Augustus, born Gaius Octavius in 63 B.C., was known for bringing peace and stability to the Roman Empire. Although he was heir to his great-uncle's throne, Augustus only became the ruler after thwarting the attempts of Antony and Cleopatra to seize power in the wake of Julius Caesar's death. Augustus ascended the throne in 31 B.C. and reigned as the first Roman emperor.
Augustus established a monarchy known as the "principate," which was governed by an emperor who ruled for life. The legacy of Augustus included massive architectural renovations, social reforms and a formidable military force that dissuaded potential invaders from disturbing the peace and security of Rome.