The Reign Of Augustus And The Roman Empire Essay

The Reign Of Augustus And The Roman Empire Essay

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After years of civil war a young Octavian, finally restored order and stability on an exhausted Roman state. After his victory over Actium in 31 BC, Octavian found himself in control of the Roman Empire. The answer came in the first meeting of the senate when Octavian theatrically relinquished all his powers to the Roman Senate. In exchange for these powers Octavian received a new name, Augustus. In Discourses (III. Xiii. 9) Epictetus tells us, "For you see that Caesar appears to furnish us with great peace. There are no more enemies, nor battles, robbers, or pirates, but we can travel at every hour and sail from the rising sun to the setting." This is the beginning of the era known to historians as Pax Romana or Roman Peace. This period of Roman history is said to be filled with amenity and stability that spread over the Roman Empire and lasted for over two hundred years, beginning with the reign of Augustus. The aim of Augustus was to secure law, order and security within the empire. Through several sources cited here, I have found that this was not exactly the case. I encountered the first hint of social discourse in Roman society by Epictetus himself. In Discourses (III, 3) he writes, "If we see a man lamenting, he is undone. If we see an exiled man, we say he is miserable. If we see a poor man, we say he is wretched. We wish to eradicate these bad opinions." It is obvious that disunion and social judgment ran rampant. Class animosity, suspicion and injustice were sure to find their way into everyday Roman life.
Goodman 's The Roman World, states that because of distrust within the political system the Emperor traveled the empire extensively. To protect his person, he created his own ...

... middle of paper ... by the Second Settlement. This came about with the conspiracy of Fannius Caepio. In 22 BC, Augustus was provided with information about a plot inspired by Caepio. The conspirators were tried in absentia and found them guilty. Surprisingly, it was not a unanimous verdict. Nevertheless, the defendants were sentenced to death and executed upon capture, silencing any testimony they may have given in their defense. Augustus secured the facade of a Republican government with a competent cover-up of the events.
Suetonius said that Augustus believed that "he himself would not be free from danger if he should retire" and that "it would be hazardous to trust the state to the control of the populace" so "he continued to keep it in his hands; and it is not easy to say whether his intentions or their results were the better." Apparently his biographer held doubts of his own.

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