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“I drove the men who slaughtered my father [Julius Caesar] into exile with a legal order, punishing their crime, and afterwards, when they waged war on the state, I conquered them in two battles.”
First Roman Emperor, 63 B.C. - 14 C.E.

Augustus Caesar of Rome was born with the given name Gaius Octavius on September 23, 63 B.C. He took the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian) in 44 B.C. after the murder of his great uncle, Julius Caesar. In his will Caesar had adopted Octavian and made him his heir.

Octavian was a shrewd, brilliant and astute politician. Through cold, hard political calculation he was able to achieve ultimate power in Rome. At the time of Caesar’s assassination, Octavian held no official position. Only after he marched on Rome and forced the senate to name him consul, was he established as a power to be reckoned with.

In 43 B.C., Octavian, Marcus Antonius (Marc Antony—one of Julius Caesar’s top lieutenants) and another Roman General, Marcus Lepidus, formed the second Triumvirate to rule Rome. After taking power, the Triumvirate proscribed and slaughtered thousands of political enemies, firmly establishing their control of the Roman government.

In 40 B.C., Antony married Octavia, Octavian’s sister, and later deserted her for Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. When Antony gave Roman provinces to his children by Cleopatra, Octavian declared war on Antony. In 31 B.C. the Roman Navy under Agrippa defeated the combined fleets of Antony and Cleopatra, and within a year both had committed suicide.

In 27 B.C., the Roman Senate granted Octavian the name Augustus, meaning “the exalted.” They also gave him the legal power to rule Rome’s religious, civil and military affairs, with the Senate as an advisory body, effectively making him Emperor.

Rome achieved great glory under Octavian/Augustus. He restored peace after 100 years of civil war; maintained an honest government and a sound currency system; extended the highway system connecting Rome with its far-flung empire; developed an efficient postal service; fostered free trade among the provinces; and built many bridges, aqueducts and buildings adorned with beautiful works of art created in the classical style. Literature flourished with writers including Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and Livy all living under the emperor’s patronage.

The empire expanded under Augustus with his generals subduing Spain, Gaul (now France), Panonia and Dalmatia (now parts of Hungary and Croatia). He annexed Egypt and most of southwestern Europe up to the Danube River. After his death, the people the Roman Empire worshipped Augustus as a god.

If you are aware of books, movies, databases, web sites or other information sources about Augustus or related subjects, or if you would like to comment, please contact us.

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Books About Augustus

Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor
by Anthony Everitt

Everitt tells of Augustus's rapid rise through Roman society, from the sickly grand-nephew of Julius Caesar to "first citizen" of Rome. He offers a new theory of Augustus's murder at the hands of his wife, Livia, presenting his death as an "assisted suicide" intended to secure the transition of imperial power to his stepson, Tiberius. Everitt keeps guesswork to a minimum, building his narrative on solid evidence.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor

Augustus Augustus
by Pat Southern

A comprehensive biography of Augustus Caesar. Southern avoids complicated discussions of Roman politics and concentrates on the man himself.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Augustus

The Age of Augustus The Age of Augustus
by Werner Eck

A clear, concise biography of Augustus.

Purchase this hardcover edition of The Age of Augustus

Augustus Caesar's World Augustus Caesar's World
by Genevieve Foster

A slice of history measured by the lifetime of Augustus Caesar. Timelines, charts and illustrations enhance the text.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Augustus Caesar's World

Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome
by Anthony A. Barrett

Barrett reconstructs the life of a Livia, Emperor Augustus's wife.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome

I, Caesar: Ruling the Roman Empire I, Caesar: Ruling the Roman Empire
by Phil Grabsky

A survey of imperial history via biographical sketches of the most significant emperors.

Purchase this hardcover edition of I, Caesar: Ruling the Roman Empire

DVDs About Augustus/Rome

Ancient Rome Ancient Rome - the Glorious Empire

The Roman Empire's incredible civic buildings, temples and the ancient city provide fascinating echoes of a truly remarkable people. This program contains superb graphics and computer animation, detailed reconstructions of Roman life, paintings and images, location footage, and insightful interpretation and analysis.

Purchase this DVD edition of Ancient Rome - the Glorious Empire

Rome - Engineering an Empire Rome - Engineering an Empire

Abundant in exclusive location footage and cutting-edge CGI graphics, this multiple Emmy Award-winning History Channel program breathes new life into the incredible history and majesty of the epic Roman Empire.

Purchase this DVD edition of Rome - Engineering an Empire

Rome - Season One Rome - The Complete First Season

In HBO's Rome series it is 52 B.C.. Dramatic shifts in the balance of power between former friends Pompey (Kenneth Cranham), the leader of the Senate, and Julius Caesar (Ciaran Hinds), returning to Rome after conquering the Gauls, has the ruling class up in arms.

Purchase this DVD edition of Rome - Season One

Rome - Season Two Rome - The Complete Second Season

It is 44 B.C.. Julius Caesar has been assassinated and civil war threatens to destroy the Republic. HBO's Rome Season Two charts the power struggle between Mark Antony (James Purefoy) and Octavian (Simon Woods), who Caesar named his sole heir.

Purchase this DVD edition of Rome - Season Two

Augustus/Rome Online Videos

The Roman Empire examines the political & military systems of Rome in 6 parts:
PART 1/6 - PART 2/6 - PART 3/6 - PART 4/6 - PART 5/6 - PART 6/6

House of Augustus Caesar

Related Websites

Divus Augustus
By Suetonius

Bio of Augustus
At De Imperatoribus Romanis

The Deeds of the Divine Augustus
Written by Augustus in 14 C.E. at 76 years of age

Greek and Roman History
Comprehensive reference of links, documents and notes from Prof. John P. Adams,
University of California, Northridge

Julius Caesar
By Plutarch

Marc Antony
By Plutarch

The Dalai Lama

Other Monarchs in the Lucidcafé Library

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