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Augustus

Grain:

  • Orders troops to clean out irrigation channels in Egypt to increase grain yield and cleared the Tiber channel so ships can get through easily with grain (preventative)SUETONIUS AUG18
  • 'In times of food shortage he often supplied grain to every man on the citizen list at a very cheap rate, or occasionally even free' SUETONIUS AUG 41
  • RES GESTAE he describes how in his eleventh consulship he made 12 distributions of grain purchased at his own expense 
  • RES GESTAE: he took superintendence of the supply in time of 'great scarcity' and within a few days freed whole community from fear and peril. 
  • DIO and TACITUS - Aug creates positions to oversee supply of corn 
  • SUETONIUS he considered discontinuing grain supply but did not because he knew someone else would soon take it over and win people's favour

Water Supply:

  • FRONTINUS: created position of curator aquarum (first held by Agrippa) an official in charge of the water supply. 
  • FRONTINUS: emperor had to give permission for people to draw off water and no one could do so without a license. 
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Augustus

  • FRONTINUS: Agrippa built Aqua Virge and repaired Aqua Appia, Aqua Anio and the channels of the Aqua Marcia however INSCRIPTION on Aqua Appia saying 'Augustus repaired all the channels of the aqueduct' - was this work of Agrippa or Augustus?

Public Order:

  • Three urban cohorts introduced who worked under the command of a senator, the urban prefect, and performed police duties to ensure order in the community TACITUS

Natural Disaster and Response:

  • Vigiles or night watchmen in charge of fire fighting - these were freedmen troops supervised by an equestrian. 'ordered stations of night watchmen to guard against fire' SUETONIUS
  • Egnatius Rufus used slaves to combat city fires which DIO says incited Augustus to delegate fire fighting responsibility to the aediles
  • Formed a fire brigade and enforced building regulations, restricting heights of new buildings particularly those hanging out over public streets STRABO
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Tiberius

Grain:

  • TACITUS: people suffered from oppressive food prices and there were grain problems because of bad weather. not emperor's fault 'he spared neither money nor labour in combating bad harvests'
  • TACITUS: Tiberius enumerated the provinces from which he more importing corn even more extensively than Augustus
  • SUETONIUS: he protested against rise in the cost of fish and said market values should be annually regulated by the senate. 'to set an example in his campaign against waste he often served...half eaten dishes left over from the day before'

Natural Disaster and Response:

  • Paid for houses to be rebuild which were destroyed by fire but no other preventative measures were put in place SUETONIUS TIB 48

Entertainment:

  • 'Gave no public shows at all' SUETONIUS LIFE OF TIB
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Gaius

Water Supply:

  • SUETONIUS 'began the contruction of an aqueduct in the Tiber district' (Claudius finished this construction)

Natural Disaster and Response:

  • 'He went on complaining...particularly that there had been no public disasters' SUETONIUS 31
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Claudius

Grain:

  • DIO: construction of Ostia
  • TACITUS: Shortage of corn resulting in famine - only fifteen days left of supply. Weather was a problem - difficult to prevent
  • SUETONIUS: 'Claudius always interested himself...in the regular arrival of grain supplies'
  • SUETONIUS describes how after a scarcity of corn a mob threw things at Claudius in anger 'he took all possible steps to import grain' 'insuring merchants against the lostt of their ships in stormy weather' - reaction trying to solve problem to best of abilities

Water Supply:

  • Finished Gaius' aqueducts SUETONIUS. 'complete them to the most magnificent  scale' acc to FRONTINUS. PLINY says the work 'surpassed previous aqueducts'
  • FRONTINUS: he restores Aqua Virgo and builds two new aqueducts the Anio Novus and Aqua Claudia and they ensured a water to supply all parts of Rome (Claud v. concerned with building projects that would benefit the people so was big on aqueducts)
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Nero

Grain:

  • COIN depicting harbour at Ostia linking him with thriving port- he completes and continues building project.
  • TACITUS: he brings food in and decreases price after fire - reaction to extreme circumstances

Water Supply

  • Built Neronian Aqueduct which diverted water from Aqua Claudia to his Domus Aurea - concerned about his own private use more than the public's (archeological evidence)

Natural Disaster and Response:

  • 'Now started the most terrible and destructive fire which Rome had ever experienced' TACITUS ANNALS (Great fire of Rome 64AD)
  • Building regulations after fire 'the street fronts had regulated alignments, streets were broad and houses built round courtyards' TACITUS ANNALS 15
  • Nero begins repairs and builds colonnades to protect fronts of houses 'at his own expense' TACITUS
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Vespasian

Natural Disaster and Response:

  • After civil wars and fires at Rome he said anyone could claim ownership and build on abandoned plots to try and restore Rome to its former glory SUETONIUS
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Domitian

Grain:

  • SUETONIUS DOM7 Once when there was lots of wine crop and scarcity of grain, he thought it was because too much attention was being paid to vineyards and ordered no more vines plants and vineyards in the provinces be cut down - quite a drastic response, not actually effective
  • COIN with Domitian and corn - associates him and imperial family with grain supply
  • SUETONIUS and MARTIAL EPIGRAMS Domitian cancelled public grain issue (did what Augustus only considered)
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