Octavian's Journey to Become Augustus

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Octavian was born in Rome on September 23, 63 BC. He was given the name Gaius Octavius, however, he would not keep this name for long. His father, who shared his name, came from a respectable although undistinguished family and was governor of Macedonia. In terms of his rise to power, Octavian’s most important immediate family member was his mother, Atia, who was the niece of Julius Caesar, who would soon be Rome’s greatest and most successful general and Dictator. When Octavian was four years old, his father died so he spent most of his childhood with his stepfather Lucius Marcius Philippus. When he was 15 he was elected to the College of Pontiffs where Caesar requested that Octavius join his staff for hi campaign in Africa. Although he didn’t go to Africa with Caesar, the following year, he attempted to join Caesar in Spain to fight the forces of Pompey, however he fell ill and couldn’t go. When he finally recovered, he sailed to meet Caesar, only to be shipwrecked, however this did not stop Octavius, he traveled across hostile territory to Caesar’s camp, which greatly impressed Caesar. Octavius joined Caesar on the return home in which Caesar secretly changed his will to make Octavian his successor.

On 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated, and his will revealed that Caesar had adopted his great-nephew Octavius as his son, making him the heir to the thrown. This meant that Octavian’s name was to be changed to Gaius Julius Caesar. When Octavian returned to Rome, he found it being led by Mark Antony and Aemilius Lepidus. Octavian failed to convince Marc Antony to hand over Caesar’s assets and documents, however he was recruited into the senate and when Antony left Rome to take command in northern Italy, Octavian made war on Antony who was defeated and fled to Gaul. Now the senate had lost control over Octavian who marched on Rome and forced the senate to accept him as consul. Three months later, he completely cut off the senates’ power.

In 40 BC, stated by the Treaty of Brundisium. The Roman Empire was to be divided between Marc Antony and Octavian, Marc Antony taking the east and Octavian taking the west. Eventually, Octavian became angry with Antony, and read his will to the public, which promised large inheritances to his children but also said that if he die, his body be moved to Egypt.
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