The Last Spoken By Augustus Caesar, The First Emperor Of Rome Essay

The Last Spoken By Augustus Caesar, The First Emperor Of Rome Essay

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“I found Rome built of bricks; I leave her clothed in marble.” These enduring words are the last spoken by Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome. Before he was deemed Princeps Civitatis-translated to mean first citizen of Rome-he was a leading member of the second triumvirate called Octavian. One of the triumvirate’s other members, Antony, caused a break in this three pronged power when he aided his wife and Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. When Rome declared war on Egypt, a series of battles ensued and ended with the death of Antony and Cleopatra, and a great victory for Octavian. These wars left Octavian with a new title of Augustus as well as the undisputed dominant power over Rome. Now that he had attained such power, he wanted to maintain it at all costs. To do this, he had to be backed by not only the Roman Senate and aristocracy; but also by Rome’s everyday citizen. In an effort to uphold his public image, he tasked a renowned poet, Virgil, to write a poem to rival those from ancient Greece. Besides being written by arguably the best poet of ancient Rome, The Aeneid contains propaganda older than the word itself. Themes found within the piece show a clear ulterior motive to vindicate all the accomplishments and actions of both Augustus Caesar and the Roman Republic.
Any successful ruler needs the full support of his followers. In order to accomplish this, Augustus turned where countless other great leaders have: propaganda. The type of propaganda that Augustus spread wasn’t much different from what can be seen in today’s news media, its purpose was to persuade the public into thinking that Augustus was a mighty and just leader, as well to perpetuate the image that he was far superior to any other man. This same type of prop...


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...t authority; military.
War and the military are central themes for both the poem and the Roman Republic in general. It is also among the main reasons for its conception. Rome had been involved in an array of wars in the years preceding the reign of Augustus. Passing blame for failures or the change of events like this is something that is very typical of propaganda. Most of the time, the person directing a piece of propaganda is also the one subsidizing the projects. As a result, the amount of artistic and descriptive liberties that Virgil is allowed to take with the story might be very limited compared to what he would normally like to do. A scene in which this can be very easily seen to occur in the sixth book of poems. Aeneas has met his deceased father and is speaking with him by the place where souls peacefully rested called the “Blessed Groves” (Virgil 6.642).

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