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The First Roman Emperor - Augustus (63bc - 14ad)

One Of The Most Important Figures In History - He Saved Rome From Civil War & Instigated A New Era Of Peace, Prosperity & Expansion

Emperor AugustusWhy choose Augustus from the many excellent Roman leaders? Firstly he is regarded as the first true Roman Emperor, and it could be argued that without the stability he brought to the Roman Empire, by ending the incessant civil wars, and having a long and prosperous rule, he cemented the position of Rome in Western Europe for the next couple of hundred years, and perhaps saved Rome from premature collapse and early onset of the dark ages.

The future Emperor Augustus was born with the name Gaius Octavius in 63bc, in a town called Velitrae near Rome. His dad was a Senator and his mum was the niece of Julius Caesar, who was in charge of the Roman Empire at the time. Gaius Octavius was said to be short but handsome. He suffered from plenty of illnesses in his life, he had bad teeth and his body was covered in spots. Gaius Octavius was ruthless when he had to be, but he was able to take listen to criticism and had a good sense of humour.

When Julius Caesar was murdered everyone was surprised that Augustus was named as his heir - Caesar had adopted him in his will. Augustus's friends and family were all worried that the people who had murdered Caesar, Brutus and Cassius , would come after Augustus and kill him too, so they wanted him hide with the army. Augustus refused and went to Rome to claim what was rightfully his, the throne of the Roman Empire. Augustus was only 18 at the time!

Augustus joined forces with Marc Antony and Lepidus to rule the Roman Empire, which they split between them, getting rid of those who had killed Julius Caesar. As Augustus became more powerful he wanted to rule all of Rome by himself, so he sent Lepidus to Africa, and then defeated Marc Antony in battle to claim the whole of the Roman Empire for himself.

During his long rule Augustus sorted out many of the things that had gone wrong in the running of the Roman Empire, to make sure the Roman people had better lives. He built many great buildings, but never built a palace for himself.

Under Augustus the Empire grew bigger, Augustus always chose clever Generals, the most famous which was Agrippa, who was also a good friend.

Augustus died in 14ad, aged 75, one of the longest serving and first Roman Emperor.

 

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