How does one define a person of the year? Someone who is appointed this title of great honor above every other man or woman in the world. For what it’s worth, I can sum it all up into one name, Augustus. A brave and loyal leader, educated and intelligent man, a political connoisseur, patron of the arts, and a loving husband, what else could be asked from a man of such great achievement?
We will be looking into the life, rule, and accomplishments of Augustus, then finish off with an exclusive interview to give us more of an insider look on the “Person of the year. ” “On March 15, 44 BC, a group of Roman Senators stood over the dead body of Julius Caesar, bloody knives in their hands. They had murdered the Roman leader in an effort to save the Republic from Caesar’s aspirations for sole power” (McGill, Sarah Ann) In the spring of 44 BCE Augustus formerly known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or Octavious for short became ruler of Rome.
Adopted by Julius Caesar after traveling alongside him for many years and throughout many battles, being the only male relative and it is written in Caesar’s will, Augustus was heir to the throne and quickly began making an impact on Roman society. “Caesar Augustus rose from near obscurity to become the most powerful man Rome had ever seen, and he became perhaps the single most important figure in Rome’s long history. ” (Sizgorich, Tom. “Augustus) Starting his reign at age 18, very young and inexperienced he would have to gain the trust and support of the empire as a whole.
Very intuitively and keen, he started at the base of it all, the people. Initiating public games loved by them as a source of entertainment, when a comet flew by on the first day, everyone took it as Caesar’s soul ascending to the heavens, this greatly helped win his popularity among his great uncle’s army he left and also made his allies within the senate. But with allies, would come, opponents, one man, in particular, Mark Antony, who was a close ally with Caesar and fought against the party that assassinated him.
Tensions between the two were shortly after they formed a group to eliminate opposing forces such as the one that killed Caesar, lead by Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. “The alliance between Antony and Octavian could not last, however; after the defeat of the conspirators, Octavian set about building a base of support for himself among the Romans, anticipating the confrontation with Antony that he knew would come. ” (Sizgorich, Tom. “Augustus) “Octavian began preparing to confront Antony. Antony had angered many Romans because of his relationship with the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.
Octavian took advantage of this anger to gain further support against Antony. ” (“Augustus, Caesar Octavianus. ” Ancient Greece and Rome) Acute and sharp as he was, Augustus began to realize the roman public was outraged that Antony had been willingly manipulated by queen Cleopatra of Egypt. He set out to defeat Antony and Cleopatra’s army. When he finally did so, the couple committed suicide and allowed Augustus to finally have full control over all of Rome. He did not want to rule as his uncle did, so in order to convince the public and senate he would not do so he, articulated the “Princep” title.
Deriving from Latin meaning “first citizen” suggesting that he held only the same power as all others in the senate, but no one was to be above him in the ruling. Augustus wasted no time as the sole leader of Rome, he extended the borders, instituted construction of new buildings, water systems, and roads. He maintained public order and law, supported writers such as Virgil and Livy to bring back more traditional Roman values, and introduced a new religion to society, “Christianity. ” At one point he offered to relinquish all of his power to the senate, but they would not oblige.
In fact, they revered him even more and allotted him with the title Augustus, which is when he adopted the name and dropped the name Octavious. Augustus proclaimed that he had “found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble. ” (“Augustus, Caesar Octavianus. ” Ancient Greece and Rome) By the end of his rule, Rome was flourishing, rich and prosperous was the whole empire. Lined with armies protecting all borders, creating a safe environment for all of Rome, it has been deemed “Rome’s Golden Age” or “Pax Romana” and was the period in time when the civilization experienced the most peace and prosperity.
Augustus passed away in AD 14 and Tiberius took control over Rome as his stepson. It is easy to see how Augustus was named Person of the year, he accomplished more in his lifetime than any other individual I can name Reforming government and military, restoring Roman traditions and values, and vastly expanding the empire. And gaining the love and support of the people, the senate, and the army at the same time, it’s no wonder why the senate held him at the level of a god when he passed.
Augustus, Caesar Octavianus. Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1998. 87-91. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.
Sizgorich, Tom. “Augustus. ” World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2012
McGill, Sarah Ann. “Augustus. ” Augustus (2009): 1. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 14 Oct. 2012.
“Augustus, Caesar Octavianus. ” Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. Ed. Carroll Moulton. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1998. 87-91. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.
Fears, J. Rufus. “Augustus. ” Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 630-631. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 15 Oct. 2012
Dunstan, William E. Ancient Rome. n. p. : Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 15 Oct. 2012 (I was not able to log into this EBook the whole time I have been writing this paper, but you have it down as a required cite. )
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