Who was Augustus Caesar (Gaius Octavius)? Short biograhpy. Augustus Caesar history, pictures and videos. Augustus Caesar facts, birthday and Life Story…
Augustus Caesar (Gaius Octavius) – (63 BC—1 4 AD) – First emperor of Rome (27 BC-14 AD)
Gaius Octavius was born in 63 BC, the son of Octavius and of Atia, who was the daughter of Julius Caesar’s sister, Julia. As a boy he was sickly and delicate; he was also moody, cruel and not very brave. But he had an excellent brain and did not mind hard work. When he was in his teens, his great uncle (p. 35), then master of the Roman world, watched his growth with interest, for he had it in his mind that young Octavius might one day inherit his power.
In 45 Julius formally adopted Octavius, who became known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. He also made Octavian principal heir to his will. When the great man was assassinated in 44, Octavian was away in Greece. He came back to Rome to sort out his great uncle’s will, and soon joined up with Mark Antony (p. 39) to defeat Julius’ murderers at the battle of Philippi, in 42.
After this, Octavian, Antony, and another friend of Julius, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, formed the Second Triumvirate, divided the huge Roman world between them and ruled together. For a while the arrangement worked. Then Lepidus retired. Antony, meanwhile, had been neglecting his duties, and eventually he and Octavian went to war. At Actium Octavian and his great friend, M. Agrippa (p. 41), defeated Mark Antony in 31. Octavian became master of the Roman world.
The Roman world was tired of war. It longed for stable government, order and prosperity, all of which Julius Caesar was beginning to give to it when he was murdered. So Octavian set out to complete his great uncle’s work and to modify it with his own ideas, together with ideas from colleagues like Agrippa (p. 41), Maecenas (p. 41) and, later, Tiberius (p. 46). In 27, Octavian was offered the title Princeps, which meant first man in the state. It was a good compromise. It did not say ‘King’ or ‘dictator’ (although that is of course what it really meant), for those words were not really liked by Romans. Julius was in fact finally murdered partly because he was thought to be planning to have himself declared ‘King’.
Octavian also took the title ‘Augustus’, which means ‘revered’, and from that time onwards that is how he was known, as Augustus Caesar.
Over the next forty years Augustus brought the stability that Romans yearned for, strengthened the boundaries of the empire and provided an age of peace in which trade, industry, art and literature flourished. He did much to make Rome beautiful, coming, as he said, to the city of brick and leaving it clad in marble. People looked back to the Augustan Age with pride, but without undervaluing his achievement, it is necessary to remember that without the career of J ulius Caesar, the life work of Augustus would not have been possible.
Augustus Caesar (Gaius Octavius)