Latin Language Blog

Augustus Posted by on Aug 5, 2009 in Latin Language

This post will be dedicated to Augustus, the man who named this month after himself. Originally the month of August was called Sextilis, named after the sixth month of the year. He obviously didn’t hide his humility, because Augustus meant ‘majestic’ in Lain. Of course he made it look like the Senate gave him this name, to which he was only humbly accepting. Well it’s a good thing he accepted, because I’ll be dedicating this post to Augustus and doing a short rundown of his life at the same time.

You may know Augustus, or should I say Emperor Augustus, by another name. Indeed, he was known by several names. His official title is Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus. Of course, he’s also called Octavius especially before 44 B.C. and Octavian between 44 B.C. to 27 B.C. Emperor Augustus has the distinguised title of being the very first emperor of Rome. He’s also known to have resided over the Pax Roma or the era of peace (literally means Roman Peace). His legacy is that of a good and competent emperor, especially when you compare him with the emperors that came after him.

The one thing I admire about Octavius is that he was known to be physically frail, but yet endured this weakness to accomplish his goals. Case in point: Octavius was supposed to join Julius Caesar in Hispania against the forces of Pompey, but he fell ill and was temporarily unable to travel. When he got better, he caught up with Caesar despite having to travel in dangerous territory. Even if he wasn’t strong, he was certaintly brave.

Another thing I like about Octavian was that he took a risk and went against the advice of his senior officers. His senior advisors advised him to stay low after Julius Caesar’s death. After Caesar’s death, Octavian approached Ceasar’s soldiers and charmed them into serving him. Of course it helped that he paid the soldiers very well. These soldiers would come in handy when Octavian marched into Rome and grabbed the consulship for himself. Flashforward to the future, Octavian defeats Marc Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. About three years later the Senate gave him the title of Augustus, thus making him essentially an emperor.

In some ways history has glorified Julius Ceasar, leaving Augustus in the shadows. While I do concede that Julius Ceasar was great, so was Augustus.


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