Powers of Octavian


Powers of Octavian

  • Augustus must not be a 'rex' or seen to be a 'rex'. If he were, he would create many enemies and the result would resemble Gracchus. Princeps means first, chief or chieftain, was commonly used. Augustus doesn't realy have a title but everyone knows who he is.

Powers Appointed to Augustus

  • imperium proconsulae - the right of consul to exercise any power in any province.
  • imperium maius - his actions overide any govenor or general.
  • tribuncia potestas - like Gracchus, Augustus has the ability to pass and vitto laws, however he shouldn't really do it. Augustus can't be tribune as well as consul, nevertheless he has the aura of one even though he isn't.
  • pater patriae - 'father of the father lands' Octavian changed his name to Augustus which means 'revered one'.
  • princeps senatus - Augustus is not quite the same as Cicero in that sense.
  • pontifex maximus - very holy and religious, direct path to the gods.
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Roman Government


  • These appointments are only open to Senators who have been Praetor or Consul.
  • There will always be two Consuls.
  • The Consuls are responslible for calling and presiding over all meetings of the Senate.
  • The Consul will be responsible for publishing the first Roman newsletter after entering office.
  • Only the Consuls may introduce new Roman laws (the 'imperator' may introduce only martial laws.)
  • Only the Consuls may call for a division of the Senate (a vote).
  • Only the Consuls may call for elections.
  • No Consul may be removed from office before the end of his/her term.
  • All proposed legislation must be put into writing prior to a division of the Senate.
  • After their term, a Consul secures the title and status of Consular, allowing them two Senatorial votes. This is not accumulative.
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Tacitus Annals - Reference to Sejanus

Book 1

1.24.2 - Sejanus is Drusus's mentor, Tiberius's son. He is manipulating him and 'whispering in his ear'. Focalisation and narrotology.

1.69.2 - Agrippina the Elder is flaunting Tiberius's successor, Nero. Sejanus is distorting the things she is doing in a negative light and ultimately turns Tiberius against her.

Book 3

3.16 - Here, Tacitus uses more than praeteritio, there is a strong suggestive comment, however there is not enough evidence to back it up.

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Genealogical tree of the Julio-Claudian dynasty

Augustus Caesar - Princeps

Livila - Augustus's wife

Tiberius Claudius Nero - Livila's son and step-son to Augustus

Julia - Daughter of Augustus

Gaius - Son of Julia

Lucius - Son of Julia

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