What Did Augustus Do?

Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 43 B.C. Augustus was Caesar’s grand nephew who shrewdly combined lawmaking, military might and institutional building to create the foundations of the 200-year Pax Romana, explains Biography.com. Augustus’s first major act as Rome’s leader was the defeat of Marc Antony during the brief civil war that followed Caesar’s assassination.

During his 40-year reign, Augustus catered to all facets of society. The leader paid his soldiers by plundering Cleopatra’s treasures in Egypt. The emperor passed laws that seemingly gave Roman senators more power in domestic issues to pacify the ruling classes of the city. The leader worked to construct buildings and beautify Rome to appease the masses while he doubled the size of the Roman Empire.

To maintain his empire, Augustus frequently spent time outside of Rome. Augustus used a census along with a taxation system to raise funds. The leader created roads, instituted the Praetorian Guard, created fire departments and had police departments patrol Roman territories. Rome expanded from Great Britain all the way to India during the reign of Augustus.

Augustus formed an uneasy alliance with Antony during the Second Triumvirate, a power-sharing agreement between three of Rome’s top statesmen in 43 B.C. By 32 B.C., Augustus defeated the defiant Antony to become Rome’s sole leader. In 27 B.C. the Roman Senate bestowed the rank of “augustus” on the ruler, proclaiming the monarch to be “the exalted one.”