Augustus Caesar (Lancaster Pamphlets) by David Shotter

By David Shotter

Background sees Augustus Caesar because the first emperor of Rome, whose method of ordered executive supplied an organization and sturdy foundation for the successive growth and prosperity of the Roman Empire over the following centuries. Hailed as restorer of the Republic' and thought of through a few as a deity in his personal lifetime, Augustus turned an item of emulation for lots of of his successors. This pamphlet reports the proof to be able to position Augustus firmly within the context of his personal occasions. It explores the historical past to his excellent upward thrust to strength, his political and imperial reforms, and the construction of the Respublica of Augustus and the legacy left to his successors. through analyzing the hopes and expectancies of his contemporaries and his personal own traits of statesmanship and unscrupulous ambition, Shotter unearths that the explanations for Augustus' good fortune lie in part within the complexity of the fellow himself, and in part within the precise nature of the days during which he lived.

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Thus Augustus had avoided the abrasive and unacceptable way of dominating the senate and its members that had proved to be the undoing of Caesar. He had, as Tacitus insists (Anna. 2, 1–2), found a method more pervasive and more cynical; instead of meeting the nobility in headlong conflict as he curtailed and repressed them, he had brought them under the wing of his patronage and used them and the system of which they were a part whilst appearing to do no more than to uphold the integrity of the Republican system.

The secrecy with which some of these events appear to have been surrounded, however, points to more considerable anxiety on the part of the princeps. That he faced some discontent seems clear from the Primus affair, from the conspiracy of Fannius Caepio and Murena, as well as from Agrippa’s decision to absent himself in the East, echoing the behaviour of earlier impatient men, such as Pompey and Antony: the resources available in the East represented considerable bargaining power. We should keep in mind the possibility, adumbrated above, that Augustus may not have been as secure and dominant as he appeared to be during the early 20s.

Further, Octavian will have recalled how his supposed allies had proposed to put him on the margins in 43 BC once he had served his purpose. The difference now, however, was that not only did Octavian have the prestige of victory, but he also had a continuing usefulness to those who had rallied around him in 32 in defence of Italy. Ironically, a greater threat may well have been posed by supporters: in his Roman Revolution, Syme pointed to a real tension that may not only have survived the battle but which may even have been intensified by it.

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