Ancient History Research Task – Augustan Reforms Essay

Ancient History Research Task – Augustan Reforms Essay

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Ancient History Research Task – Augustan Reforms

From ages past, the actions of conquerors, kings and tyrants had brought the Roman Republic to a stance that opposed any idea of a singular leader, of a single man that held total power over the entirety of the state. Their rejection of the various ruthless Etruscan rulers that had previously dictated them brought the Republic to existence in 509 BC , and as a republic their prominence throughout the provinces of the world exponentially expanded. Throughout these years, the traditions of the Romans changed to varying degrees, most noticeably as a result of the cultural influence that its subject nations had upon the republic, as well as the ever-changing nature of Roman society in relation to then-current events. However, it was not until the rise of Augustus, the first of a long line of succeeding emperors, that many core aspects of the Republic were greatly changed. These were collectively known as the “Augustan Reforms”, and consisted of largely a variety of revisions to the social, religious, political, legal and administrative aspects of the republic’s infrastructure. Through Augustus, who revelled in the old traditional ways of the past, the immoral, unrestraint society that Rome was gradually falling to being was converted to a society where infidelities and corruption was harshly looked upon and judged. The Roman historian Suetonius states, “He corrected many ill practices, which, to the detriment of the public, had either survived the licentious habits of the late civil wars, or else originated in the long peace” . Through Augustus and his reforms, the Republic was transformed into an Empire, and through this transformation, Rome experienced one of its greatest and stabl...


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...igade, Praetorian Guards and even some were able to be selected for the position of Governor over a province. In an attempt to restore the true significance of being a citizen of the Republic, Augustus also restricted the number of slaves who could be freed by a master and age limits to slaves who could be freed. However, Augustus clearly did not hold any form of distaste to these freedmen, as many were employed to carry out financial and administrative affairs, some even personally to Augustus. The use of the talents of these freedmen and equestrians proved beneficial to the maintenance of Rome, and as the historian Scullard states, “Thus Augustus succeeded in building up an efficient body of salaried professional administrators; all o them indirectly depended on their favour, and a large proportion of them directly appointed by him and responsible to him alone.”

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