A2 Classical Civillisation- Augustus
Augustus was born on the 23rd of September 63 BC.
Augustus’ mum: Atia and she was the niece of Julius Caesar and Tacitus describes Atia as a pious, devoted mother and an ideal Roman matron.
Father: Gaius Octavius Caesar. He was of equestrian class and was the first family member to be in the senate and later on became governor of Macedonia. He commanded forces against Spartacus and died in 59 BC.
Sister: Octavia was his older sister.
Stepfather: Lucius Marcus Philippus (he was a rich equestrian).
Due to Augustus’ father’s death Julius Caesar became’ Pater Familias’ and Caesar acting as Pater Familias organised important Roman events in which the father usually would have done. Octavius became a member of a college of priests at the age of 14; gave his first public speech at 12 (grandma’s funeral oration); took part in Caesar’s African triumph at the age of 16; joined Caesar’s staff as a trainee officer in Macedonia at the age of 18 (this is where he met Marcus Agrippa).
The arrival of Octavian in 44 BC-
Octavian was in Illyricum when he got a message from Rome telling him that he was left everything in Caesar’s will. He was preparing to go to Rome; he was stopped many times by his family because they didn’t want Octavian to get killed just like Caesar.
Along the way, Octavian stops at Caesar’s camps to get troops. He promised the soldiers that he would pay them 2000 sesterces if they joined him. There were two problems:
Octavian didn’t have the money to pay the soldiers
Octavian didn’t have imperium to control the army.
But he still gained 3000 soldiers.
He also goes to Mark Antony’s camps and buys his soldiers for double the price. (Mark Antony paid his soldiers 450 sesterces, Octavian promised 2000 sesterces). He gained 2 units of men.
Octavian arrives in Rome; nobody will talk to him as he is nobody. Mark Antony avoids Octavian as he doesn’t want to grant Caesar’s will.
Octavian contacts Cicero (as Cicero was a famous speaker and is well known, he is “Princeps Senatus top senator) however Cicero doesn’t help him and avoids him.
After months, in Caesars will it was mentioned that each pleb should be given 750 denarii. So Octavian borrows money from friends and family (Marcus Agrippa) and gives each pleb their share. Octavian gains popularity and gets recognised as Caesars son.
The Siege of Mutina (44-43BC)
War had been broken out between Mark Antony and the state.
Mark Antony makes war on Decimus Brutus, as Antony was given a province which he had disliked and was far from Rome. The closest province was Cisalpine Gaul but that was already taken by Brutus.
Cicero was determined to help out the “heroic” Brutus by using his “Philipps Speechs”
Cicero warns senate about Antony and the senate wants to help Brutus but they can’t as they don’t have enough troops to help Brutus, so Cicero asks Octavian for help as he has troops. Octavian agrees, but it was only false support.