Augustus was born in Rome on September 23, 63 B.C. He was originally named Gaius Octavianus, but when his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, was murdered, he took his name. Augustus’ real father died when his son was only four. Augustus was adopted in Julius Caesar’s will and was left to be his heir at the age of eighteen. Caesar was very fond of his grand-nephew and he sent him to the College of Pontifices at the age of sixteen. When Caesar was assassinated, Augustus was in Illyria, where he was sent to serve. It was only when he returned to Italy that he learned he was his great-uncle’s heir.
Caesar’s death brought turmoil to into Rome. Augustus was determined to avenge his adopted father’s death and vied with two of his chief rivals for power, Mark Antony and Lepidus. After some minor conflicts and disputes, both military and political, Augustus realized the importance and significance of making peace with his rivals. Through these small skirmishes, Antony was driven across the Alps, while Augustus was made senator and then consul. Soon after, Augustus and Antony were joined by Antony’s ally. They met and formed the Second Triumvirate to rule the Roman domains. Their alliance was sealed by a huge proscription in which 300 senators and 200 knights were killed. These were the Triumvir’s enemies.
At Philippi in 42 B.C., they defeated the republican army. The leaders of this army were Brutus and Cassius, who were also the leaders of Caesar’s ...
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