This is the story of Julius Caesar's great nephew and heir who was only eighteen on the Ides of March 44 BC. Then called Caius Octavius, he took the name Caesar, fought his way to power through massacre and civil war and by 30 BC was left unchallenged as the most powerful man in the Roman Republic. He created a new political system, a monarchy in all but name, and was awarded the name Augustus as one of many honours granted to him by the Senate. For the next forty-four years his rule was never seriously challenged and when he died in AD 14 his position passed to his adopted son Tiberius.
Augustus lived a long and extremely full life, rising from teenage warlord to revered elder statesman and father of his country - another of the honours bestowed by a fawning Senate. His greatest achievement was to give Rome and the empire internal peace and stability after decades of political violence and civil wars. Poetry and art all celebrated Augustan peace and at the same time revelled in the last intensive period of Roman expansion.
For a flavour of this man's remarkable life here is an article I wrote for the journal ad familiares: 'Augustus - two thousand years on'
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