(Gaius Julius Caesar Octavio) First Roman Emperor (?, 63 a. C. - Nola, Naples, 14 d. C.). He came from a rich family of the order equestrian Veletri (his grandfather was banker and his father, praetor of Macedonia). Mother was nephew of Julio César, which adopted him in 45 BC, and appointed him his heir.
Statue of Augustus
After the death of Caesar (44), engaged in the fight against what had been his Lieutenant, Mark Antony; so they had the support of Cicero and the Senate Republicans, who hoped to split the cesaristas facing them It also had the support of the large financial (as sponsors), allowing him to afford an own army.
Statue of Augustus
After defeating Mark Antony at the battle of Modena, the Senate demanded the appointment of consul; rejected by his youth (was only 20 years old), he marched on Rome and took power without a fight, since the legions sent against him chose to support him.
From the year 43 BC, Octavio Augusto was consul and was granted extraordinary powers. Faced with the resistance of the Republicans Brutus and Cassius, strong in the East, Octavio decided to ally themselves with their former enemies, Mark Antony and Lepidus (Bologna, 43 interview) and with them form a triumvirate. He then began the persecution of Republicans (which Cicero died), which culminated in the battle of Filippi in Macedonia (42).
Outcast Lepidus, Octavio divided is power indeed with Marco Antonio, leaving to the latter the eastern part, while he remained in Rome and controlled the western part. The confrontation between the two led to the war of Perugia (41), in which the military leader of Octavio Augusto, Agripa, defeated the Anthony. The Conference of Brindisi (40) established a new Division of spheres of influence between the triumvirs: Octavio dominated in the West; Marco Antonio in a restricted East, reaching only up to the river Drin (in Albania); Lepidus in Africa; (e) Italy was considered neutralized under the joint rule of the triumvirs. The marriage between the sister of Octavian and Antonio sealed the peace, which remained for four years.
In addition, 39 Sextus Pompey received Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Achaea, with the commitment to keep Rome supplied grain; but in 36 Octavio had to deal with Sextus Pompey, whom he defeated at the battle of Nauloque (Sicilia). Octavio Augusto Government became popular in the West under its boost to agriculture and the integration of the provinces with Rome.
Meanwhile, Marco Antonio had succumbed to the influence of Cleopatra VII of Egypt and practiced a policy orientalizing, little conducive to the Roman interests; Octavio exploded in his favor this circumstance, declaring war on Cleopatra in 32 (Ptolemaic ' war'). After the naval victory of Actium (31), came in Alexandria, where Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide (30). With the annexation of Egypt, Octavio gave Rome control of all the Mediterranean.
Taking advantage of its prestige, Octavio transformed the political regime of the Roman Republic into a kind of monarchy that receives the names of Principality or Empire; the new regime consisted of a balance of power between the Senate and the Roman people, on the one hand, and the Emperor and his house, on the other.
Initially, was renewed every year the term as consul in solo, which was adding new titles that reaffirmed their power; princeps senatus (the first of the senators) in 28 a. C.; Augustus (religious title reflecting his divine mission) and imperator proconsulare of Gaul, Hispania and Syria (which gave him military command) in 27; lifetime Tribune (with veto power over the decisions of the judges) in 23; lifelong Consul and prefect of morals in the 19th; great high priest (religious head of the Empire) in 12; and "father of the homeland" in the year 2 BC
Although it rejected his divinization in life, Octavio Augusto took in its favour the cult of genius, by fostering a cult to the emperor who became an additional link between the inhabitants of the Empire. At the same time, reformed the Roman institutions, adapting them to the need to manage a vast Empire: created the Prince's Council, governing body composed of men of his confidence (Agripa, patron of the Arts); It divided into Senatorial provinces (entrusted to a Governor without a commander appointed by the Senate) and Imperial (a legacy of the Emperor-driven); he reorganized the taxation, by subjecting it to direct management and making it less burdensome; protected the cult; he favored the equestrian order against the senatorial aristocracy; He said the boundaries of the Empire against the Parthians and the Germans; and continued expansion in the area of the Danube and the Black Sea. Among the weaknesses of their power is not have successor (had no sons from his three marriages); eventually adopt his son-in-law Tiberius, whom he associated in power from the 13 d. C., and that happen without difficulty after his death.