Augustus Caesar and power

Augustus Caesar’s rise to power and transformation of the Roman Republic into the great Empire was able to happen because of his great ability to gain support from his military soldiers, the senate, and the people. His relationship with each varied, but ultimately lead to him becoming known as the creator of the Roman Empire. Through the gaining of well timed support from the senate, and retaining popularity with his army and the people he was able to gain the political power needed in order to give Rome the opportunity of changing into the Empire it came to be.

Augustus’s mass approval from the senate was the main reason how he gained enough power to take Rome to the next level and fully solidify it as a world power and one of the greatest Empire’s in world history. Augustus’s speeches to the senate, was one of the ways in which he gained the respect as a leader. “Having attained my highest hopes, members of the senate, what more have I to ask of the immortal gods that I may retain the same unanimous approval of yours to the very end of my life” (page 53, DWP). He was also quite modest in receiving titles and accolades from the senate and by the people. By refusing titles early in his political career, he was perceived to be honest and his intentions to be in the best interest of the Republic and not his own power. However when he did accept the titles given to him and once he saw his power growing, this is when Augustus began to change Rome from the Republic it had been, and into the Empire it is most notably remembered for. The senate remained intact and still acted as it did during the past, but unless it gained the approval of Caesar, actions by the senate did not take place. And if someone was elected but was not seen fit to hold the position in the eyes of Caesar than that person would not hold office.”…yet he took care that no persons should hold office who were unfit or elected as the result of factious combinations or bribery” (page 54 DWP) By having absolute power in the Roman government, Augustus was able to show his greatness as a leader.

While Augustus Caesar was not only gaining mass approval to the point of having almost complete control of the senate, he was able to also gain the approval of the people. Augustus is credited in the renovation and improvements made in Roman cities. “I repaired the conduits of the aqueducts which were falling into ruin in many places because of age, and I doubled the capacity of the aqueduct called Marcia by admitting a new spring into its conduit. (page 57 DWP). Augustus also used his great wealth to gain respect form the people, and the army by donating money for bonus to the soldiers who served Rome for a great deal of time. (…I transferred out of my own patrimony 170,00,000 sesterces to the soldiers’ bonus fun, which was established on my advice for the purpose of providing bonuses for soldiers who had completed twenty or more years of service” (pages56-57, DWP). Now it seems that Augustus had truly set in place his total control of not only the government of Rome but the support of its people and its army.

Augustus Caesar was known as the creator of the Roman Empire not because of tyranny or intimidation of its people and government, but through his ability to one by one manipulate each in order to make Rome what it was. He was able to do what no other Roman before him, and that was to unite Rome, and have it head in the same direction, without civil war. His slow but steady rise to power gave him the trust needed to succeed in gaining support from not only the people and the army, but through his modest actions the Roman senate also began to trust Augustus as its leader. This is what made Augustus the great leader he was and how he was able to make Rome into the great Empire it was.

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