From the Battle of Actium to the Second Settlement

Battle of Actium, 1st Settlement, 2nd Settlement

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The Battle of Actium


Breakdown of relations between Augustus and Mark Anthony

Anthony refuses to marry Octavia, sends her back to Rome

A's will publicly read, married Cleo, children as heirs, body taken back to Egypt if died in Rome

Sea Battle off Actium, Greek island

All Night, Augustus on flagship

Augustus victorious, A commits suicide, C follows suit, viper venom. 

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The Battle of Actium

Suetonius main source

Tacitus, 'Anthony killed'

Virgil, 'barbarous arms', 'while (for shame!) an Egyptian wife followed behind', gods helped Augustus to win

Horace, Rejoice for Victory at Actium! 'I shall drink with you -Jove willing- in celebration of our Caesars victory'

Suicide of Cleo, 'she did not in woman's fashion tremble at the sword'

Res Gestae, 'I added Egypt to the Empire of the Roman people'

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1st Settlement


Aug 'relinquished power'

  • Would hold consulship each year
  • Proconsul of Gaul, Spain and Syria for 10 years

reviewed the senate, made self princeps senatus

senate met to discuss matters, put advice forward as decree's, decree's passed by tribune.

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1st Settlement

Res Gestae, 28-27 BC, I transferred the republic from my power to the control of the senate and the Roman People

Coins, he has restored the Roman people their laws and rights, A as senator, wearing laurel wreath

Paterculus, force was restored to the laws, authority to the courts, majesty to the senate, the power of the magistrates was reduced to its former limit

Strabo, be became supreme ruler for life in war and peace, he divided the whole Empire in two parts. One he assigned to himself, the other to the Roman People

Suetonius, Twice Augustus seriously thought of restoring the republican system

Tacitus, seduced the soldiery with gifts, the people with corn...he gradually increased his power

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2nd Settlement

23BC onward

  • Proconsular Imperium, broader + less specific military power. In conrtol of all provinces requiring military power
  • Tribunician Power, did not hold consulship again, BUT right to put proconsuls, consult the senate, could but business to the senate before anyone else, Tribunician Veto
  • Refused dictatorship + perpetual consulship
  • Only took power once during grain shortage
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2nd Settlement

Tacitus, Tribunician power is the most important feature of princes

noted in all offical documentation

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