar did not. One of the major assets that Augustus had was this military. He may not have had the best military skills but he was very successful. Under Augustus, the Roman army conquered more lands than any of his predecessors or successors. When the struggle against Antony and Cleopatra ended, Augustus found himself commander of some 60-70 legions and 900 warships. Augustus power worked from the fact that he controlled a enormous army and therefore his rule was determined by his relationship with the military. Augustus wanted to work on the strength of the army by limiting the number of soldiers, opening up career promotions within the organization, and grant veterans pensions in terms of money or property. With these ideas, his army grew very loyal to him. For getting new members, he recruited non-citizens from the provinces into supporting units and grouped together local powers to create their own armies. With Augustus military ideas, he was granted peace and stability of this Empire. (Mellor, 2006) Another asset that Augustus controlled was the political field. He reduced the number of Senators from 1000 to 800 and eventually to a mere 600 but, on the other hand, he acknowledged the Senates self-government in law. Augustus did this because he was able to maintain that the Repbulic is still in effect and also still be incontrol of the Senate. He also implemented different reforms in the civil and fiscal administration of the Roman Empire. All these combined provided Rome with a stable political environment, a working bureaucratic system and replenish public funds. From these two leaders, Spartacus had followers that he influenced while he was captured as a slave. He kept them disciples and also thought them military tactics to fight back when they really needed to and without know their all of these thing the Romans underestimated these gladiator-slaves. "Spartacus captured the Roman general'a camp that led to the death of Cossinius (a commander who has been dispatched with a large forced) who attempted to destroy Spartacus and his followers. Spartacus became a figure of fame and fear. He later led his army towards the Alp believing that once they crossed the mountains, he thought that it would be the best, indeed the necessary course of action for his men to disperse to their own homeland of Trace and Gaul. (Shaw, 2007) Augustus on the other hand brought organization, order and stability to the Roman World. His establishment of a professional army ensured that in surjection were put down quickly. He changes the way governors were appointed in the provinces, which reduced greed and extortion. He launched a major building program in Rome and paid for many projects from his own personal wealth. He also encouraged art, literature, and philosophy as a leader. (Mellor, 2006) One of Spartacus’s assets was his military. Spartacus kept his followers disciplined and was also familiar with military tactics. Romans underestimated these gladiator-slaves. After discipline was lost among Spartacus' followers and the Roman started taken the rebellion serious that it was quelled. After the war with Spartacus was won, the Romans were certainly more aware of the danger of large groups of slaves could pose and gladiators in training barracks decreased. The conditions of slaves would become a little better, but this was certainly not for all slaves. One of the main differences between Spartacus’s and Augustus’s army, was that Spartacus his followers had nothing to lose-a quick death in battle was preferable to being recaptured. (Shaw, 2007) In conclusion Augustus ambition was more than to gain and hold power, it was to create an effective government that would ensure Rome's permanent dominance over the Mediterranean World. Hence his desire for an Augustan peace to satisfy the millions of Romans exhausted by the confiscations, proscriptions, destruction and deprivation of decade of the civil war. Spartacus however, was a Thracian whom was born among a pastoral nomadic people. He not only possessed great spirit and bodily strength, he was more intelligent and nobler than his fate and he was more Greek than his background indicated.
Mellor, R. (2006). Augustus and the Creation of the Roman Emprie. Boston: Bedford. Shaw, B. D. (2007). Spartacus and the Slave Wars .