Augustus knew that poems like the Aeneid could help convince people that he was some kind of a demi-god (although he never would have wished to have become one when considering the fate of Caesar after he was pronounced a god in 44 B. C. ).
Whether or not Augustus ever was a demi-god is unclear but what is clear is that he used the Roman morality system to his own end effectively. He used the writings he had seen to promote his rule in index. These values were all old traditional values that Augustus re-introduced in order to strike a cord with the Roman people, a return to old values, it has since been referred to as Legislating Morality.
Syme’s also says in his book The Roman Revolution The Princeps, now a monopolist of the means of influencing opinion, used all his arts to persuade men to accept the principate and its program. Augustus almost lobbied support through his patron artists work. Augustus also looked to pro-consular power to strengthen his political might. In 56 B. C.
Pompey, Crassus and Caesar all received the same extended commands. What was strange about Augustuss was that he already held the consulship of Rome. Many believe that Pompey position of prestige in 52 B. C.
was the precedent set for this one, a precedent that is closely linked to the ambitions of Augustus. This pro-consular power gave Augustus more power as well as more recognition of the work being done to reform the republic. This pro-consular power was a key element in the basis of the Principate. With the consular imperium that was given to him he could control the legions, assume responsibility for recruitment.
Two of the most destructive problems facing the late Roman Republic were the instability and disunity caused by incessant civil wars. Rome's rapid expansion, after the Punic Wars, resulted in socioeconomic changes that permanently divided the state. Both aristocratic and plebeian parties sought total control of Rome and tried to destroy each other. Civil war was the continuation of party politics ...
As a Tribune he could veto any legislation he didnt favor. This was the key to giving him the power to control the military, a task that the senate seemed to be incapable of. This pro-consular power was the key to Augustuss military reforms. In 27 B. C. Augustus was confronted with three main problems; to secure his borders against attack, to re-manage the large army, to sort out the population and to gain confidence among senatorial class.
Having already discussed how he went about appeasing senatorial class (the Lex Sarnia and rigged elections to get Plebeians into government) and of how he sorted out the population (by using patronized artists and by also rebuilding the city) the only two left are sorting out the oversized army and by defining and defending the borders. Firstly he set about reforming the army. Firstly he maintained their support through oaths of allegiance and using Legates appointed by him to control the Legions (As mentioned before this had been used before successfully in Spain) He then set about further professionalization of the Roman army, which was not a new concept. The army was reduced from 60 legions to 28, for the first time the army became a career choice for some people. From 14 B.
C. Augustus abandoned land grants in favor of cash payment schemes, the land grant scheme had first been used under sulla and had failed then as the soldiers, after having been away fighting so long, did not know how to be farmers. He sent the troops with over 20 years experience away to the providences with cash pay offs, so that their loyalty was to state not to the generals. Augustus managed to accomplish many feats during his reign. One attribute, which he seemed to use well, was his flexibility. He was able to accommodate the diverse factions that existed with Roman politics at the period.
The Pax Romana was quite unprecedented as Rome had always been an Imperialistic race with the natural instinct to conquer. Augustus really did set foreign policy aside to deal with the internal issues of Rome. He was also astute in some of the decisions he made. He made the main emphasis of this government his personal involvement in the military. He easily appreciated that the prospect of a powerful general attacking Rome was all to possible. It had now happened several times before with the Sulla and the Mariana, it could quite easily happen again.
When a country such as South Africa, or for that matter most African nations, changes governing power, a sufficiently stable social basis is vital to the survival and consolidation of the new political system and transition to democracy. The history of the de-colonization of Africa forewarned South Africa allowing it to prepare for the ensuing changes it faced in the early nineties. South Africa ...
He also used propaganda as a tool to get people to support his government. By using popular literary figures of the time Augustus was given a platform that he needed to put no work into bar patronizing these figures. He also recognized that diverse factions needed to be satisfied. Although he wanted to please the Senate, he wanted to prevent them from becoming too big, so he took away their sovereignty but eventually he gave up his consulship so that they could contend it. People often draw parallels between Greek and Roman culture of the time however this is often inaccurate. The Greeks thought of the world as a city-state and were obsessed with individual self-cultivation, Roman civilization was on the other hand based on mans ability to provide the good life for him and others.
The Augustan principate certainly showed that the Romans had found a successful form of government on account of the amount of time that it spent as their way of governing. The Augustan principate encompassed both the old and the new; Augustus took aspects from both spectrum’s and used them to his gain to create a successful system that remained in place for 200 years. Roland Auguet says, The wrinkled hard-bitten, and occasionally tormented look of the late Republican portraiture was replaced by smooth, imperturbable, seemingly impervious to age, of Augustus and his family and associates. From all the above one can conclude that the second version of Horace’s translation is more appropriate to the conditions of the first hundred years of Pax Romana.
Bibliography: 1) Roland Auguet. Cruelty and civilization: the Roman games. Allen and Unwin; 2001 2) Gaius Suetonius Tranquil lus, Michael Grant (translator).
The Twelve Caesars.
Penguin Classics; 1976.