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In The Period 44bc To 31bc, How Easily Had Augustus Overcome The Difficulties He Faced In Gaining Power?

1395 words - 6 pages

In the period 44bc to 31bc, how easily had Augustus overcome the difficulties he faced in gaining power?

Augustus acquisition and consolidation of power can be split in three stages, the era from March 44BC to October 42BC sees a fairly easy yet fortunate gaining of power wherein he secured funds, military support and successfully outmaneuvered the senate and Antony. The period from October 42BC to 34BC sees Augustus face much greater difficulty in gaining power, his rivals in the Triumvirate as well as domestic troubles in Rome such as need for Veteran land and Sextus' piracy. In the final stage from the donations of Alexandria in 34BC to Actium in September 31BC, ...view middle of the document...

Upon raising a army, Octavian overcomes the problem first of his illegal army, then Antony, and finally the liberatores with great ease, largely through fortune. They key to Octavian’s success leading from his march into Rome to the battle of Philippi is his ease in playing Antony and the senate/liberatores against each other. Octavian successfully negates both Mark Antony’s forces and the senate’s, buy allowing Hirtius and Pansa to help win the battle against Antony, and very conveniently die during, Octavian having overcome his difficulties of Senatorial and Antony's forces, gaining in personal power. After being ordered to hand command of his legions to Decimus Brutus, Octavian marches 8 legions into Rome, where he coerced the senate into revoking the decree declaring Antony a public enemy, and having himself elected consul. This shows how control of the legions nuked any possible political opposition Octavian received, without a doubt Octavian’s difficulties in the form of senatorial opposition were overcome with the greatest ease. Octavian’s alliance with Mark Antony against the liberatores, lends to the idea that Augustus ability to overcome difficulties owed to his ability to adapt to military and political revelations in order to survive, and to gain power. This is also shown in Octavian’s use of the proscription as a political tool, learning from the mistakes of Caesar and mirroring Sulla. The period from 44BC to 42BC are essential in Octavian’s ascent to power, his adaptability and name are the key factors that allow him to traverse the difficulties he faces with great and almost unbounded ease.
The years 42BC to 34BC represent a time of difficulty and opposition for Octavian, despite the defeat of the liberatores. The formation of the Triumvirate in 43BC split the potential power within the empire, which served well while the liberatores and senate were still a threat. This system of power would prevent Octavian from spreading his own personal power throughout the eastern and African parts of the empire for 8 more years. Octavian was also faced with grain shortages in the capital as results of Sextus Pompey’s blocking of Sicilian grain and ocean trade routes. Octavian’s difficulties within the 8 intermediate years Between Philippi and the Alexandria donations are worsened by lack of land for veterans and conspiracies against him. Octavian’s need to secure steady grain to Rome was jeopardized by Sextus, Octavian, despite initial defeat by Sextus, arranged a peace treaty at Misenum to buy time and eventually defeated him. The defeat of Sextus shows the significant influence Octavian had, constructing the Via Hurculanea and the Piscina Mirabilis in order to defeat Sextus. Octavian also had the difficulty of finding land for his veterans, so had to take Gaul for himself from Antony in order to home them. Octavian’s planning and evident auctoritas in Rome allowed him to muster the resources and support to overcome the issues facing the...

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