Augustus Caesar is one of the most important figures in the history of Ancient Rome. Caesar was the heir to Julius Caesar and is recognised as the founder of the Roman Emperor. His influence on the city and the era are undeniable and there is a lot of interesting information out there about him, let’s take a look at 10 interesting facts about Augustus Caesar.
Augustus Caesar Interesting Facts
1: Augustus Caesar founded the Roman Empire and became the first Emperor of Rome in 27BC
After defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra in 30BC, Octavian was now the de-facto leader of Rome. He was awarded the name Augustus, meaning the illustrious one, by the Roman Senate in January 27BC, an interesting fact about Augustus Caesar.
By law, the senate had granted Augustus several important powers which meant that he would be the leader of Rome until his death. This marked the start of the Roman Empire and saw Augustus become the first Emperor of Rome. This also marked the start of the Principate, which was the first age of the Roman Empire which lasted between 27BC and 284 AD.
2: He was named heir by Julius Caesar
Augustus was the great-nephew of the Roman leader Julius Caesar on his mother’s side of the family. IN 47BC, Octavia went to Spain to fight alongside his great-uncle and his bravery in battle greatly impressed the Roman leader.
With Caesar himself having no children, he named Octavia as his sole heir when they returned to Rome. This helped elevate Octavia in the eyes of Roman society and would be a decision that would go on to define a lot of his later life.
3: Augustus Caesar was not his birth name
Augustus Caesar underwent several name changes during his life. He was born Gaius Octavius and would later change his name to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, aka Octavian, after he was adopted by his great uncle, Julius Caesar.
His name would later change when he became the de-facto leader of the Roman Empire and was given the name August by the Roman Senate.
4: Augustus Caesar was married three times
Augustus Caesar was married three times, though, his first marriage was fairly inconsequential. Augustus married Clodia Pulchra, the step-daughter of Mark Antony in 40 BC. The couple would divorce the exact same year and Augustus would then remarry within the same 12 month. His second marriage was to Scribonia. This marriage only lasted a little bit longer- one year, and Augustus divorced his wife on the day she gave birth to his only child- Julia the Elder, a crazy fact about Augustus Caesar.
His third marriage was to Livia Drusilla and this was by far his most successful. The two married in 38 BC and would stay together until his death in 14AD.
5: Augustus Caesar died in August 14AD
After a battle with illness, Augustus Caesar died in Nola, a small city just outside Naples. Caesar’s death has been the source of dispute among scholars for centuries. There are many who have suggested that Livia Drusilla, his wife, killed him by giving him poisoned figs. This version of events has been depicted several times throughout history, though, there is little evidence to back this up. His last words were said to be- ‘Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit’.
6: Augustus Caesar was succeeded as Emperor by Tiberius
Augustus was succeeded as Emperor of Rome by his wife’s son, Tiberius Claudius Nero. Augustus reluctantly made Tiberius his heir following the death of his two grandchildren, Lucius and Gaius Caesar.
Augustus adopted Tiberius, ensuring his position as heir to his powers, under the condition that Tiberius adopted Augustus’s nephew, Germanicus to ensure that the family bloodline would retain power in Rome.
7: Augustus was born in September 63 BC
Augustus was born Gaius Octavius in Rome on September 23 63 BC. He was born at Ox-Head, which was a small property close to the Roman Forum, which lies in the centre of Rome. However, Rome was a busy city and Augustus was taken away from the city and was to be raised in his father’s village of Velletri. He would never develop a relationship with his father though, as he died when Augustus was just four years old, a sad fact about Augustus Caesar.
8: Augustus Caesar was a man of little mercy
Augustus Caesar was renowned for being a brutal leader who showed his enemies, or those who disobeyed him, very little mercy. In one famous instance, he made a father and a son decide which one of them would be killed. The father sacrificed his own life for his son only for his son to commit suicide minutes later.
He also famously had 300 prisoners executed at one time to commemorate the death of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March.
9: Augustus Caesar was part of the Second Triumvirate
The Second Triumvirate was a political alliance made up of Augustus Caesar (Octavian), Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and was formed shortly after the assassination of Julius Caesar.
The trio aimed to avenge the death of Caesar and famously defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, who were the two main conspirators behind the death of Julius Caesar. The Second Triumvirate lasted for two five-year terms, starting in 43 BC and ending in 33BC.
10: Augustus Caesar exiled his own daughter
Augustus was a ruled who was keen to uphold traditional values in society and one way he did was to make adultery illegal. While there are many reports to suggest that Augustus himself was regularly unfaithful to his wife, he was still renowned for being very swift in condemning others who commited the act, an interesting fact about Augustus Caesar.
Augustus famously exiled his own daughter, Julia, when it was revealed that she had been having extra-marital affairs with several important people in Rome. Julia was exiled to Ventotene, he would later move her to another, slightly less isolated island but he would never speak to her again.
Few people shaped the history of Rome quite like Augustus Caesar. His war victories, combined with his political movements within the era have made him an iconic figure in history and someone who is still hotly debated to this day.
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