Rome: The Augustan Age 44 BC – AD 14 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Rome: The Augustan Age 44 BC – AD 14 Deck (21):

Establishment of the principate
- Impact of death of Caesar,

Assassinated March 44 BC by Brutus and Cassius (supporters of republic) → granted amnesty
JC will→ adopted Oct as son and nominated as heir
O left Macedonia to Rome to claim inheritance and avenge murder
Death left power vacuum; briefly filled by MA (JC’s ‘deputy’)
Politics; Republicans (Cicero) vs JC men (MA)

“At the end of the will, too, he adopted Gaius Octavius into his family and gave him his name.”


Establishment of the principate
- Early Career of Octavian

Sought vengeance as JC son
MA had spent most of JC money; O had to honour will→ sold own property to pay what JC promised; staged games (gained property)
Even with growing support; didn’t underestimate MA and Cicero

44 BC, MA consul expired and Cicero attacked him politically
MA moved north to take province; attacked when governor refused to leave
Cicero shared command with O and sent army to assist governor
O was needed as had large forces; army defeated MA and absorbed armies into own
Cicero demanded O hand over legions; declares MA public enemy and Brutus and Cassius given control over East
Cicero underestimates Oct and O marches legions on Rome
Takes treasury to pay soldiers
Cancels outlaw of MA
B and C outlawed
Elected himself as consul for 43 BC
O meets with JC’s former leading commanders: MA and Lepidus

“Antonius had been irritated at Caesar’s favouritism towards a young relative” JONES

“At the age of 19, on my own initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army by means of which I liberated the Republic.” RES GESTAE

“Republic again was at mercy of men who commanded loyalty of the legions.” SCULLARD


Establishment of the principate
- The Second Triumvirate

43 BC O sanctions alliance (no civil war)
Power came from 33 legions, offices and titles
Treated West Roman empire as personal property (divided into 3)
O→ Africa, Sicily, Sardinia
Lep→ Narbonese Gaul, Spain
MA→ Transalpine Gaul, Cisalpine Gaul
MA strongest position; O→ africa hard to reach as seas controlled by pirates Sextus Pompeius
Aim of 2nd Triumvirate→ reconstruct state; Reality→ used powers to rid opponents and avenge JC murder
Proscription: Opponents declared outlaws; anyone could kill for reward
Over 20,000 men marked for proscription (300 senators)

“Proscriptions...brought about a reorientation of loyalties in political bodies” ECK


Establishment of the principate
- Civil War

42 BC: MA and O confront Brutus and Cassius in Greece→ defeated near Philippi (now 60 legions)
After Phillippi→ MA controlled East; O controlled Italy and West
MA in east→ O uses relationship with Celo for propaganda war
40 BC MA returns: Treaty of Brundisium
Lepidus retains Africa, MA retains East
O gains Gaul
Triumvirs nominate consuls several years in advance (secures positions)
MA marry Octavia (O’s sister)

Treaty of Tarentum (37 BC)
O needed MA support to defeat Sextus Pompeius; MA needs troops for campaign
MA to provide 120 ships, O provide 20,000 legionaries
MA gave ships- O only sent 2,000

36 BC→ Triumvirs fleets attack SP (SP flees but executed on MA orders)
O had more soldiers than needed→ settled veterans outside of Italy
O announces end of civil wars: Lep eliminated from Triumvirate

Over next years: O strengthened Rome military, economically, socially
Secured North East frontier and cleared Adriatic sea of pirates
Secured peace in Italy→ settle veterans, provide stability, prosperity
People got cheap corn, clean water, new building programs

“With Lepidus’ resignation the triumvirate had effectively ceased to exist.” ECK


Consequences and significance of the Battle of Actium

MA and O vied for power→ After Philippi MA toured East and met Cleo
MA unsuccessful in defeating Parthians→ missed chance to outdo O
MA spends more time with Cleo→ O uses for propaganda
MA divorces O’s sister→ acknowledges Cleo’s son as son of Caesar→ implies O took power illegally
O launches attack on “unRoman” behaviour→ declares war against Cleo

End of 32→ MA bases himself in bay of Actium
Early 31→ O bases himself overlooking Actium
MA fails to lure O into battle→ gave up land when position worsened
Short supplied, troops deserted, disease spread
Agrippa had more ships; wanted them in water→ penned MA in
MA and Cleo fled to Egypt→ their fleets surrendered or destroyed
MA and Cleo commit suicide; Caesarean killed (seen as rival)

Not greatest battle but Egypt became part of empire
Major grain source; gave O access to wealth
Marked end of civil wars→ no rivals and people glad for peace; voted O honours and staged games in his honour
Great propaganda victory; O said dangers didn’t die→ he would constantly safeguard from dangers
Coins declares him champion of liberty of Roman people

“Actium could come as no surprise” AWH

Romans saw battle as; “A symbol of salvation, of the rescue of Rome from destruction” AWH

“Augustus gave the Roman world a new order.” AWH

“Century of civil wars was ended.” SCULLARD

Coin described O as ‘son of God’ printed with Liberator of people on it. ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

“The myth tells us, the threat was not laid to rest with victory. It was permanent: Rome...were ever in danger, for ever in need of a saviour.” AWH


Development of the principate: settlements of 27 and 23 BC

After Actium; O’s power unquestioned→ was ambitious; wouldn't walk away from power→ knew power of legions
Conservative man; bound by duty, respected tradition→ maintain facade of republican govt (but also grant him supreme power)
Principate; In theory→ sharing power between Princeps and Senate
Reality→ Principate grew at expense of senate (evolutionary)
T. Mommsen→ Govt was sharing of power between Emperor and Senate→ dyarchy

“The dyarchy is a transparent fiction” BURY

Egypt claimed as personal imperium; access to wealth, corn supplies
Title of Augustus (revered one)
Became Princeps→ wanted to convince people he was just first citizen

Proconsular imperium:
For ten years→ right to appoint legates, make war, conclude treaties
Commander in chief of legions→ control of military→ no rivals to power

Consular imperium
Authority over Rome and Italy→ used to claim power over provincial proconsuls
Could dictate policy to Senate and assembly in Rome

“I transferred the state from my own power to the control of the Roman senate and people.” RES GESTAE

Settlement came out of concerns for senate unrest and succession
Never took dictator powers; censorial powers granted to him

Maius Imperium Proconsulare
Aug’s proconsular imperium made superior to that of other proconsuls

Tribunicia potestas
For life→ wide ranging powers;
Power to legislate in assemblies, could summon Senate
Could veto laws, propose new laws
Protect individuals against the actions of magistrates

“After that time I excelled all in authority, but I possessed no more power than the others who were my colleagues in each magistry.” RES GESTAE

Succession; First wanted nephew Marcus, then Agrippa, then grandsons (adopted as own sons) → Tiberius; final choice
Choosing a successor; Had begun to resemble a monarchy


Titles, honours and images of the princeps

Never flaunted power; often turned down offices offered by Senate→ but held political, military and religious positions
Power was never in question→ emphasised titles and honours bestowed on him though
5 titles Augustus used;
Pontifex maximus, Consul, Imperator, Tribunicia potestas, Pater Patriae (Father of the country)
Knew importance of image→ majority of pop was illiterate, only small minority would ever see A→ presentation on statues,coins, monuments was important→ image provided focus for loyalty
“To break an oath by Augustus,to deface his image...was to show disrespect to his greatness.” AWH

Numismatics→ Shows how A wanted to appear to people
A obtained right to making coins out of precious metals
Coin had propaganda value→ image of A and messages connected with image
27 BC: Gold coin “AEGYPT CAPTA” with crocodile→ A presented as conqueror of Egypt (and evil queen)
After Actium→ O coins declared him champion of liberty of Roman people (LIBERTATIS PR VINDEX)
Coins depicting him,titles and accomplishments→ used daily, strong propaganda→ reinforces to people how great he was

Shows A as young, strong, victorious general addressing troops (power and authority)
Veiled references to A’s divinity→ barefoot (suggest hero or divine nature)
Small cupid (son of Venus) at right foot rides dolphin (Venus’s patron animal)--> Julian family claimed to be descended from goddess Venus

Ara Pacis (Altar of peace)
Commissioned by Senate in 13 BC→ designed to welcome A back from Spain
Meant to symbolise peace and prosperity achieved thanks to “Augustan peace”
A depicted as priest, women and children of household follow→ family is model of virtue, morality and fertility (image complements strong morals A took in religious and moral reforms)
Has relief scenes depicting Vestal Virgins, priests and sacrificial animals


The Augustan principate:
Augustus and the Senate: roles and responsibilities

Many old families eliminated in proscriptions
Aug made new supporters members of senatorial class;many new families
Used census to control size of senate→ reduced numbers
Republic not restored senate nt resumed traditional powers. Principate no dyarchy
Development of principate revolutionary and wanted real power; but shared burden of governing a vast empire with Senate
Aug showed Senate respect and gave members real responsibility;
Limited chances of ambitious members to oppose his rule
Use members as senatorial civil service for running vast empire
Enormous wealth; patronage; increased size of clientele

New criteria for membership of senatorial class (had to possess $1 million sesterces and only men already of senatorial class could stand for political office)
Members fined for non attendance→ wanted to make it respectful and responsible again

Judicial; Dealt with treason, extortion, adultery
Administrative; Aqueducts, corn supply, roads, public buildings
Legislative; Advisory board and passed resolutions
Financial; Controlled public treasury. Minted coins.


Roles of magistrates and officials

Could no longer propose legislation or exercise the veto→ new positions were hard to fill

Rank was requirment for senate entry.
6 served in provinces and others helped Aug and consuls

Lost traditional roles (corn supply management, public games, water supply, fire control)
City responsibilities were limited by appointment of prefect of city

“All they had left was the repair of the streets and a petty jurisdiction in commercial cases.” JONES

Increased roles and numbers to 12
2 managed state treasury, 3 managed military treasury
Took over organisation of games and festivals from aediles

Consuls: Most desired position of power and authority, each year there were 2 consuls
Represented peak of one’s public career
Gave enormous auctoritas
Opened possibility after the consulship of governorship of one of Rome’s provinces
Dealt with appeals from provinces
Heard requests from foreign envoys in minor matters
Ex-consuls managed administrative areas 9e.g. Supervision of water and grain supplies, public works and roads)
Proconsuls governed important provinces of Asia and Africa

Military tribune
Period of army service

Running business, tax collection, financial control of provinces

Running of province selected by princeps

Control of range of prefectures responsible for areas crucial to stability of Rome:
Corn supply→ in charge of imports of grain from provinces
Fire brigade→ in charge of those who fought constant fire outbreaks
City→ in charge of maintaining public order, judging cases of lower class and freedmen citizens accused of crimes, 500-strong police force

Praetorian guard→ in charge of guardsmen activities
Imperial province of egypt→ In charge of affairs of egypt


Significance of equestrians and freedmen

Keen to use talented members of equestrian order as part of new civil service
“Thus Augustus succeeded in building up an efficient body of salaried professional administrators.” SCULLARD

Enabled Aug to revive traditions of republican Roman society; Old link with military→ originally had been horse-riding knights
Equestrians given new symbols of new status: Tunic with narrow purple stripe, right to sit in the first 14 rows at the theatre, right to wear gold rings, right to sit on jury courts, a horse at public expense

Freedmen were slaves whose masters had given them freedom→ Aug wanted to maintain value of Roman citizenship by restricting their numbers
Several laws introduced to regulate manumission (freeing of slaves)

Freedmen (often intelligent, educated men) played important role in Aug’s administration→ many carried out secretarial work (already used to it as slaves)
Some freedmen attended to his private affairs, finances etc→ called procurators
Gave some significant roles but barred them from holding public office or serving in the legions
Freedom didn’t mean automatic citizen rights:
Freed slaves took the citizenship of their former master but restrictions meant they weren’t seen as full citizens
Couldn’t hold magistry, serve in legions and couldn’t intermarry with senatorial class
Had to wear a special cap which marked them as freed slaves which in turn stigmatised them socially
Freedmen could marry free born women and their children were considered as freeborn
Could become priests and later played a role in cult on Rome
“He was not, however, hostile to wealthy and public-spirited freedmen gaining some social recognition.” JONES


Augustan reforms:
- Political,
- Social,
- Legal,
- Religious
- Administrative

Remodelled political system; didn’t want to appear as turant→ idea of dyarchy
Reorganised senatorial order; revised senatorial rolls (expelled 150 senators)
Maintain facade of republic; create principate→ strengthen institutions of republic
Restored equestrian order to links with military origins→ efficient running of empire
“Aug went out of his way to revive the traditional senate.” AWH

Concern for morality of people, declining birth rate, family values and morals (people reluctant to marry)
Moral legislation→ people who refused to marry were penalised, divorces not valid unless witnesses by 7 people
Married men (from senatorial rank) with 3+ children→ careers promoted
Penalised adultery
Forbade marriage between senatorial class and prostitutes/entertainers
Legislation hypocrisy→ Aug married 3 times but projected image reflecting morals (pater patriae)
“He attempted to regenerate society by social reform.” SCULLARD

Aim; remove judicial corruption, speed up justice process→ more systematic justice system measures
In Rome→ increased number of trail days (to speed up delivery of verdicts)
In Provinces→ New organised courts and new court for dealing with adultery cases

Revived/joined sacred colleges and festivals; increased privileges of Vestal Virgins
Cults developed around Aug; but didn’t permit direct worship of himself
Old shrines restored, new temples built (divine claims of Julian clan highlighted)
Limitations placed on some foreign cults (E.g. Druids)
“I repaired 82 temples of the gods in the city,” RES GESTAE
Link established between imperial house and Rome→ citizens could worship “Rome and Augustus”
Aug concerned about flaunting political powers
Local cults of “Genius of Augustus” developed→ often linked to cult of Lares

Financial situation poor (corrupt taxes) → key to finance was treasury
New reforms to aerarium treasury; settled provinces
Senate in charge of aqueducts, corn supply, roads, public buildings
Census (8BC) reorganised city into 14 regions→ administered by praetor or tribune
Employment → large-scale and frequent building projects kept the urban population working.
Police and Fire Brigade


Opposition to Augustus

Aug propaganda→ impression that there was little, if any opposition
Aug liked to give impression that he had not stifled free expression and happy to allow degree of dissent
Hide existence of opposition and threats to Aug below surface
Power in Rome had long been matter of destroying one's opponents one way or another→ Aug no stranger to this through BOA and death of JC
Dealt with Brutus and Cassius, neutralised Lepidus and removed Sextus Pompeius
Through propaganda and Actium, he removed opposition from MA and CLEO
Opposition after Actium usually less clearly defined and didn't include opponent lining up against his legions→ however opposition he faced remained real enough

Marcus Lepidus→ plotted to assassinate (would have re-sparked civil war)
Gallus→ advertised his own glory→ Aug had him banned from provinces, exiled
Crassus→ Very decorated but Aug found objections to his claims (only Princeps allowed power)

Julia used as dynastic pawn by her father; was intelligent and saw herself as important to Rome; knew her own power in the men that surrounded her; Married Marcellus, then Aug, then Tiberius


Augustus’ building programs:
- The Forum Augustum,
- The Ara Pacis,
- Pantheon,
- Campus Martius

According to Suetonius; Built to accommodate recent increase in lawsuits
Political propaganda→ promoted Aug’s leadership and his divine ancestors
In the centre; statue of Aug in chariot (Father of the country)
Central element; Temple to Mars→ either side of statue to mars; Venus and ‘divine’ Julius

Altar of Peace→ to welcome back Aug from his campaign in Gaul
Relief scenes depict Vestal virgins, priests, sacrificial animals
Southside→ Aug and imperial family (victory and fruitful abundance linked)
Aug achieved peace

Temple built by Agrippa to all the Gods→ commemorated victory in BOA
Inside were paintings of Gods
Pantheon in Greek means “honour all Gods”

Building illustrated Aug’s willingness to allow family members to be advertised
Outside city boundary on eastern Tiber River plain
Changed to public buildings (baths, amphitheatres, temples)
Main structures of CM→ Ara Pacis, Pantheon, Public baths, Mausoleum)


Literature and propaganda: Virgil, Horace and Livy; role of Maecenas

Aug encouraged Roman writers: saw propaganda value in supportive writers
Little evidence he coerced great writers to do his bidding→ seems writers of Aug era needed little encouragement to praise new regime
Aug keen to avoid excessively flattering presentation of himself or his work
As Patrons, Aug and Maecenas actively encouraged writers of time, rewarding them with estates and riches→ in return they were expected to celebrate Aug heroic military deeds and publicise govt policies and promote values and aims of new Augustan Age.

Gained patronage of Maecenas (friend and trusted colleague of Aug)
Encologues of Rome: Expressed love and joy of Italian countryside
The Georgics: Practical advice on farming but again showed his affection for country
The Aeneid: Story of Trojan prince Aeneas who flees Troy, reaches Latium guided by Venus, marries latin princess and begins Julian family (of whom Aug is descendent)
Loved countryside and had reverence for Italy→ affection for land, efforts to revive it and promote simple rural lifestyle of past→ fitted well with Aug’s thinking “related well to the policy which Augustus pursued in encouraging the role of small farmers in Italian agriculture.” SHOTTER

Lost his farm during post- Philippi settlements but was later supported by patron Maecenas. Gave support to Octavian
The Satires and the Epistles: Attacked what he saw a faults in society
The Carmen Saeculare: Written to be sung during Secular Games of 17 BC
The Odes: Outlines virtues needed by Rome, and Augs key role in repairing failures of the past
In satires→ tried to highlight what was wrong in Roman society and in particular extravagance of upper class
Saw this as moving away from Rome's traditional values which he sought to promote
Writing like this→ supporting Aug’s desire to revive traditional ways in Rome
In Odes sought to promote traditional values of Roman race
His support for simple, frugal life reinforced Aug’s thinking

Ab Urbe Condita Libri→ Great history of Rome
His history comprised of 142 volumes- cover period from Rome's mythical origin to conquest of Italy, 1st and 2nd Punic war and conquest of East to about 168 BC
Lived through the worst of times, having seen civil war, murder and destruction
Admired peace, stability and prosperity Aug had delivered
Saw history as means of teaching Romans moral lessons of how to live
If Rome could emulate virtues of duty and piety of past cultures, destructiveness of recent times could be avoided
Dramatic approach to history suited Aug’s preoccupation with traditional values and simple patriotism

Born 70BC at Arretium. First appears in history in 40 BC where he helped arrange marriage of Octavian and Scribonia
In Octavian's service and soon after, took part in organising Treaty of Brundisium and temporary settling of Oct differences with MA
By early 30 BC→ giving support to Virgil and Horace
O placed great confidence and trust in Mae
While O fighting Sextus Pompeius, Mae was back in Rome with total administrative control of city and Italy
When O fighting MA at Actium, Mae given administrative charge of Rome
Mae who crushed revolt of Lepidus
Mae later fell out of favour with Aug
Suetonius suggests was result of indiscretion in boasting to wife about his crushing of conspiracy of Caepio and Murena
His clients were fond of patron and he was able to influence their work


Imperial family and problems of succession

Never any real threat to Aug's power but always was possibility of assassination. Also Aug known to suffer ill health (brought him close to death) → RAISED QUESTION OF SUCCESSION: Who would follow him?
Clear power came from household of Aug and as result it was unlikely any future princeps would come outside imperial family
Agrippa was loyal and effective but too low birth to be successor to Aug.
Agrippa and Julia→ Gaius and Lucius were born and Aug adopted them in 17 BC→ boys now acquired name of Julius Caesar and was keen to promote them.
Aug's plans stalled when Agrippa died in 12 BC.
Aug now wanted to make use of Tiberius, Livia's son from first marriage. Proven to be gifted soldier but Aug not overly fond of Tiberius and did not seem to value his great achievements
Now ordered Tiberius to divorce his wife Vipsania, and marry Julia
Tiberius genuinely in love with Vispania (daughter of Agrippa from first marriage) and obeyed Aug with great reluctance

Propaganda put in place to ready Rome for Gaius premature rise to consulship. Designated consul in 5BC and allowed to attend senate sessions.
Same ceremonies carried out for brother Lucius 3 years later. Tiberius unable to cope with promiscuous behaviour of Julia and annoyed by elevation of Gaius and Lucius left for self imposed exile
Aug banished daughter in 2 BC to island of Pandateria because of her scandalous life he had discovered
AD 2 Luscious died and AD 4 Gaius died→ now plans for succession thrown into chaos
Aug now had no choice but to turn to Claudian side of family, Tiberius.
Adopted Tiberius in AD 4 and have him Tribunician authority for ten years
Forced Tiberius to adopt popular Germanicus who was the son of Tiberius’ brother Drusus, and Germanicus married Aug’s granddaughter Agrippina.


Roles of imperial women: Livia, Julia

OCTAVIA: (69-11BC)
Augustus’ older sister
First husband died in 40 BC→ Augustus pressured her to marry MA in 39 BC→ Political alliance
Octavia independent→ refused to divorce Antony despite brother’s urgings until she had to (32 BC)
After MA died→ she looked after their children, his children with Cleopatra,and first wife
Octavia propaganda→ remained faithful,dutiful wife looking after kids, while MA with Cleopatra
Dutifulness weakened image of MA with Roman people

LIVIA: (39BC-AD14)
Aug’s daughter→ “He appears to have been too strict on his daughter Julia JONES
25 BC → intervened to end arrangement→ married 1st cousin Marcellus(died in 23 BC→ widow at 16)
21 BC→ married Augustus’ closest friend Agrippa (he was 42) → had 5 children
12BC Agrippa died → 11 BC Augustus forced Tiberius to marry her (not happy relationship)
Tiberius not happy he had to divorce woman he loved, and Augustus was grooming grandsons for succession in preference to Tiberius despite his service to Rome
Julia threw herself into life of promiscuous abandon→ took many lovers
Augustus angry at her indiscretions→ made mockery of moral legislation he promoted→exiled Her daughter Julia (2) suffered same fate for same reasons
Julia (1) died in AD 14 of starvation→ after Tiberius’ accession to power
“He let her waste away to death, exiled and disgraced, by slow starvation. TACITUS

JULIA: (58BC-AD42)
Augustus’ wife for 52 years (38 BC-AD 14)
Conformed to traditional role of wife and mother.
“Her greatest service to the Romans lay in her devotion to Octavian and in the civilising influence she brought to bear on him.” PAYNE
Married Tiberius in 43 BC and had child in 42 BC
38BC→ Tiberius persuaded to divorce her→ she married Octavian but already pregnant with 2nd child
Political move→ marrying into aristocratic family brought support for Augustus, but also in love with her
AD 14→ Augustus died, Tiberius emperor, Livia adopted into Augustus’ lineage as Julia Augusta
Augustus promoted her→ many public statues, public buildings dedicated to her, she was granted sacrosanctity and right to sit between vestal virgins during public performances
“All of her images and actions were closely connected with marriage, family and traditional Roman morality” MCMANUS


Role and contribution of Agrippa

Ag loyal, efficient supporter of Aug→ Leading advisor and at time “right hand man”
A major role in imperial administration
Married Aug’s daughter Julia: Couple had 5 children
Key military figure during 30s BC and credited with bringing about victory at the Battle of Actium
Constructed original Pantheon and other major sites in Campus Martius
Proved to be a skilled engineer and organiser of major public works in Rome

Was in Greece with Oct when JC assassinated→ advised Oct to set off for Rome
Mid 30s BC: Largely responsible for defeating pirate forces of Sextus Pompeius
33 BC: Appointed aedile→ in role carried out major public works in Rome,
31 BC: Skills needed when he organised Octs naval forces in victory over MA at Battle of Actium
19 BC→ Ag put down revolt by Cantabrians in Spain
17 BC→ Appointed for second time as governor of Syria→ protected rights of Jewish people
17 BC→ Aug adopted two sons of Agrippa and Julia→ Gaius and Lucius
12 BC→ Agrippa died at age 51→ Agrippa Had provided Aug with some of finest military victories and Agrippa was “probably the only man whom he could absolutely trust.” JONES


Death of Augustus

Aug died August AD 14 at Nola, South of Rome
Wasn't quite 78 years old and “Some suspected his wife of foul play.” TACITUS
Tacitus’ reasons: Livia heard that Aug had had tearful reunion with grandson Agrippa Postumus. Was reported that Postumus’ return to Rome was imminent→ would have placed Tiberius’ accession to power after Aug in serious doubt.
Livia was careful to keep control of events→ sealed house and close by streets with her guards
“Then two pieces of news became known simultaneously: Augustus was dead and Tiberius was in control.” TACITUS
Aug cremated on funeral pyre in Campus Martius. Eulogies given by Tiberius
At funeral, as body was building, “an ex-parameter actually swore that he had seen Augustus’ spirit soaring up to Heaven through the flames.” SUETONIUS
Ashes were placed in mausoleum
In September, was voted divine honours and referred to as Divus Augustus → deified Augustus
In will left most of his estate to Tiberius and Livia
Requested in will that his Res Gestae be carved in bronze above the entrance to mausoleum

Consuls swore oath of loyalty to Tiberius → Tib seemed reluctant to assume power
Ancient sources suggest he was hypocrite who feigned reluctance of gauge level of support and identify opponents. Maybe he wanted repeat of 27 BC and wished to be urged to take power as Aug had experienced
Perhaps he was genuinely reluctant after all he had given up his responsibilities once before and left
Tacitus reports first event of new reign was murder of Agrippa Postumus (may have been done on Aug’s orders to prevent possible future clash between Postumus and Germanicus) Tacitus places blame on new emperor
Beginning of new reign faced mutinies in Pannonia and Germany→ quickly put down by Drusus and Germanicus
Augustus legacy: Augustan Age had been marked by peace, security, stability and prosperity
“Ultimate legacy of Augustus was sweep of stability that the Roman world gained.” TACITUS


Augustus and the Empire
Augustus and the army

Army instrumental in acquiring vast empire→ Aug knew importance of keeping direct control over it and making it instrument of State (rather than a weapon used by individual generals)
Under Aug it became permanently organised professional standing army (replaced militia of republic)
Soldiers received their pay and rewards from Augustus himself→ reduced dependence on commanding generals and weakened patron/client relationship between generals and soldiers


Standardisation of pay and allowances
Pension payable; completion of services→ changed from owning land to lump sum equalling 13 years pay

Length of service fixed at 16 years of legionnaires
6 AD→ Became 20 years for legionnaires and 16 for praetorians

Enlistment voluntary
Legions drawn from citizens (mainly veterans sons)
Forbidden to marry during term of service

28 BC→ 60 legions reduced to 28
Permanent units

2 Standing fleets (commanded by equestrian prefects)
Various river fleets stationed throughout empire

Used as imperial bodyguards
Became privileged force→ 16 years service, pay of 2 denarii a day (very good pay)
“Theoretically it was the princeps’ bodyguard.” SALMON
Guard not expected to go into battle unless the princeps or imperial family member was actually fighting

“...was about 500,000. Of these I settled in colonies or sent back into their own towns more than 300,000, and to all I assigned lands or gave money as a reward for military service.” RES GESTAE
“Seduced the army with bonuses.” TACITUS
The roman public saw the existence of large armies loyal to generals as contributing to the civil wars
Reducing the number of legions was also financially beneficial and appeased the soldiers who had been conscripted to fight in the civil wars,
Reducing the legionnaire numbers enabled Augustus to disarm legionnaires of uncertain loyalties, as well as having greater control over the remaining troops,
Any opponents to Augustus’ power would think again before challenging the 30,000 men loyal to him and at his disposal.
“as a result of military victories won for them by troops loyal to them.” SHOTTER
Maintained loyalty by introducing reform (standardisation of pay, pension)
Not all of their time was spent on campaign→ training, maintenance of equipment and patrolling.
Extended empire by winning new territory and consolidating the territory already gained.


Provincial government: Imperial and senatorial

Provinces: Areas conquered and settled by Romans

Recently part of the empire and needed ruling with firm hand
Mainly frontier provinces with legions stationed in them
Governed by legates (praetors)
Relationship with Augustus: Governed for Aug who chose legates personally
13 by the end of Aug’s reign

Mainly peaceful (Had been Romanised for some time)
Governed by proconsuls
Relationship with Augustus: Independent and retained military command
Standard number of 10 senatorial provinces towards end of Aug’s reign

Aug revised tax system to restrict opportunities for exploitation (previously corrupt)
Provincial councils were set up to conduct imperial cults of ROma and Augustus→ kept unofficial eye on provincial governors.
Aug made extensive tours of provinces to inspect their operation→ made attempts to improve running

Consistent, restrained frontier policy, Controlled and fairer tax systems. Peace→ brought security, prosperity
“In Augustus, these subjects had in political patron whose duty it was to take care of the whole empire ” ECK
Augustus helped settle the provinces with the frontier policy and the expansion of the empire and appointed new governors in provinces
Property became more secure, commerce was revived and cities became more prosperous.
Created fire and detective departments to have jurisdiction over burglaries, fires and other crime,
Augustus placed the grain supply under a regular officer
Introduced curator viarum (superintendent of highways) to maintain and repair the roads system.
Established military patrols in dangerous districts
Reorganised the currency; introduced a new system where gold and silver coins were to be produced by the emperor and copper and bronze to be produced by the senate.
Revenues of senatorial provinces went into the aerarium (senate treasury) and the imperial went to the fiscul (emperor's treasury)
Aug conducted census’ to determine the empire’s resources in order to share the tax more equitably.


Frontier policy

Extended Roman empire, brought great glory/wealth to Rome
Aim of frontier policy→ to win new territory for empire, consolidate territory already gained
Revisited his foreign policy after Varus disaster in AD 9 to maintenance of empire within existing borders
Frontier policies largely successful in Spain, Gaul, Britain, Danube area, Africa and the East→ Not Germany though

Frontier in north was River Rhine → unstable region and many times Germanic tribes from the east has carried out cross-border raids into Gaul
Area between rivers had not been pacified and troops still faced frequent attacks from German tribes
Augustus sent Varus to govern Germany→ German tribes not pacified and Varus didn’t understand complexity of situation.
Varus moved legions and were attacked in swampy Teutoburg forest→ terrain unsuited to legion’s tactics. Germans separated Roman forces into smaller groups and defeated them
No mention of Varian disaster in Res Gestae.

Organised into 3 provinces
Veteran colonies were established, urbanisation encouraged and steady Romanisation resulted

Remained secure with desert as effective southern frontier

Southern part (Narbonensis) had been Roman for long time
Rest of Gaul was divided into 3 provinces

Left outside of empire
Augustus achieved his aims diplomatically,

Main problem had long been Parthia
Augustus sought to use diplomacy in the east
20 BC→ Aug and Tiberius installed pro- Roman Tigranes on the Armenian Throne
Positive relations with Parthia led to the return of the Carrhae standards
Syria was strengthened and client kingdoms supported in Asia Minor. The result→ relatively stable and peaceful eastern frontier.