Divine Augustus Essay

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The True Motivation behind Deeds of the Divine Augustus
Following Rome’s switch from the freedoms of a republic to the bounds of an empire, the new government needed a way to gain credibility with the Roman people. Augustus Caesar eventually took control of the Empire after the assassination of his adopted father Julius Caesar and the removal of his political rivals. The Emperor made many architectural, monetary, and military advances throughout his reign; advances that he chose to detail in writing near his death in Deeds of the Divine Augustus. Though these accomplishments were evident, Augustus knew that if his empire would last, his legacy must be as perfect as possible so the people would not look back and long for the republic of the
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“But the people made me a consul in the same year, when the consuls each perished in battle, and they made me a triumvir for the settling of the republic” (Whitnah 11). After this triumvirate ended, Augustus took a solitary lead role at the head of the government, though he continued to state that the government was a republic. As more time passed with Caesar at the helm, he strategically added more and more responsibilities and abilities to his job. He reached his height of power when he refused an offer to continue in his consul position for the sake of the people, accepting a place as tribune instead (Whitnah 13). What Augustus did not mention within Deeds of the Divine Augustus are the advantages that came with the position of tribune in Roman society during the time period. Augustus, by taking tribunal power, gave himself an irrevocable veto that helped him maintain the most power in the Empire (Whitnah 13). He eventually gained the consul power back again, as well as maintaining the veto from being tribune (Whitnah 13). His writings implied this was a sheer coincidence that had nothing to do with his humble act of relegation in order to make himself look like a favorable figure, but in reality, this was a clever political maneuver done for his own personal gain. His blurring of the truth was also evident in the text when he described his military

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