Augustus Caesar: The Rise Of Octavian

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Augustus Caesar, often referred to as the creator of the Roman Empire, was Rome’s first emperor, and arguably its greatest one. Although his relationship with each varied, he understood the importance of gaining the support of the military, the senate, and the people. He rose to power and maintained his power as a result of this ability. During his lengthy reign, he oversaw the transformation of the political and religious institutions, economy, administration, and army of the fragile Roman Republic into those of the Roman Empire (Mellor 6). In addition to a sense of humor, Augustus possessed intelligence, ruthlessness, and political savvy— traits which enabled him to craftily legitimize his autocratic rule under the forms of traditional republican law, and establish the legal, political, and cultural foundations for an empire that would persist for the next 1500 years.
The Rise of Octavian
Augustus, born Gaius Octavius, had a relatively unpromising start in life. His paternal side, was the wealthy but politically undistinguished, Octavii family, and his father died in 61 BCE before Octavius was four. At the time, Rome was engulfed in a protracted civil war between power-hungry factions, one of which was led by his maternal great-uncle, Julius
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Dismissed by Mark Antony and by the senate as a bit player, he lacked the influential support that most leading Roman politicians, including Antony, found essential to their success, and therefore he had to rely more on direct appeals to the masses as well as Julius Caesar’s troops and supporters. At this stage in his career, Octavian had only two reliable tools available to him— his new name, Caesar, and promises of rewards to the soldiers; he deployed both with daring and decisiveness, and proved repeatedly capable of deft and resolute action in defense of his
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