From Octavian to Augustus: The Death of the Republic and the Rise of the Principate

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Augustus, who was once named C. Octavius, was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar. Due to Caesar’s death from the uprising in 44 B.C., it was stated from his will, that Octavian was to be adopted as Caesar’s son. So his name was changed to C. Julius Caesar Octavianus (Porter, 2010). Later throughout his political and military career, he controlled Rome under the title Augustus (Brand, 2013). This begins a story of a young man to an emperor of the Roman world.
According to Morey (1901), following Caesar’s death, the first who took advantage was Marcus Antononus, or Mark Antony for short. With the aid of Lepidus he possessed Caesar’s will as well as his documents and treasury. Antony influenced the Senate to confirm all of Caesar’s acts and obtained permission to speak at Caesar’s funeral (Morey, 1901). He made a strong appeal to the populace to avenge the death of Caesar; thus the populace stormed to the streets swearing to so called liberator’s death. With Antony having Caesar’s papers and the Senate to confirm his acts, he remained supreme to cease control of Rome.
Antony’s dream of Rome came crumbling down thanks to the appearance of Octavius (Morey, 1901). At a young age, he was a born politician who soon becomes Antony’s rival. He showed skill that put Antony in a bad light. By Octavius’ words, he raised false hopes of the reading of Caesar’s will. The people heard it, but they had not received the promised legacies. To humiliate Antony, Octavius sold his own estates, borrowed money from his friends, and paid the legacies which Caesar promised towards his people so that he may rise in popularity (Morey, 1901). Thanks to this act, Antony was displaced as the people’s friend. He grew so rapidly that he was sought by Cicero, who...

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...vided between the senate and the emperor. The revenues of the senate went to the aerarium while those of the imperial went towards the fiscus (Morey, 1901). Augustus laid the foundation of a new financial system to rise and expanded the public money in the most economic and least burdensome manner in the history of Rome.

Works Cited

Boatwright, M., Gargola, D., Lenski, N., and Talbert, R. (2012). The Romans: From Village to Empire. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press. New York, NY.
Brand, P. (2013). Lecture Notes on Ancient Roman Civilization. Personal Collection of P. Brand, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.
Morey, W. (1901). Outline of Roman History. Retrieved 11-07-2013 from
Porter, J. (2010). Octavian and Antony: the Rise of Augustus. Retrieved from
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