Friday, October 8, 2010

Divine Augustus-First Emperor of Rome

By 27 BCE, Octavian controlled the government of the Empire and the loyalty of the Army. Learning from the mistakes of his adopted Father (Julius Caesar) he never proclaimed himself Dictator. Instead he ruled through the Senate and assemblies. This was a fine line of distinction where he always "asked" the Senators to vote and provide input on his laws and running the government. Before each vote he "advised" the Senators on his opinion on the case the Senators were voting on. The appearance was that the Senate was an active participant in the ruling of the Empire but in fact the power was totally in the hands of Octavian.

With a free hand he rebuilt Rome, enlarged and secured the Empires borders, redesigned the government and generally created the foundations of the Roman Empire that was to last for the next four centuries. The grateful Senate and people showered Octavian with titles, to the people he was the Augustus Imperator- the Revered Commander of the Army. The total power held by Augustus changed the government to that of a true Empire, the old Republic was now dead to the cheers of the populous! After his death Augustus, like his adopted father, was elevated to divine by the will of the Senate and the people of Rome.



>Silver coin from Pergamum showing the Temple of the Cult of the Divine Augustus, circa 50 CE.

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