Caesar Augustus ("Octavian")
63 BC - AD 14
Image courtesy of
Barbara McManus and Vroma
- Officially the first Roman Emperor, ruling from 31 BC to AD 14.
- Born a.d. VIII Kalendas Octobres as Gaius Octavius, son of a senator and nephew of G. Julius Caesar.
- Adopted posthumously by G. Julius Caesar in his will; hereafter used the name of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus.
- Appointed senator and propraetor.
- Elected consul in 43 BC at the age of 19, against the age regulations of the time.
- Formed the Second Triumvirate:
- Octavian took control of Italy
- Antony took control of the east
- Lepidus took control of Spain and Gaul
- 1st wife - Scribonia(divorced); one child, Julia Maior.
- 2nd wife - Livia.
- Sister married to Antony (political marriage).
- In the civil war, the senate supported him against Mark Antony.
- Civil War between forces of Antony and those of Octavian.
- Battle of Actium, 30 BC - Antony, defeated, fled to Egypt and committed suicide.
- Undisputed leader of the Roman world.
- Emphasized republican values - held consulships from 31-23 BC.
- Resigned all honors but retained Egypt as his own estate by virtue of conquest.
- Senate imposed honors, including the cognomen "Augustus."
- Power of imperium declared maius in 19 BC ; constitutional powers increased.
- Died a natural death.
- Succeeded by Tiberius.
- reorganized fleet
- reduced # of legions from 60 to 28
- created Praetorian guard
- created police/fire force - urban cohorts
- established an advisory body
- revised membership of the senate
- gradually changed the entire structure of government
- expanded the borders of the empire
- lost 3 legions under Varus at Teutonburg Forest Pass, did not expand beyond the Rhine
- rebuilt Rome into a city of marble
- Ara Pacis
- Res Gestae records his achievements