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Roman Empire’s influence has deeply permeated many
aspects of Western civilization from politics to military organization and
strategy. Among those Roman emperors, Augustus was one of the well-known
dictators in his power of ending the chaos of civil war and stabilizing society
afterwards. Augustus ushered in an unprecedented age of peace and prosperity
known as the Pax Romana or Roman Peace; this famous period in Roman history did
not occur naturally. The fact that Augustus was able to maintain control of not
only the common people but of the government is a testament to his power and
expertise to influence Roman’s minds, although he portrays himself as a benevolent
and influential ruler in his inscription, Res Gestae Divi Augusti. In addition,
Augustus’s popularity later transformed into extending legitimacy of his family.

            One of the purpose of
writing Res Gestae was to document Augustus’ accomplishments in a way that
elevated him to the role of a great and benign leader. Augustus writes, “In my
nineteenth year, on my own initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army
with which I set free the state, which was oppressed by the domination of a
faction” (Augustus para. 1). The “set free the state” refers to his success in
the civil war that divided the Roman Republic by military dictators. He especially
emphasize this achievement at the beginning of Res Gestae insinuating that he
deserved glory from terminating such cleavage and restoring peace in Roman
Empire. In addition, Augustus also emphasizes his restore of social stability
for commonwealth. He writes, “I rebuilt the Capitol and the theater of
Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any inscription of my name. I
rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had decayed with age, and I doubled
the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct by sending a new spring into its
channel.” (Para. 20) Augustus’s emphasize of “without any inscription of my
name” since he wants to present an image that he is only thinking for
commonwealth, not for his fame. Furthermore, the theater of Pompey was an
important architecture built by his ancestor, Augustus had a political monument
to communicate a message of continuity with the past, prosperity in the future
and stability in the present. In the midst of his achievements, Augustus also
mentions he has no intention to violate the Roman constitution even though he
has obtained such a great power, “When the dictatorship was offered to me, both
in my presence and my absence, by the people and senate, … I did not accept it.
… When the annual and perpetual consulate was then again offered to me, I did
not accept it.” Augustus denied the position as a dictator because such
position violates the traditional Roman values and the constitution. Although
Augustus claims to restore the Roman Republic in the inscription, he in fact
arise as a sovereign leader with comprehensive control of the government. The
contraction of his portrayal in Res Gestae and his actual ambition fortify the
fact that this inscription is served as his propaganda to glorify his image and
extend his influence in the empire.

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            Augustus consolidated his power
through massive support as an anticipated sovereign leader in the republic
constitution. Augustus mentions that he was offered many different positions by
the Senate, even though he claims “I surpassed all others in influence, yet my
official powers were no greater than those of my colleague in office.” Since
Augustus claims to “restore” the Roman Republic, Augustus harnessed his regime
by taking positions in extending areas, therefore, he was virtually an absolute
monarch. Despite of receiving a variety of positions, Augustus was also granted
different honorable titles. The most significant one among them is the
“princeps”, which means the “first citizen of the state”. More precisely, Augustus
was recognized as the first priority among the equal citizens. Therefore, such
title contracts with Augustus’ claim that “my official powers were no greater
than those of my colleague in office”. In addition, Augustus reflects several
times that he paid to rebuild architectures and provide wealth fare to people;
his wealth deeply influent the country’s infrastructures as well as people’s

            Augustus’s extending sovereignty also
permeated to his family, enhancing the legitimacy and prestige of his family in
the Empire. Augustus mentions many times that he rebuild the infrastructures in
the name of his relatives. By undertaking these establishments in the honor of
his relatives, Augustus heightened the esteem of his family while appearing
benevolent. Augustus utilized these structures to further promote his lineage in
future. Other than this, Augustus even send his two adopted sons to the Senate
and to the military, quote. In addition to glorify his sons through
infrastructures, Augustus further extend the influence and ability of his heirs
through a variety of training in the government, such that his honor would be
inherited in futureZK1 .



Augustus was a political savant that utilized various
manipulative tactics in order to lead the most powerful state in the known
world. His accomplishments are widespread and well known amongst contemporary
Romans and historians alike. While his deeds and character may be exaggerated,
his propaganda, in fact, had a solid basis from his achievements.

another quote to show he wants his son to be the next ruler or emperor. 

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