Similarities Between Julius Caesar And Octavian

1568 Words7 Pages
The transition from republic to empire was due to the colossal feats of both Julius Caesar and Octavian also known as Caesar Augustus. Julius Caesar was a pragmatic military commander and politician that eventually rose up and became the first emperor of Rome. His accomplishments for Rome were vast due to his military expertise but eventually lead to his betrayal and demise. Octavian lived a similar but different life than Julius Caesar. While Julius Caesar’s life ended in tragedy, Octavian was able to live out his life and be an emperor. Octavian succeeded where Julius Caesar failed due to him being more ruthless towards his enemies and by avoiding the stigma of a tyrant. While Julius Caesar was a great military leader and politician, he…show more content…
Many senators did not like the fact that Julius Caesar was accepting many titles and honors. Some of these honors Caesar gave himself signified that he may have saw himself as some sort of god. Suetonius goes on to say, “…but he took other honors which, as a mere mortal, he should certainly have refused. These included a golden throne in the Senate House and another on the tribunal, a ceremonial wagon and litter for carrying his statue.” These kind of actions made senators feel tension toward Caesar. Caesar was beginning to show signs that he saw himself above roman jurisdiction which was contradicting Republic values. The senate also did not like the fact that Julius Caesar was extremely disrespectful towards them on multiple accounts which showed his arrogance. Suetonius states, “Two tribunes of the people ordered the fillet to be removed at once from his statue and the offender imprisoned. But Caesar reprimanded and summarily degraded them both.” The reason why Julius Caesar was eventually assassinated was because he was too obvious about his motives. Caesar had no problem acting like a tyrant in front of the senate even though they were the ones that gave him his titles and honors. Showing signs of being a tyrant and also disrespecting the senate in such a manner created more resentment towards him in the public eye. His mercy towards his enemies and his egotism led to…show more content…
Although Octavian had absolute power and was considered popular by the people, he would at all costs avoid being called a monarch. This could be due to him knowing about how Julius Caesar was murdered for being considered a tyrant and accepting such titles. Suetonius reveals, “… ‘O Just and generous Lord!’, whereupon the entire audience rose to their feet and applauded, as if the phrase referred to Augustus. An angry look and a peremptory gesture soon quelled this gross flattery.” In public, Octavian would condemn anyone who called him a monarch which shows that he did care about what the public thought of him compared to Julius Caesar. Octavian avoided such titles since he already had the power of an emperor and knew that there was a stigma towards the term monarch. He would only become a monarch as long as the people desired him to be one. Cassius Dio adds, “The name of monarchy, to be sure, the Romans so detested that they called their emperors neither dictators nor kings nor anything of the sort; yet since the final authority for the government devolves upon them, they must need kings.” The reason why Julius Caesar was assassinated was because he did not care enough on how the senate and people perceived him. He acted in public as a monarch in which roman republic tradition condemns. Octavian was intelligent enough to understand that you can be an emperor but you have to
Open Document