Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian as he was called until the adoption by
Caesar, later called Augustus Caesar) was born 23 September, 63 BC. Augustus was the
grand-nephew of Julius Caesar and later became his heir after he learned that his
grand-uncle had adopted him. Augustus Caesar was with out a doubt the greatest political
leader in the Roman Empire. He made Rome what think of it as and what we study today.
Octavian’s first public appearance was in 51 BC when he delivered his
grandmother’s eulogy. In 48 BC he started his political career when he was elected to
pontifical college. In 45 BC he went with Caesar to Spain and in 44 BC when Caesar was
killed he discovered he had been adopted by him. Upon this happening Octavian gathered
support and troops and went to Rome to make his adoption official. When he got to
Rome, Marc Antony, Lepidus, and himself formed the Second Triumvirate. This was
where the three rulers joined forces and destroyed anyone who stood in their way and the
land they acquired was given to deserving soldiers. They fight the battle of Phillipi and in
the Perusine war. They divided the empire between themselves with Antony getting the
rich East, Lepidus getting the West and Octavian receiving Italy. After this in 39 B.C.
Augustus marries Scribonia, who gives him his only child, Julia. The next year he marries
Livia the wife of Claudius Nero but she dies in 29 BC
Eventually Lepidus was forced into retirement so Octavian received the western
lands. Both of the lands swore allegiance to him and Octavian began to focus on Antony
and the rest of the Roman Empire. In 31 BC the Battle of Actium occurred. This was one
of the most important naval battles in the Roman Empires history. The entire Eastern
Empire’s fleet versus the entire Western’s fleet. The converged near Actium in Greece,
hence the name of the battle. They fought a fierce naval battle with all sorts of ships. In
September Octavian had managed to blockade Antony and Cleopatra’s ships. Attempting
to break free, Antony lost the battle but he and Cleopatra managed to flee the battle early
and went to Egypt.
The next year Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide and Octavian annexed
Egypt as a province. Octavian was now in command of the entire Roman Empire.
Octavian knew that he needed to reform the government because the old way was not
working any longer. He managed to give land to 100,000 veterans and paid the original
landowners Egyptian money. He also formed a permanent army and navy which swore
allegiance to him. Octavian elected himself consul, but in 27 BC offered to lay down his
powers, but the Senate disapproved and urged him to continue. They awarded him the
title of Augustus, which means Exalted or Majestic One. From then on he was referred to
as Augustus Caesar. Augustus also became the tribune and received power for life and
became the protector of the Roman people. His backbone of his power...