The Reign Of The Roman Empire Essay examples

The Reign Of The Roman Empire Essay examples

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As broken ships sink to the bottom of the sea near Actium, the power of one man over the Roman Empire is consolidated. Augustus, adopted son and nephew of Julius Caesar, will soon be the last remaining triumvirate. In the following months Mark Anthony will die, blundering his suicide attempt like he blundered through his entire career, Cleopatra will embrace an Asp rather than be paraded through the streets of Rome and the bastard son of Julius Caesar will be murdered. For his victory he gains the title Imperator, “Victorious General”. He is given the unusual honor of being hailed as Imperator for the rest of his life, and it is passed to his heirs. There will be heirs, of course, because this Imperator, this Emperor, plans to forge a legacy, not just an empire. Augustus is smart. He knows that empires are won by the sword, but they are kept by a shared cultural identity. He needs something to rally his people to, something that foretells the destiny of Rome under the line of Caesar. He needs some serious propaganda. He will find it with Virgil and his Aeneid.
According to legend, Rome was founded by two brothers raised in a cave by a she-wolf. Later Romulus would kill his brother, Remus, and name his new city after himself. Rome may not have always had a grand destiny, but its location was perfect for an Imperial capitol. Travel by boat was the fastest and safest course, and Rome was in the middle of a peninsula in the middle of “The Sea in the middle of the world”, or the Mediterranean. The Romans were not the only ones to try and claim dominion of this ancient super high-way, they had competition in the form of wealthy Carthaginians to the south-west, and the rich cultures of Greek city-states and colonies to the north-east. “...


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...would spring Romulus who fought his twin to found Rome itself. With the stroke of a pen Virgil had made Augustus not only a decedent of a goddess and Homeric hero, but of the king of all Latins and the very founder of Rome. The destiny of Rome and Caesar were now one, no longer was he a violent usurping dictator, now he was the prophesied harbinger of a golden age.
The Aeneid was a product of the politics of its time. Before his death, Virgil asked that his still incomplete epic be burned rather than published. Augustus was never going to allow this. The Aeneid was the perfect propaganda to build a dynasty around. No longer was Rome a back water founded by savages who lived in a cave, now it was a city with a deep bond to the splendid, near mythical city of Troy. Now Rome had a destiny, to rule the world, and for Caesar, to rule Rome.

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