Throughout the course of history, there have been a number of notable leaders that have significantly altered or improved civilization. Although the contributions of many of these leaders have fallen by the wayside in modern times, there are a few that remain as prominent today as they were during their reign. Such is the case with Augustus Caesar. With the realization that Augustus Caesar, also known as Octavian, remains such a prominent leader because of his contributions to the development of Rome, this investigation considers the life of this ruler, the events that led to his rule as princeps. Through a careful consideration of Octavian's life, it will be possible to demonstrate the broad contributions that this ruler made to the whole of civilization.
Augustus Caesar—An Introduction
Research on the life of Augustus Caesar demonstrates that, Octavian was born Gaius Octavius on 23 September 63 BC, in Rome. Octavian and his family were not well known in Rome because “The Octavii were new men (novi homines) from Velitrae (modern Vellitri), a Volscian town about twenty-five miles south-east of Rome” (Southern, 1).
[...] While it is quite evident that Octavian brought considerable prosperity and innovation to the Roman Empire, historians examining Octavian's rule argue that his most notable contribution to the state was the extended reign of peace that Octavian fostered (49). While it is quite evident that Octavian upheld a number of notable military challenges against the Roman Empire, his principle duty to the citizens of Rome appears to be his desire to establish a peaceful democracy in which the whole of Rome could thrive (49). [...]
[...] In addition to improving the finances of the government, Octavian also set to the task of establishing a fire and police force. Researchers examining the development of a police force in Rome note that until the time of Octavian's rule, the Empire did not see fit to establish a police force (156). The widespread social problems that had arisen in Rome prompted Octavian to create a fire department, which later assumed the duties of a police unit. In order to finance the operations of the fire/police department, Octavian introduced a two percent sales tax on the sale of slaves. [...]
[...] Although historians note that it took a number of years for Octavian to garner a high degree of credibility among his followers—as his actions in the early years after Caesar's death made him appear somewhat unstable—as leader and ruler of Rome, Octavian was able to bring both peace and prosperity to an Empire that had previously been mired in social and political chaos (27). The Hallmark's of Augustus' Rule Reviewing the changes made by Octavian as the Principate of Rome, it is evident that many of the plans initiated by Octavian have been carried through to modern society. [...]
[...] As such, Octavian is not widely known for his expansion of the Empire; rather he is known for his efforts to secure the borders of the Empire and ensure prosperity for Roman citizens (50). Conclusion When the life and rule of Augustus Caesar is examined overall, it becomes evident that this leader was indeed quite unique. Although technically born a common man, Octavian quickly rose though the political ranks of the Roman Republic to become one of the most powerful men in the Empire. [...]
[...] Such impetuosity might have proved fatal, but Octavian (as he was then known) displayed a consummate ability to utilize people's services, to play men off against each other, and to maintain a convincing self-righteousness in the most unpromising of situations Thus, it is not surprising to find that Octavian was able to successfully rule the Roman Empire for almost six decades. During this time, Octavian was heralded as the savior of Rome In the wake of Caesar's death, the leadership of Rome fell principally in the hands of three individuals: Mark Anthony, Cicero and Octavian. [...]
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