Octavian, later known as Augustus, is arguably one of the smartest leaders of the Roman Empire, Coming into power after a 13 year civil war caused by the assassination of Julius Caesar. This essay will be discussing to how Augustus was highly successful in maintaining his power. Gaius Suetonius, a Historian that was an equestrian supporter stated that “At the age of twenty he (Augustus) created himself consul, marched on Rome as though it were an enemy city” (Source K). Although this source was very close to the time of Augustus, this source may be unreliable as Suetonius’ sources were based loosely on court gossip, but he did have access to imperial archives which may make it more reliable. This source does demonstrate however that Augustus gained his power through sheer force through threats via using the military. This source also corroborates with Augustus’ Res Gestae; written by Augustus himself in Source C “At the age of nineteen, on my initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army by means of which I liberated the Republic, which was oppressed by the tyranny of a faction.” Augustus ruled for over 40 years, although the Senate, people, and army of Rome did not want a dictatorship due to the tyrannical monarchy in the past, Augustus is still able to achieve this. Augustus was able to keep in power for such a long time through keeping the entire state of Rome on his side. Augustus’ first priority is keeping the military on side, as he marched Rome using his army and threats.
Such as Caesar did, Augustus main priority was the military supporting him, as it is a major benefit in taking power. Copying Caesar, Augustus showered the military troops with gifts of gold, land, and even citizenship to non-Roman ...
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...maintaining his power. Keeping not only the Senate on side, but also the people, and the military happy, throughout his 40 plus years of reign. It is obvious that Augustus was highly successful in the extent of keeping his power. Vergil, a Roman poet during Augustus’ period states “Augustus Caesar, kindred of Jupiter. He brings a golden age.” Which clearly is true as this source corroborates with source B, written by Paul Zanker, Professor of Classical Archaeology, states that “Rarely has art been pressed into the service of political power so directly as in the age of Augustus. Poetry and art filled with the imagery of a blessed word, an empire at peace under the sway of a great ruler.” Augustus made such an impact throughout Rome’s history that when he died, the whole empire mourned for him, showing that he clearly was an unbelievable ruler for Rome.
- Luke Creasy
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