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27 BC–AD 14: Augustus [ edit ]

The of Actium (1672) by Lorenzo A.

Octavian. the grandnephew and adopted son of Caesar. had made himself a military figure during the period following Caesar’s In 43 BC at the age of twenty he became one of the three of the Second Triumvirate. a political with Marcus Lepidus and Antony. [ 1 ] Octavian and Antony the last of Caesar’s assassins in 42 BC at the of Philippi. although after point, tensions began to between the two. The triumvirate in 32BC, torn apart by the ambitions of its members: Lepidus was into exile and Antony, who had himself with his lover Cleopatra VII of Egypt. committed in 30BC following his defeat at the of Actium (31 BC) by the fleet of Octavian. subsequently annexed Egypt to the [ 2 ]

Now sole ruler of Rome, began a full-scale reformation of fiscal and political matters. The granted him power over its membership and over the governors of the [ 3 ] In doing so, the Senate had created for what would become the of Roman emperor.

In 27 BC, Octavian a show of offering to transfer of the state back to the Senate. [ 4 ] The duly refused the offer, in ratifying his position within the and the new political order. Octavian was granted the title of Augustus by the [ 5 ] and took the title of Princeps or citizen. [ 3 ] Augustus (as modern usually refer to him from point) took the official that he had saved the Republic, and framed his powers within constitutional principles.

He thus titles that Romans with monarchy, such as rex . The a military office in the early typically lasting only for the military campaigning season, had resurrected and abused first by in the late 80s BC and then by Julius in the mid-40s; the title dictator had formally abolished thereafter. As the heir of Julius Caesar, had taken Caesar as a component of his and handed down the name to his of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. With the first emperor outside the Caesar evolved from a name to a formal title .

Augustus created his novel and unique position through the constitutional powers of several offices. He renounced his consulship in 23 BC, but his consular imperium . leading to a compromise between Augustus and the known as the Second Settlement . was granted the authority of a tribune ( potestas ), though not the title, allowed him to call together the and people at will and lay business it, veto the actions of either the or the Senate, preside over and gave him the right to speak at any meeting.

Also included in tribunician authority were usually reserved for the Roman ; these included the right to public morals and scrutinise to ensure they were in the interest, as well as the ability to a census and determine the membership of the No tribune of Rome ever had powers, and there was no precedent the Roman system for consolidating the of the tribune and the censor into a position, nor was Augustus ever to the office of Censor. Whether powers were granted to as part of his tribunician authority, or he assumed these responsibilities, is a of debate.

In addition to tribunician Augustus was granted sole within the city of Rome all armed forces in the city, under the control of the prefects. now under the sole authority of Additionally, Augustus was granted proconsulare maius (power all proconsuls ), the right to interfere in any and override the decisions of any governor. maius imperium, Augustus was the individual able to grant a to a successful general as he was ostensibly the of the entire Roman army .

The re-classified the provinces at the frontiers the vast majority of the legions stationed) as imperial provinces. and control of them to Augustus. The provinces were re-classified as provinces. governed as they had during the Republic by members of the sent out annually by the central [ 6 ] Senators were prohibited even visiting Roman given its great wealth and as a base of power for opposition to the new

Taxes from the Imperial went into the fiscus . the administrated by persons chosen by and to Augustus. The revenue from provinces continued to be sent to the treasury (aerarium ), under the of the Senate.

The Roman legions. had reached an unprecedented 50 in number of the civil wars, were to 28. Several legions, particularly with members of doubtful were simply demobilised. legions were united, a hinted by the title Gemina [ 7 ] Augustus also created special cohorts to maintain in Italia. with three, the Guard. kept in Rome.

of the fiscus enabled Augustus to the loyalty of the legions through pay.

Augustus completed the of Hispania. while subordinate expanded Roman possessions in and Asia Minor. Augustus’ task was to ensure an orderly of his powers. His stepson Tiberius had Pannonia. Dalmatia.

Raetia. and Germania for the Empire, and was thus a candidate. In 6BC, Augustus some of his powers to his stepson, [ 8 ] and after he recognized Tiberius as his In 13AD, a law was passed which Augustus’ powers over the to Tiberius, [ 9 ] so that Tiberius’ powers were equivalent to, and from, those of Augustus. [ 9 ]

to secure the borders of the empire the rivers Danube and Elbe. ordered the invasions of Illyria. and Pannonia (south of the Danube), and (west of the Elbe).

At first went as planned, but then struck. The Illyrian tribes and had to be crushed, and three full under the command of Publius Varus were ambushed and at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9 by tribes led by Arminius. Being Augustus secured all territories of Rhine and contented himself retaliatory raids.

The rivers Rhine and Danube the permanent borders of the Roman in the North.

In 14AD Augustus at the age of seventy-five, having ruled the for forty years, and was succeeded as by Tiberius.

Sources [ edit ]

The Age is not as well documented as the age of Caesar and Livy wrote his history Augustus’s reign and covered all of history through 9 BC, but only survive of his coverage of the late and Augustan periods. Important sources for the Augustan period

Works of poetry such as ‘s Fasti and Propertius Fourth Book, legislation and also provide important into Roman life of the Archaeology, including maritime aerial surveys. epigraphic on buildings, and Augustan coinage. has provided valuable evidence economic, social and military

14–68: Julio-Claudian Dynasty [ ]

Augustus had three grandsons by his Julia the Elder. Gaius Lucius Caesar and Agrippa None of the three lived enough to succeed him. He was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius.

was the son of Livia. the third wife of by her first marriage to Tiberius Augustus was a scion of the gens (the Julian family), one of the ancient patrician clans of while Tiberius was a scion of the Claudia. only slightly ancient than the Julians. three immediate successors all descended both from the Claudia, through Tiberius’ Nero Claudius Drusus. and gens Julia, either Julia the Elder, Augustus’ from his first marriage and Nero ), or through Augustus’ Octavia Minor (Claudius ). thus refer to their as Julio-Claudian.

14–37: Tiberius [ ]

The early years of Tiberius’s were relatively peaceful. secured the overall power of and enriched its treasury. However, his soon became characterized by

He began a series of treason and executions, which continued his … in 37. [ 10 ] He left power in the of the commander of the guard, Lucius Sejanus. Tiberius himself to live at his villa on the island of in 26, leaving administration in the hands of who carried on the persecutions with Sejanus also began to his own power; in 31 he was named co-consul Tiberius and married Livilla. the niece.

At this point he was by his own petard : the emperor’s paranoia, he had so ably exploited for his own gain, was against him. Sejanus was put to along with many of his the same year. The persecutions until Tiberius’ … in 37.

Caligula [ edit ]

At the time of … most of the people who have succeeded him had been The logical successor (and own choice) was his 24-year-old grandnephew, better known as Caligula boots). Caligula was a son of Germanicus and the Elder. His paternal grandparents Nero Claudius Drusus and Minor. and his maternal grandparents Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and the Elder.

He was thus a descendant of Augustus and Livia.

Caligula out well, by putting an end to the persecutions and his uncle’s records. Unfortunately, he lapsed into illness. The that emerged in late 37 features of mental instability led modern commentators to diagnose him such illnesses as encephalitis. can cause mental derangement, or even a nervous breakdown brought on by the stress of his position).

the cause, there was an obvious in his reign from this on, leading his biographers to think he was

Most of what history of Caligula comes from in his book Lives of the Twelve . According to Suetonius, Caligula planned to appoint his favourite Incitatus to the Roman Senate. He his soldiers to invade Britain to the Sea God Neptune. but changed his mind at the minute and had them pick sea on the northern end of France instead. It is he carried on incestuous relations his three sisters: Julia

Drusilla and Agrippina the Younger. He a statue of himself to be erected in Temple at Jerusalem. which have undoubtedly led to revolt had he not dissuaded from this by his friend king Agrippa I. He people to be secretly …, and called them to his palace. they did not appear, he would remark that they have committed ….

In 41, was assassinated by the commander of the guard Chaerea. Also … his fourth wife Caesonia and daughter Julia Drusilla. For two following his assassination, the senate the merits of restoring the Republic. [ 11 ]

Claudius [ edit ]

Claudius was a brother of Germanicus. and had long considered a weakling and a fool by the of his family. The Praetorian Guard, acclaimed him as emperor. Claudius was paranoid like his uncle nor insane like his nephew and was therefore able to administer the with reasonable ability.

He the bureaucracy and streamlined the citizenship and rolls. He ordered the construction of a port at Ostia Antica for thereby providing a place for from other parts of the to be brought in inclement weather.

ordered the suspension of further across the Rhine, [ 12 ] setting was to become the permanent limit of the expansion in this direction. [ 13 ] In 43, he the Roman conquest of Britannia Julius Caesar had begun in the 50s BC, and more Eastern provinces the empire.

In his own family life, was less successful. His wife cuckolded him; when he out, he had her executed and married his Agrippina the Younger. She, with several of his freedmen. an inordinate amount of power him, and although there are accounts about his …, she may well have … him in 54. [ 14 ] was deified later that

The … of Claudius paved the way for own son, the 17-year-old Lucius Nero.

54–68: Nero [ ]

Main article: Nero

ruled from 54 to 68. During his Nero focused much of his on diplomacy, trade, and increasing the capital of the empire. He ordered the of theatres and promoted athletic His reign included the Roman–Parthian War (a war and negotiated peace with the Empire (58–63) ), the suppression of a led by Boudica in Britannia (60–61) and cultural ties with

However, he was egotistical and had severe with his mother, whom he was controlling and over-bearing. After attempts to kill her he finally had her to …. He believed himself a god and to build an opulent palace for

The so-called Domus Aurea. golden house in Latin, was atop the burnt remains of after the Great Fire of (64). Because of the convenience of many believe that was ultimately responsible for the fire, the legend of him fiddling while burned which is almost untrue.

The Domus Aurea was a feat of construction that a huge space and demanded new of construction in order to hold up the jewel encrusted ceilings. By time Nero was hugely despite his attempts to blame the for most of his regime’s problems.

A coup drove Nero hiding. Facing execution at the of the Roman Senate, he reportedly … in 68. According to Cassius Nero’s last words Jupiter, what an artist in me! [ 15 ]

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