Emperor Augustus lived between 63 BC – 14 AD. From the beginning his name was Gaius Octavian. He was one of the first emperors to take over after the collapse of the Roman Republic. Emperor Augustus ruled the kingdom between the years 24 BC to 14 AD.
Octavian was born on September 23, 63 BC. He grew up in a city about 400 miles southeast of Rome. His father was a senator and died when Octavian was only 4 years old. Octavian’s mother was Julius Caesar’s niece. Octavian was posthumously adopted by his distant relative Julius Caesar, who bequeathed him a generous inheritance.
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
He was then in his late teens and had to change his name after the Roman tradition. His full name then became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
After the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, several civil wars were started in the Roman Empire. The last civil war was between Marcus Antonius and Octavian. Marcus Antonius had been Julius Caesar’s right-hand man for many years. In 31 BC, Octavian won the Battle of Actium off the coast of Greece. After winning his first battle against Antonius, Antonius and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus agreed to divide the territories of Rome between them. Their first mission together was to defeat Julius Caesar’s assassin.
To strengthen their alliance, Antony married Augustus’ sister, and Augustus married Antonius’ stepdaughter. Neither the marriage nor the alliance lasted. Octavian was appointed emperor, an approved title by the Senate. In connection with this, he was given the name Augustus.
Augustus soon gained control of the entire Roman Empire, as he was very popular with the people. They considered him a wise politician who could, at the same time, be a cruel general against his enemies.
He ruled for many years and developed Rome. He encouraged the creation of art and literature. He had beautiful ornate buildings erected. Augustus distributed free grain to the citizens of Rome. He developed the city and the country’s infrastructure and ensured that Rome had a permanent police force and fire brigade.
He improved the roads in the kingdom and introduced a postal system with fixed stations. He developed the Roman tax system and decided that everyone in the Roman Empire would be taxed.
His army consisted of 170,000 soldiers. The soldiers were entitled to a pension after completing their service.
The reign of Augustus created peace in the kingdom, and the peaceful period lasted for about 200 years. At the same time, the Roman Empire expanded. Augustus had only one daughter, Julia. When a woman could not take over after him, he adopted three sons. It was then the stepson Tiberius who took over as emperor after Augustus.
Augustus had traditional values and encouraged marriage, despite rumours that he was not faithful to his wife.
When he discovered that his only daughter, Julia, had had extramarital affairs with several high-ranking men, including Mark Antony’s son, she was banished to the rocky island of Ventotene. Later he let her leave her isolation on the island, but he never saw her again.
The month of August is named after Augustus – before, it was called Sextilis.