Augustus, First Among Equals
Gaius Julius Caesar known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power after .. Caesar continued his relationship with Cleopatra throughout his last .. surnamed Albinus, who was so trusted by Caesar that he was entered in his. Julius Caesar was his great-uncle and adopted father. Eventually, however, he gained Caesar's trust and began spending more and more time with him, including Neither marriage lasted, however, nor did the triumvirate. Augustus tried to improve morals by passing laws to regulate marriage and family life .. Augustus (63 bc–ad 14) (Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus) First Roman.
Octavius at age 12 delivers the funeral oration for his grandmother Julia. He was encouraged to make this public speech by his great uncle Gaius Julius Caesar. Octavius was made a member of the board of Roman priests, pontifices. His great uncle, Julius Caesar, became the chief priest, Pontifex Maximus. Octavius accompanied Julius Caesar in the public precession celebrating the victory of Caesar over his opponents in Africa.
Octavius accompanied Caesar on his military expedition to Spain to defeat and destroy the sons of Pompey, his defeated rival, who were trying to perpetuate their father's opposition to Caesar. Octavius went to Albania to complete his academic and military training.
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While there he learned of the assassination of Julius Caesar. Octavius returned to Rome and found that Caesar's will made him Caesar's adopted son and heir to his political and personal fortune. He was advised not to accept the bequest because he was only 18 and little prepared to deal with the hazards of Roman power politics.
Nevertheless he did accept. Caesar's will called for games for the entertainment of the public. Such things required funds, but Mark Antony controlled Caesar's funds and refused to grant Octavius access to those funds.
8 Things You May Not Know About Augustus
Octavius borrowed funds to comply with Caesar's will and his efforts garnered public support for Octavius. His efforts to fulfill Caesar's will gains him considerable support among the troops of Caesar.
Mark Antony was defying the will of the Senate and the Senate, led by Circero, called upon Octavius for support against Antony. The Senate makes Octavius a senator even though he is far too young to qualify. The troops of Octavius joined with troops which the Senate has at its command.
The combined forces drove Antony out of Italy into Gaul. In the battle with Anthony's forces the two elected Consuls of Rome were killed. Octavius's troops demanded that the Senate confer the title of Consul on Octavius. Octavius was officially recognized as the son of Julius Caesar. He then took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
He was more generally known as Octavian during this period. Octavian and Antony agreed to a sharing of power. They, along with Lepidus who was the Pontifex Maximus, are designated by the Senate as a Triumvirate with dictatorial powers for five years. Octavian, Antony and Lepidus agreed to eliminate those Senators and members of the Roman aristocracy whom any one of the three considered a threat to public order.
Altogether senators and two thousand lesser level aristocrats are executed. Cicero, a supporter of Octavian, was designated for execution by Antony under this arrangement. The Senate deemed Julius Caesar as having been a god. This enhanced Octavian's status still further.
Antony and Octavian undertook a military expedition to the East to defeat Brutus and Cassius. In two battles at Philippi the troops of Brutus and Cassius were defeated and Brutus and Cassius killed themselves.
The Triumvirate then divided up the Empire. Anthony got the East and Gaul. Lepidus got Africa and Octavian got the West except for Italy which was to be under common control of all three. In Italy Octavian faced a local war where he intended to grant land for settlement to the soldiers of his army. His forces defeated the local opposition at the city now known as Perugia. The island of Sicily was under the control of the son of Pompey, Sextus Pompeius, which gave him command of the shipping lanes.
Octavian tried to defuse conflict with Sextus by entering into a marriage with Scribonia, a relative of Sextus. This ploy did not work. Sextus tried to establish an agreement with Antony against the interests of Octavian.
Antony rejected Sextus' offer of an alliance. Octavian later divorced Scribonia. The allianace of Octavian and Antony was renewed and further confirmed by Antony marrying Octavia, the sister of Octavian. This political marriage also did not endure. Antony was still enamored of Cleopatra, queen of Egypt.
Julia, Octavian's daughter was born. A few days after her birth Octavian divorces her mother, Scribonia. Octavian marries Livia Drusilla, a member of the Roman aristocracy. Livia Drusilla had only recently divorced her husband and was pregnant with her second son, leading to the presumption that a romantic relationship had already been in existence between Ocatavian and Livia and speculation that perhaps Octavian might have been the father of Livia's second son, Drusus.
Her older son was Tiberius. Octavian negotiated an arrangement with Antony in which Antony supplied Octavian with ships for Octavian's expedition against Sextus in Sicily.
In return, Octavian supplied troops to Antony for his proposed invasion of the Parthian empire in the east.
Julius and Augustus
The Triumvirate was renewed for another five years. Octavian was fortunate to have a close and trusted friend from his childhood, Marcus Agrippa, who was a military genius.
Under Agrippa's command Octavian's fleet defeated Sextus. Lepidus the member of the Triumvirate who controlled the Roman territories in African attempted to challenge Octavian. Lepidus was defeated but forced into retirement instead of being executed. Octavian with Agrippa faught campaigns in the Balkan peninsula. The formal powers of the Triumvirate end in 33 BCE. Antony divorced Octavia, Octavian's sister.
Octavian revealed that Anthony's will calls for the granting of Roman territory in the East to the children of Cleopatra. Furthermore it reveals plans for transferring the capital of the empire from Rome to Alexandria. The sympathy and allegiance of the Roman public are with Octavian against Antony. Antony decided to bring his forces to the western side of Greece. Octavian sent a military expedition under the command of Agrippa to challenge Antony's control of Greece. Octavian later joined Agrippa and their fleet bottled up Antony and Cleopatra's fleet in the Gulf of Ambracia.
A naval battle ensued at Actium in which Cleopatra, for fear of being captured, pulled her ships out of the battle and headed back to Egypt thus ensuring the defeat of Anthony's forces.
Anthony and some of his ships escaped from the battle and followed Cleopatra. Octavian invaded Egypt; Anthony commits suicide and Cleopatra follows suit in a tragic sequence of events. Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar is sent into hiding on the Red Sea coast of Egypt but Octavian's forces track him down and kill him. Octavian annexed Egypt into the Roman Empire and put it under his direct control.
Octavian closed the doors of the temple of Janus.
These temple doors were to be open in times of war and closed in times of peace. According to Livy they had been closed only once before in Roman history. A census of the Roman population was conducted. Octavian reduced the size of the Senate from members to Octavian was appointed the president of the Senate. Although Octavian was all powerful he made a determined effort to clothe his rule in the semblance of republican traditions.
Octavian was awarded the name "Augustus" and thereafter he was referred to as Caesar Augustus. Octavian went on an inspection tour of Roman outposts in Gaul. Progress was made in Germany as well, until three legions were wiped out in an ambush in A. Yet he was not much of a fighter himself, often getting sick on the eve of combat and depending heavily for strategy on his boyhood friend Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
The month of August was named after him. With Rome in an era of relative peace and prosperity, the Senate voted in 8 B. During that month, the Senate purportedly explained in its decree, Augustus had first become consul and had won his final victory over Antony and Cleopatra.
On the calendar, it followed July formerly Quintiliswhich had recently been renamed in honor of Julius Caesar. He sent his own daughter into exile. A proponent of traditional values, Augustus built and refurbished myriad temples during his reign, encouraged marriage and childbirth, and criminalized adultery despite allegedly being wildly unfaithful himself.
When he discovered in 2 B. Although he later allowed her to transfer to a less-isolated locale, he never saw her again. Augustus likewise banished his granddaughter for alleged adultery, though in both cases historians believe additional factors may have been in play. His potential heirs kept mysteriously dying.