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Roman imperial dynasties
Julio-Claudian dynasty
Chronology
Augustus 27 BC14 AD
Tiberius 1437 AD
Caligula 3741 AD
Claudius 4154 AD
Nero 5468 AD
Family
Gens Julia
Gens Claudia
Julio-Claudian family tree
Category:Julio-Claudian dynasty
Succession
Preceded by
Roman Republic
Followed by
Year of the Four Emperors

Augustus (Latin: Imperātor Caesar Dīvī Fīlius Augustus{{#invoke:Category handler|main}};<ref group="note" name="pronunciation">Classical Latin spelling and reconstructed Classical Latin pronunciation of the names of Augustus:

  1. GAIVS OCTAVIVS
    IPA: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ɔkˈtaː.wi.ʊs]
  2. GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR OCTAVIANVS
    IPA: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs ˈjuː.li.ʊs ˈkae̯.sar ɔk.taː.wiˈaː.nʊs]
  3. IMPERATOR CAESAR DIVI F[ILIVS] AVGVSTVS
    IPA: [ɪm.pɛˈraː.tɔr ˈkae̯.sar ˈdiː.wiː ˈfiː.li.ʊs au̯ˈgʊs.tʊs]

The spelling AGVSTVS, indicating the pronunciation [aˈgʊs.tʊs], occurs in inscriptions ({{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}).</ref><ref group="note" name="meaning">The final name of Augustus, Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, means "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine, the Venerable".</ref> 23 September 63 BC – 19 August 14 AD) was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor, ruling from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.<ref group="note">The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian after 45 BC. Due to departures from Julius Caesar's intentions Augustus finished restoring the Julian calendar in March AD 4, and the correspondence between the proleptic Julian calendar and the calendar observed in Rome is uncertain before 8 BC.(Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003: 670–1)</ref>

He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian Octavii family. Following the assassination of his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Octavian was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Together with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.<ref group="note">As part of the Triumvirate, Octavian ruled the Western provinces, Antony the Eastern provinces, and Lepidus Africa</ref> The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its members: Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC.

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward facade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor. It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State"). The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.

The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana (The Roman Peace). Despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and one year-long civil war over the imperial succession, the Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanded possessions in Africa, expanded into Germania, and completed the conquest of Hispania.

Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states, and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign.

Augustus died in 14 AD at the age of 75. He may have died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law), Tiberius.


Augustus sections
Intro   Name    Early life    Rise to power    Octavian becomes Augustus    War and expansion    Death and succession    Legacy    Physical appearance and official images    Ancestry    Descendants    See also    Footnotes    References    Further reading    External links   

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