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The Basis Of Augustus Power Essay

754 words - 4 pages

Research Essay – The Augustan Age 44BC-AD14
Upon examination of the basis of Augustus’ power, it is clearly evident that his claim within the Res Gestae, “I excelled all in influence, although I possessed no more official power than others who were my colleagues in several magistracies”, does not clearly reflect the basis of Augustus’ potestas. Through the acquisition of his appropriate titles as well as respective magistracies, Augustus’ power was far greater than any of his colleagues within the Senate.

The basis of Augustus’ power emerged from his family ties and bloodline, as the adopted son of Julius Caesar, which provided him a stable foundation for a surge of power. Elected as ...view middle of the document...

The power base of Augustus’ only increased as his political career progressed. With the emergence of the second settle, Augustus was granted the potestas of Maius Imperium which allowed him unlimited military control. Following this was his grant of civil authority, or, his Trubunicia Potestas. This allowed him the ability of veto legislation, the power to summon the senate, the ability to make the first motion at any meeting over consuls and most importantly – he has sacrosanct. This meant that Augustus was free from prosecution, and was an immaculate protection for him. Concise observation of these titles and their abilities clearly displays that Augustus’ power greatly exceeded his colleagues. Uncoincidentially, Augustus has failed to mention his Maius Imperium throughout the Res Gestae. This was done so to maintain Augustus image as ‘ruler for the people, by people’, reassuring them his powers were not abused. While his statement does not indicate the basis of his power, the titles granted upon him and his proceeding magistracies greatly depicts the power influx he held.

Augustus’ statement did not asses the basis of his rule. Cassius Dio, an ancient roman historian stated that Augustus ruled with “absolute power in all matters, having more official powers than his colleagues”. He also states that Augustus was ‘careful to disguise this...

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