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Augustus, Roman emperor, 63 bce–14 cefree

Augustus, Roman emperor, 63 bce–14 cefree

  • Alison Cooley


Augustus is often labelled as “first emperor of Rome” and “founder of the Principate”. Both descriptions hide a much fa complex and fluid political transformation that affected all areas of Roman society during the period when Augustus was princeps.

Augustus did not owe his success entirely to his name, but his inheritance of Julius Caesar’s wealth and support from the plebs of Rome and the army were key props in his rise to power. He made himself central to the state, and people felt that Augustus was uniquely placed to ensure that the gods remained on Rome’s side. His account of his achievements in his Res Gestae demonstrates that he continued to accumulate fabulous wealth, which he then lavishly spent upon the city of Rome. He did encounter some opposition which tends to be underplayed in the sources, partly because he showed remarkable resilience in recovering from setbacks and partly because none of the incidents seriously undermined him in the long term.

Augustus owed a great deal to his family and friends, who were instrumental in achieving what could be described as world conquest; his influence beyond the boundaries of the empire was also extended via the support of “friendly kings” such as Herod of Judaea and Juba of Mauretania. Undoubtedly Augustus himself was responsible for his own success, but he was helped hugely by the enthusiasm with which key messages of his rule were embraced by all levels of a society relieved to be free at last from civil wars. He oversaw the remarkable unification of the Italian peninsula, integrating the municipal aristocracy into his ruling elite at Rome, as well as the emergence of new social groups and cultural practices that promoted a sense of shared Roman political identities in the empire more generally.

Key to his success was his control of the army and his continuing relationship with legionary veterans. He experienced repeated crises within his family which led to his eventually being succeeded by Tiberius.


  • Roman History and Historiography

Updated in this version

Article completely rewritten to reflect current scholarship.

From Gaius Octavius to Imp. Caesar divi filius Augustus

Such was the unique status which Augustus eventually achieved that even the most basic information about him was subject to different competing traditions. He was born C. Octavius, and his birth came to be celebrated in the Julian calendar as having occurred at the Ox-heads on the Palatine Hill in Rome on September 23, 63 bce. This associated him with the symbolic centre of his reorganized Rome, which was consecrated after his death and deification (Suet. Aug. 5).1 He may, however, have been born more prosaically in his family’s home at Velitrae (modern Velletri), the son of C. Octavius (the first of his family to become a senator, reaching the rank of praetor) and Atia (1) (niece of C. Iulius Caesar) (Suet. Aug. 3–4, 6). He first came to public attention delivering the funeral eulogy at his maternal grandmother Iulia’s funeral, perhaps in 52/51 bce (Suet. Aug. 8).2 After assuming his adult toga, his profile was enhanced further when he was co-opted as pontifex in 47 bce and then took part in Julius Caesar’s African triumph in 46 bce (Nic. Dam. 8–9, 17; Suet. Aug. 8). He spent some months with Julius Caesar on campaign in Spain during 45 bce, and at the time of Caesar’s assassination in March 44 bce he was studying at Apollonia in Illyricum (Vell. Pat. 2.59.3–4).

On hearing the news of his great-uncle’s assassination on March 15, 44 bce, he returned to Rome.3 His youth prompted different responses: his stepfather L. Marcius Philippus (2) is said to have tried to dissuade him from accepting the perilous role of heir to Caesar (Nic. Dam. 52–53); Antony to block the inheritance (Cic. Phil. 2.71); M. Tullius Cicero (1) to manipulate him (Cic. Fam. 11.20.1). All risked underestimating his character. He celebrated the ludi Victoriae Caesaris (“games of Caesar’s Victory”) at which the comet named the sidus Iulium (“Julian star”) was heralded as proof of Caesar’s apotheosis, and he handed out largesse to the plebs in accordance with Caesar’s will (Plin. HN 2.94; RG 15.1). It is typical of the long shadow cast by Augustus that later sources attributed this interpretation of the sidus Iulium to Augustus personally, even though the comet’s meaning was in reality developed over time by a variety of authors, starting with the crowd who first witnessed the phenomenon.4 He represented himself as Caesar’s son, even though testamentary adoption of an heir was not proper adoption: Caesar had nominated him in his will as his heir on condition that he assume his name, but instead of the normal procedure for accepting such an inheritance, inserting the testator’s name alongside one’s own, the new Caesar irregularly changed his whole name from C. Octavius to C. Iulius Caesar (“Octavian” being a misnomer favoured by some modern scholarship).5 Whilst Antony was in a strong position as current consul and Caesar’s political heir, this could hardly compete with someone who could now portray himself as the young C. Caesar in mourning for his “father” (RRC 490/2: Coinage of the Roman Republic Online: RRC 490/2) and who benefited from Cicero’s fulminations in the Senate against Antony, which also entailed excusing the young Caesar’s illegal actions in raising troops privately and persuading the Senate to grant him extraordinary imperium (Cic. Phil. 5). In the spring of 43 bce, he was mandated to fight alongside the Caesarians A. Hirtius and C. Vibius Pansa Caetronianus against another Caesarian, Antony, in order to free one of Caesar’s assassins, D. Iunius Brutus Albinus, from being besieged at Mutina (modern Modena) in Cisalpine Gaul, as Antony had laid claim to the province of Cisalpine Gaul, which occupied a crucial strategic position for control of Italy and the West, in place of his allotted province of Macedonia (Vell. Pat. 2.61.4). Following the deaths in battle of both consuls in April 43 bce, young Caesar marched on Rome and extorted the consulship despite (or because of) having raised a private army illegally and being still only nineteen years old (RG 4).6

He continued his quest for vengeance against Caesar’s assassins, who had been exiled in their absence according to a special tribunal established by the lex Pedia de interfectoribus Caesaris (“Pedian law concerning Caesar’s murderers”) proposed on August 19, 43 bce (Vell. Pat. 2.69.5). Following his defeat at Mutina, Antony had fled into Gaul, where he joined forces with M. Aemilius Lepidus (3), then governor of Gallia Narbonensis. After bringing their combined armies back into Italy, they secretly negotiated with young Caesar to establish the triumvirate (see triumviri), which was officially approved for five years by the lex Titia de triumviris rei publicae constituendae (“Titian law concerning the triumvirs in charge of settling the republic”) of November 27, 43 bce.7 This arrangement was later extended by a second five-year period down to the end of 33 bce (RG 7.1).8 During 42 bce, the balance of power was still shifting. The deification of Julius Caesar enhanced Antony’s profile as flamen of the new cult, but at the same time dealt the young Caesar a trump card: he now declared that he was divi filius, as seen on coins issued from around 40 bce (RRC 526/1: Coinage of the Roman Republic Online: RRC 526/1).9

There followed an alliance with Antony to fight the “liberators” M. Iunius Brutus (2) and C. Cassius Longinus (1), who were defeated in the two battles of Philippi (modern Krenides) in October 42 bce (RG 2).10

Unrest in Italy, where young Caesar was tasked with confiscating lands as rewards for the veterans of Philippi, culminated in his bitter siege of Perusia (modern Perugia) in 41–40 bce, where the consul L. Antonius (Pietas) and Fulvia (Antony’s brother and wife) were stirring up opposition against him. In later accounts (e.g., Sen. Clem. 1.9–11), a distinction was made between the cruel young triumvir and the merciful Augustus, but it is clear that feelings were running high, as reflected in the sexual insults on sling bullets hurled by both sides.11 The triumvirate remained notorious for their use of proscription, executing political enemies and confiscating their property: only special pleading later depicted Caesar as lacking responsibility for the executions of the proscribed, notably that of his erstwhile champion, Cicero (Vell. Pat. 2.66.1; Suet. Aug. 27.1).12 In November 40 bce, a reconciliation between Caesar and Antony was celebrated by unprecedented ovations “because he made peace with M. Antonius/ Imperator Caesar” after they sealed the Treaty of Brundisium (modern Brindisi) (Fasti Triumphales Capitolini: Inscr. Ital. XIII.i.87). Hopes for the future were strengthened by the marriage of Antony and Caesar’s sister Octavia (2), and the mistakenly optimistic mood of the times was captured in Virgil’s fourth Eclogue. Imperator Caesar remained based in Rome, consolidating his support among the plebs by the infrastructure improvements undertaken for their welfare by M. Vipsanius Agrippa and by Agrippa’s defeat of Sex. Pompeius Magnus (Pius) in 36 bce, which removed the threat of famine. Fellow-triumvir M. Aemilius Lepidus consequently found himself in command of twenty-two legions in Sicily, which tempted him to challenge Caesar’s ascendancy. Unsuccessful in his challenge, he was exiled from Rome for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, Antony headed eastwards where he pursued a disastrous campaign against Parthia, became estranged from Octavia, and made an alliance with Cleopatra VII. This set him on a collision course with Caesar, leading first to the battle of Actium in 31 bce and ultimately to the capture of Alexandria (1) in 30 bce. Contemporaries were in no doubt that the contest between Caesar and Antony was for control of the world (Nep. Att. 20). Following Antony’s defeat, the new world order was acknowledged by King Herod (1) the Great, who went to meet Caesar on Rhodes to pledge his allegiance (Joseph. BJ 1.387–393). Other “friendly kings” were not so fortunate: Alexander of Emesa and Adiatorix of Galatia, who had supported Antony, were paraded as part of the triple triumph celebrated by Caesar on his return to Rome in 29 bce, and thereafter executed (Dio Cass. 51.2.2; Strabo 12.3.35).

Caesar was not yet securely in control, but only meagre traces remained of opposition. Nevertheless, the speed with which the disgraced triumvir’s son M. Aemilius Lepidus (4) was arrested and executed in 30 bce by C. Maecenas during Caesar’s continued absence from Italy suggests the swift suppression of a threat (Vell. Pat. 2.88), whilst the refusal of spolia opima to M. Licinius Crassus (2) in 29 bce shows a reluctance to allow any challenge to Caesar’s monopoly on military glory (Livy 4.20.5–8). During the second half of 29 bce, membership of the Senate was revised and new patricians created. Along with the deaths of Caesar’s opponents during the civil wars, this was a step towards ensuring loyalty among the Senate’s membership.

From 28 bce, steps were taken to restore constitutional government following the irregularities of the triumvirate: Caesar annulled by decree the illegal measures of the triumvirate (Dio Cass. 53.2.5; Tac. Ann. 3.28.2). He recommenced the traditional practice of handing over the fasces to his fellow-consul in alternate months (Dio Cass. 53.1.1). That he “restored laws and rights to the Roman people” was commemorated on an aureus (BM accession no. CM 1995.4–1.1).13 At the end of 28 bce, he took the traditional oath on leaving his consular office that he had done nothing contrary to the laws (Dio Cass. 53.1.1). At a meeting of the Senate on January 13, 27 bce, he handed back control over the provinces to the Roman people (Ov. Fast. 1.589; Strabo 17.3.25). The Senate acknowledged his unparalleled contribution to Rome’s safety in ending civil wars and restoring peace by voting him both the corona civica (see crowns and wreaths), to recognize his saving of citizen lives, and laurel trees flanking the door of his Palatine house, symbolic of victory (RIC2 Aug. 419). L. Munatius Plancus proposed that he should adopt Augustus, a word resonant of authority, sanctity, prosperity, and a special relationship with the gods (see Augustus/Augusta as titles), as a new cognomen. The clupeus virtutis, a golden shield inscribed with his virtues, was decreed for the Senate house (RG 34) (see Figure 1). Its juxtaposition with the statuette of Victory dedicated by Augustus remained from then on a visible reminder of what the Senate owed to him (RIC2 Aug. 47a). Both objects became prominent and long-lasting symbols of Augustus’s pre-eminence in the state, creating a new visual language of power.14

Imperium Sine Fine (“Rule Without End”)

The ending of decades of civil war brought with it the opportunity to focus once again upon foreign conquest. The prestige to be won by military conquest continued unchanged, but increasingly it became assigned to Augustus personally, with members of his family in supporting roles. His bold adoption of the title Imperator as praenomen from at least 38 bce showed an early appreciation of the usefulness of making military success integral to his persona.15 Contemporary poetry encouraged the view that Rome would enjoy a boundless empire under Augustus (Virgil, at Aen. 1.278–279, has Jupiter prophesy imperium sine fine, “rule without end”). By the end of his life, Augustus was said to have conquered the whole world (RG heading). His first major conquest was of Egypt, which became a province of the Roman empire (RG 27.1). During the 20s bce he travelled to the Iberian peninsula in order to extend Roman control throughout the region, and he reorganized the Gallic provinces. In this, as in all his military conquests, Augustus’s personal contribution was not as significant as the military skills shown by Agrippa, Drusus, and Tiberius, who between them conquered the Iberian peninsula, Alpine regions, and Germany as far as the Elbe, consolidating Rome’s control of the West from the Pillars of Hercules northwards to the boundary of Ocean (RG 26.1–4), even though the conquest in Germany proved to be of limited duration. Down to 19 bce, when L. Cornelius Balbus (2) was the last general not belonging to the imperial family to celebrate a triumph, Rome continued to extend its control over Africa, experiencing mixed success in its campaigns into Aethiopia (see Ethiopia) and Arabia (RG 26.5).16 The bronze Meroe head of Augustus (British Museum 1911,0901.1) was unceremoniously buried beneath the steps of the temple commemorating the Aethiopians’ victory.

Diplomacy was also an important element in extending Roman “soft power” well beyond lands directly ruled by Rome, as far as the regions around the Caspian Sea, China, India, and Britain (RG 31–32).17 Rome’s relationship with its traditional enemy Parthia posed problems, which continued beyond Augustus’s death. The recovery of Roman military standards from the Parthians in 20/19 bce was proclaimed by the Parthian Arch in the Roman Forum,18 on coins (RIC2 Aug. 287), and on the Prima Porta statue (see Figure 2).19 But tensions continued between Rome and Parthia as both powers tried to keep control of the buffer zone of Armenia by intervening in its royal succession (RG 27.2).20 Elsewhere, Roman influence via “friendly kings” (see client kings) was much more successful,21 notably in Mauretania, ruled by Juba (2) II and Cleopatra Selene,22 and in Judaea, ruled by Herod the Great before its annexation in 6 ce.23

Source. Public Domain.

During Augustus’s lifetime, therefore, Rome came into contact with far-flung reaches of the world. Italy’s geographical centrality to that world and the Roman people’s consequent right to rule the rest of it were expressed in literature (e.g., Vitr. Dearch. 6.1.10–11), and the knowledge on which Roman power was based was displayed monumentally in the city of Rome via Agrippa’s map and the Porticus ad nationes with its statues of all the peoples of the world (Serv. Aen. 8.721).24 New ways of thinking about imperial destiny emerged at Rome, as the word imperium took on the meaning of “territorial empire” for the first time,25 and as authors like Strabo set Roman rule within a universal context. Control over natural resources, including marbles and exotic animals, and the ability to impose taxation upon the provinces brought glory to Augustus as he transformed the public buildings of Rome with polychrome marble for the first time and displayed vast numbers of wild animals in the games (RG 22.3). Credit for world rule increasingly coalesced in the person of Augustus, and new ways of celebrating his victories emerged with the dedication of the Ara Pacis Augustae (“Altar of Augustan Peace,” now restored in the Museo dell’Ara Pacis: see Figure 3) and the Ara Fortunae Reducis (“Altar of Fortune the Home-Bringer”) (RG 11–12). Augustus took credit for all successful military actions, which were seen as fought under his auspices with divine support, as illustrated by the Gemma Augustea (see Figure 4). The last triumph celebrated by an individual from outside the imperial family, in 19 bce, not only marked an end to the ceremonial celebration of victorious generals but also denied future victors the chance of dedicating manubial monuments in the city of Rome.26 Military success was closely related to the sentiment that Rome prospered when the gods were properly worshipped (e.g., Hor. Carm. 3.6): in its most extreme form, civil war was regarded as a punishment from the gods for their neglect by the Roman people. Augustus was represented as having a unique ability to act as an intermediary with the divine, as a divinely appointed leader of Rome, and as guardian of the empire. More practically, he also established a new relationship with the Roman army, transforming it into a professional force whose serving soldiers owed allegiance, and whose veterans owed their retirement bonus of land or cash, to him personally (RG 3.3). For the first time, there was a commander-in-chief of Rome’s military forces.27

Figure 3. The Ara Pacis Augustae or Altar of the Augustan Peace.

Source. Carole Raddato. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Figure 4. Gemma Augustea.

Source. James Steakley. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Once new territories had been conquered, Roman rule over them was consolidated in a variety of ways. Imposing victory monuments, such as at La Turbie in the Alps (see Figure 5), reminded locals of Roman military might. Colonies of veteran soldiers were established (see colonization, Roman), including in remote mountainous areas (RG 28), and could become foci for monumental complexes displaying Roman imperial power, such as are found in Pisidian Antioch (near modern Yalvaç).28 Members of the local elite derived prestige from associating themselves with cult of the princepsand his family. The construction of major highways through newly conquered areas, such as the via Sebaste in Anatolia, allowed for the rapid movement of troops. Provincial administration was overseen by governors, many of whom were directly appointed by Augustus in provinces where legions were based, but day-to-day routine tasks largely depended upon local agents based in provincial cities. Despite the conventional division of provinces into “imperial” and “public” (Strabo 17.3.25), the Cyrene Edicts of 7/6 bce (SEG IX.8) illustrate that Augustus was perfectly prepared to intervene even in a “public” province if requested to do so by envoys from the province.29

Figure 5. La Turbie.

Source. Berthold Werner. CC BY-SA 3.0.

The military success story was abruptly interrupted in 6 ce by a revolt in Pannonia, and the province’s geographical proximity to Italy made the revolt a real threat. The unusual step of conscripting freedmen in the army betrays the level of anxiety that arose at a time when Rome was also beset by famine, fire, and unrest over new taxes (Vell. Pat. 2.110–116). The suppression of the revolt was shortly followed by the notorious defeat of P. Quinctilius Varus and the loss of three legions in Germany in 9 ce (Vell. Pat. 2.117–122). Despite these setbacks, Dio Cassius’s claim (56.33) that Augustus left behind after his death a document in which he advised Tiberius not to expand the empire is contradicted by other evidence that Augustus was still intent on imperialistic plans during his final years.30

Transformation of the City of Rome

Augustus devoted substantial paragraphs in his Res Gestae (19-21) to his transformation of the city of Rome.31 Although these paragraphs do not mention some of the earliest changes wrought by Augustus and his allies, they had been of fundamental importance in securing him power. Agrippa, holding the office of aedile (see aediles) in 33 bce—an extraordinary post since he had already served as consul—had made improvements to the city’s infrastructure that benefited the plebs and thus helped to secure goodwill towards his ally Caesar, who was absent from Rome at the time. Augustus’s Mausoleum, completed in 28 bce, is likely to have been begun in the years leading up to Actium in response to the revelation that Antony’s will stated that he, by contrast, wished to be buried in Alexandria.32

A cluster of buildings inaugurated on Caesar’s return to Rome after the fall of Alexandria emphasized his position as heir of Julius Caesar. The Temple of Divus Julius (see Figure 6) was dedicated on August 18, 28 bce, three days after the triple triumph. Its completed design did not honour Julius Caesar alone: in front of the temple was a platform displaying the prows of ships captured at Actium, whilst Egyptian booty was placed inside the temple. The Curia Julia (see Figure 7), which Julius Caesar had begun, was dedicated on August 28, 29 bce. One of the main meeting-places of the Senate, it housed an altar and statue of Victory which Augustus probably set up at the time of the building’s inauguration, the clupeus virtutis, and an inscription hailing Augustus as pater patriae. At its meetings there, the Senate was surrounded by reminders of Augustus’s significance to the state.

Figure 6. The Temple of Divius Julius.

Source. Rabax63. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Figure 7. The Curia Julia.

Source. Public Domain.

Augustus claimed to have built or repaired eighty-two temples in Rome in 28 bce (RG 20.4).33 This is all the more remarkable since he was not yet pontifex maximus at this date.34 Nor was this the totality of his temple-building, which also included restoring the Temple of Jupiter Feretrius, founded by Romulus and considered Rome’s oldest temple (31 bce), restoring the Temples of Quirinus and Minerva (16 bce), and founding the Temple of Jupiter Tonans (“the Thunderer”) (22 bce). The Res Gestae lists other temples too, notably the Capitolium, symbol of Rome’s empire. It was an integral part of Augustus’s claim to be setting Roman society to rights that he depicted himself as upholder of traditional religious practices (see “Tradition and Innovation in Augustan Religion”).

Augustus’s impact on the city and the lives of its inhabitants was far-reaching. Infrastructure improvements boosted the supply of water and improved drainage and sewerage, helping to combat floods of the Tiber and to protect the riverine transportation of raw materials (notably marble from Luni and timber) and other goods into Rome. Following Agrippa’s death in 12 bce, Augustus took over management of Rome’s aqueducts, establishing the office of curatores aquarum. New venues were created for spectacles on a grand scale, including the Theatre of Marcellus (see Figure 8) and an artificial lake for a mock naval battle held as part of the inauguration of the Temple of Mars Ultor (“the Avenger”). Existing venues, such as the Theatre of Pompey and Circus Maximus, were repaired or improved. In 7 bce, Augustus divided Rome up into fourteen regions (regiones) and, on a smaller scale, into individual neighbourhoods (vici) (there were 265 of these by the time of Vespasian). This ensured that every part of the city was effectively administered, with the neighbourhoods providing the framework for fire-fighting and for taking the census, in this way offering new detailed statistical data on the city’s population.35 It also provided scope for revival of the cult of the lares compitales (see “Tradition and Innovation in Augustan Religion”).

Figure 8. Theatre of Marcellus.

Source. Yari Haklai. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Building projects emphasized the centrality of Augustus and his family to the history of Rome. The Forum Augustum (see Figure 9) , built to accommodate legal and business activities overflowing from the two existing fora (Suet. Aug. 29.1), was dominated by the Temple of Mars Ultor. Some ceremonies traditionally carried out at the Capitoline temple were performed instead at the new temple of Mars, signifying a new, wider conception of the god’s role (Dio Cass. 55.10.2–5).36 In the forum’s northwest hemicycle stood Aeneas, surrounded by kings of Alba Longa and members of the Julian family down to the recently deceased M. Claudius Marcellus (5) and Elder Drusus. Opposite, in the southeast hemicycle, was Romulus, flanked by the summi viri responsible for securing Rome’s empire (Suet. Aug. 31.5). Each statue was accompanied by two inscriptions, said to have been composed by Augustus (Plin. HN 22.6.13), which recorded the honorand’s name, career, honours, and achievements (Inscr. Ital. XIII.iii).37 In the centre of the piazza was a statue of Augustus in a triumphal chariot as pater patriae. Inscribed bases, which perhaps supported gilded statues of personified provinces, were set up by provinces in his honour (Vell. Pat. 2.39.2; CIL VI 31267). The complex had a deep impact even beyond Rome, with similar statues of Rome’s “greatest men” (summi viri) being set up in the Italian towns of Arretium and Pompeii, and with the architectural design of the forum being imitated over subsequent decades in five cities in the Hispanic peninsula, most notably at Emerita, colonia and capital of the province of Lusitania.38 The overall effect was to present Augustus as the central figure in Roman history linking past and present, thus justifying his accumulation of powers, and exalting the Julii above all other families at Rome.39 A similar message was projected by the Fasti triumphales (see fasti) engraved onto the Actian/Parthian Arch in the Forum Romanum: the layout of the inscription, whereby no space was left vacant to be filled by future triumphs, also expressed the idea that triumphs had come to a peak under Augustus.40 Traditionally, victorious commanders would build a manubial monument to commemorate their victory: this came to an end with the Theatre of Balbus in 13 bce. Future monuments in Rome, such as the Temple of Concord or Portico of Livia, were monopolized by Augustus and his family. During his rise to power, Imp. Caesar had been honoured with monuments in the Forum Romanum, an equestrian statue and columna rostrata, but in time the space of the Forum became framed by Augustus’s dynasty more widely, with the addition of the Actian/Parthian Arch alongside the Temple of divus Iulius, the basilica Iulia, and the porticus Gai et Luci.41 The golden milestone proclaimed the Forum to be the focal point of the road network of the empire (Dio Cass. 54.8; Plut. Vit. Galb. 24), whose conquest was guaranteed by Augustus and his family and whose peaceful condition was proclaimed by closing the gates of Janus (RG 13). In this way, the Forum provided a meaningful location in which imperial adoptions were performed (Suet. Aug. 65.1).

Figure 9. The Forum Augustum.

Source. José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro. CC BY-SA 4.0.

The role of the Campus Martius in elite self-representation had already shifted momentously under Iulius Caesar and Pompey (see Cn. Pompeius Magnus (1)), but the monuments built by Agrippa between 29 and 25 bce—the Saepta Iulia, Baths, and Stagnum—continued its transformation into an area devoted to popular relaxation and entertainment. The northern Campus Martius became dominated by monuments of Augustus. The Mausoleum remained the largest tomb in Rome, unsurpassed as a dynastic trophy-tomb.42 The Ara Pacis Augustae, dedicated by the Senate on the birthday of Augustus’s wife, Livia Drusilla, in 9 bce in fulfilment of a vow made in 13 bce for Augustus’s safe return to Rome from the West, confirmed the unique role of Augustus and his family for Rome’s welfare, introducing the first “Augustan” deity into Rome, projecting images of peace and prosperity, and giving a new focus to the women and children of the imperial family, who are depicted on the altar’s enclosure as taking part in a religious procession alongside priests and senators (see Figure 10).43 The grid of a meridian instrument (regarded by some as a sundial) laid out across the paving of the Campus plotted the changing seasons via the shadow cast by an obelisk transported from Egypt (10 bce), displaying Augustus’s control over time itself.44

Figure 10. Detail of Ara Pacis.

Source. Public Domain.

On the Palatine, Augustus set up his residence near the monumental complex around the Temple of Apollo Palatinus, vowed in 36 bce after Agrippa’s victory at Naulochus but which became more associated with Actium after being dedicated on October 9, 28 bce (Prop. 4.6). The archaeology of the Palatine complex is so unclear that even the identity of the House of Augustus itself is in dispute: the residence labelled as such for visitors to the Palatine today should not be regarded as where he lived, which instead is probably still covered over by the remains of the Flavian domus Augustana nearby.45 The Sibylline oracles (see Sibyl) were transferred to the temple of Apollo from the Capitoline temple, and the new temple was as prominent as the old in the celebration of the ludi saeculares (“centennial games”). The defeat of Egypt was evoked in its porticoes by statues of the Danaids, the mythical daughters of Danaus (see Danaus and the Danaids) who had murdered their bridegrooms, the sons of Aegyptus, on their wedding night. Augustus’s house was situated next to the Temple of Apollo, and its importance to him is reflected by the fact that when he became pontifex maximus, Augustus dedicated part of his house as a shrine to Vesta instead of occupying the Regia, the official home of the pontifex maximus. This gave his house unique status in Rome. The location of his house further associated Augustus with Rome’s mythical past, juxtaposing him with the temple of the Magna Mater (see Cybele), Romulus’s hut, the Lupercal (see Lupercalia), and the steps of Cacus.46

Tradition and Innovation in Augustan Religion

As Horace (Carm. 3.6) illustrates, the Romans believed that the wellbeing of Rome depended upon maintaining a good relationship with the gods. In his building projects in Rome, therefore, Augustus took great pains to restore temples and build new ones (see the Transformation of the City of Rome). After 33 bce, only Augustus or members of the imperial family were involved in temple-building, placing them in a unique relationship with the gods. He also revived obsolete cults, ceremonies, and priesthoods, including the fratres Arvales (Arval brothers), Salii (priests of Mars), fetiales (priests of the Latin states), flamen Dialis (priest of Jupiter) (see flamines), compitalia (cross-road shrines), augurium salutis (prayer for the safety of the people), closure of the gates of Janus, and ludi saeculares (centennial games) (Suet. Aug. 31.4).47 In doing so, Augustus and his family became inserted into the fabric of many of these rites: the names of Augustus, Gaius (see C. Iulius Caesar (3)[YC92]), and Lucius (see L. Iulius Caesar (4)) became incorporated into the hymn sung by the Salii; sacrifices and vows were made by the Arvales on behalf of their welfare; the Lares Augusti were worshipped at crossroad shrines. By 16 bce, Augustus had become a member of all of the major priestly colleges at Rome, as well as several minor ones (RG 7.3; RIC Aug. 367), in an unprecedented accumulation of priesthoods, thereby inserting him into a significant network of Roman aristocrats who held priestly offices, and he was elected pontifex maximus in 12 bce. Although up to this point the office of pontifex maximus had entailed acting as head of the college of pontifices, under Augustus it was transformed into a post of even more importance, becoming a kind of “head of Roman religion.” As a result, Augustus was regarded as central to the continuation of proper public rites at Rome. The visual expression of his solemn priestly status can be seen in the Via Labicana statue (see Figure 11), which depicted him in the act of offering the libation which preceded the actual ritual of animal sacrifice. This is a typical illustration of the way in which Augustus was visually represented as exemplifying the piety (pietas) needed to ensure the gods’ support for Rome.48 At the same time, it offered a visual interpretation of what it meant for Augustus to present himself as civilis princeps.49 Even before he had become pontifex maximus, Augustus had intervened in Rome’s religion on a large scale (for example, celebrating the ludi saeculares by virtue of his position as president of the quindecimviri sacris faciundis), but on becoming pontifex maximus he was able to complete Julius Caesar’s calendar reforms. The month of Sextilis was renamed as August (Suet. Aug. 31.2).50

Figure 11. The Via Labicana.

Source. Folegandros. CC BY-SA 3.0.

One of the most important festivals to be celebrated was the ludi saeculares (“centennial games”) in 17 bce, heralding the dawning of a new age for Rome. Not only do we have a detailed inscribed dossier recording the rites,51 but also the hymn composed by Horace for the occasion known as the Carmen Saeculare, the Sibylline oracle relating to the games, and commemorative coins (RIC Aug. 350). The festival was intended to be a once-in-a-lifetime solemn celebration, purifying the citizen body, carrying out rituals by night and by day to Greek and Roman deities in different settings in the city of Rome, and honouring the gods with games. The ludi were presided over by Augustus and Agrippa as leading members of the quindecimviri sacris faciundis, who followed the prescription for the festival as laid down by the Sibylline oracle, but at the same time both revived traditional practices and introduced new features, such as promoting a contentious marriage law which had been passed during the previous year.52 Above all, the festival’s purpose was reoriented so as to look forwards towards future prosperity as much as backwards to expiate the past.

The Senate also took a lead in innovation, introducing “Augustan” deities to Rome with the vowing of the Ara Pacis Augustae in 13 bce (see “Transformation of the City of Rome”). It remained open to interpretation exactly what this title meant, whether it indicated a deity whose powers were being invoked on behalf of Augustus or one who was somehow being identified with Augustus. But the idea took off, with further “August(an)” deities being introduced to Rome (including Iustitia Augusta, Concordia Augusta, and Mars Augustus), and then swiftly spreading beyond the capital. In Pompeii, for example, a temple of Fortuna Augusta was built in 3 ce. In 19 bce, the Senate had also set up the Ara Fortunae Reducis on Augustus’s return from the East and had established the Augustalia games. Naming a festival after a living person in this way was unprecedented at Rome. Vows and thanksgivings for Augustus were frequently voted by the Senate (RG 9–12).

The formal division of the city of Rome into regions and neighbourhoods in 7 bce offered the opportunity to revive the compital (crossroads) cults which had been a source of anxiety in the 50s bce. Augustus personally gave cult statuettes of the lares Augusti to neighbourhoods within which freedmen and slaves benefited from the opportunity to gain status from undertaking civic duties. Their pride in this is clear from inscribed lists of vicomagistri (neighbourhood officials) which echo the consular fasti. The reliefs sculpted upon the altars show their integration into wider Augustan themes: the altar from the Vicus Sandaliarius dedicated by four magistri vici in 2 bce depicts, on its front, Augustus as augur (see augures) flanked by his son Gaius and perhaps Gaius’s wife Livi(ll)a (or a priestess); on its right, two Lares; on the left, Victoria carrying the clupeus virtutis; on its rear, the corona civica and laurel branches. The visual repertoire of the altars illustrates how the local officials commissioning the altars inventively engaged with images from “official” public art.53

In Rome itself, Augustus was formally assigned the trappings of cult only after his death and deification, whilst in Italy and the provinces his cult was established at both municipal and provincial levels from early on. The worship of Augustus and Roma was introduced into the provinces of Asia (see Asia, Roman province) and Bithynia-Pontus in 29 bce (Dio Cass. 51.20.6–7). In the West, the provincial sanctuaries at Tarraco (modern Tarragona) and Lugdunum (modern Lyon) became important centres of loyalty towards Rome.54 Members of the local elite gained prestige and influence as priests of Augustus, acting as local benefactors to their communities: former royalty of the newly annexed province of Galatia invested in their roles as priests of Roma and Augustus at Ancyra (modern Ankara), paying for gifts of games, banquets, and distributions of olive oil and grain (I.Ankara no. 2).

By the end of Augustus’s lifetime, important elements of Roman religion had been restructured, with the figure of Augustus becoming central to many public and private cults, even though plenty of other cults remained that had no links to Augustus. Libations might now be poured to honour Augustus at private dinner tables, whilst Ovid included statuettes of Augustus, Livia, Tiberius, Germanicus, and Drusus (see Drusus Iulius Caesar (1)) in his household shrine in exile at Tomi (Ov. Pont. 4.9.105–110). Augustus himself was responsible for some of the restructuring, but the Senate also played a major part in it, whilst all sections of society from slave to senator had a stake in it. Ultimately, though, the very title “Augustus” distinguished him from the rest of Roman society.

Transformation of Society

The civil wars had a huge impact upon Rome, Italy, and the larger Roman world. The major battles had been fought abroad, at Philippi, Actium, and Alexandria, and many noble families were diminished or had disappeared entirely. The battles had a long-lasting impact upon the places where they were fought: a colony of veterans was established at Philippi; Alexandria became part of the new province of Egypt; and the population around Actium was reorganized into a victory-city, Nicopolis (modern Palioprevesa).55 The disruption caused by veterans’ being settled on confiscated land in northern Italy is revealed in Virgil’s Eclogues 1 and 9, but colonies were also founded around the Mediterranean basin (RG 28), from Spain to Syria.

At Rome, the Senate was reshaped.56 Augustus revised its membership three times (RG 8.2),57 reducing its size and bringing in “new men” from Italian municipal towns, many of whom had proved their worth in military service.58 Augustus himself extraordinarily occupied from 28 bce the position of princeps senatus usually held by the most senior member of the Senate (RG 7.2). Augustus held the consulship repeatedly down to 23 bce when he resigned following a critical illness, being instead awarded tribunician power. Holding this power without the associated office was typical of his accumulation of powers, allowing him control of the Senate’s agenda without himself acting as consul (RG 4.4).59 A subcommittee was introduced to scrutinize the Senate’s agenda before each meeting (Suet. Aug. 35.3).60 A new property qualification for senators was introduced, differentiating them from equestrians by requiring them to have one million sesterces; senatorial status became regarded as a hereditary rank.61 The legislation passed in 18–17 bce regulating marriage between the orders (lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus), penalizing adultery (lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis), checking electoral corruption (lex Iulia de ambitu), and restricting expenditure (lex Iulia sumptuaria) (Suet. Aug. 34)62 continued to define the distinct status of senators and intervene in the private affairs of all citizens, but especially of the elite, to an unprecedented extent. Any assessment of the relationship between Augustus and the Senate must take note of the fact that when he was present in Rome Augustus’s leadership of the Senate was formally recognized: he had control over its debates and agenda; debates and voting were held openly; and meetings were held in venues like the Curia Iulia or Palatine Temple of Apollo where honours for Augustus were on display.63 At the same time, senators were excluded from traditional means for self-promotion in the capital, being denied triumphs and excluded from erecting public buildings, putting on games, or courting the plebs via donatives or banquets.64

The equestrian order (see equites) achieved a new prominence and dignity.65 Members, who were required to have 400,000 sesterces, took part in an annual horseback parade (transvectio) and were subject to formal scrutiny by Augustus in 13 bce and probably at five-year intervals thereafter. Membership was also dependent upon free birth and moral worth. In addition to equestrians continuing to serve in the army and on jury panels, new equestrian posts vital to Rome’s security were created over time, including the prefectures of Egypt (30 bce), praetorians (2 bce), vigiles (6 ce), and grain supply (annona) (8 ce) (see praefectus). Equestrians also served as procurators (see procurator), appointed by the princeps to oversee financial affairs in the provinces. They associated themselves with the younger generation of the imperial family, acclaiming Gaius and Lucius as “leaders of the youth” (principes iuventutis: RG 14.2) (see princeps iuventutis).

Below the equestrians in rank were the apparitores, the officials who worked for magistrates as scribes, messengers, lictors, and heralds, deriving prestige from their professional links with the officers of state.66 The most famous of these was the poet Horace, who was also a scriba quaestorius (“scribe of quaestorial rank”). Under Augustus, the groups into which apparitores were organized (decuriae), assigned to particular magistrates, became increasingly defined. Apparitores, like the magistri vicorum (neighbourhood officials) or the equestrian order, were also given new opportunities for attaining an honorific public profile through imperial ceremonial: in 9 bce, the decuriae of scribes met the funeral procession of Augustus’s stepson Drusus and escorted it to the Campus Martius (Suet. Claud. 1.3).

The place of freedmen and freedwomen in society was reinforced via the lex Fufia Caninia of 2 bce, which imposed restrictions upon the numbers of slaves who could be freed in an owner’s will, and the lex Aelia Sentia of 4 ce, which sought to ensure that any slaves being freed were deserving of their freedom. Thus, the quality and quantity of freedmen and freedwomen were regulated by law. This legislation also resulted in a new category of Junian Latin (see Latini Iuniani) either under Augustus or Tiberius: this was an interim status category whereby freedmen not fulfilling the criteria for full manumission could still enjoy freedom, with the possibility of upgrading to full citizenship once they had a legitimate child reach the age of one.67 Freedmen and freedwomen became newly visible in funerary monuments during the Augustan age, as they celebrated their ability to enjoy a legitimate marriage and for their children to be freeborn if born after their parents had been manumitted. In addition, large-scale columbarium tombs appeared during this period, both for the lower-class members of an elite household (such as the staff of Livia), or for non-elite individuals, enhancing further still the over-representation of freed people in the funerary record.68 Thanks to the emergence of the imperial family, a new category of higher-ranking freedmen and freedwomen was created: those who had been formerly slaves of the princeps could play important administrative roles within the state.69 Members of the familia Caesaris spread into areas of public administration and finance to such an extent that, on his death, the breviarium totius imperii (“brief account of the whole empire”) drawn up by Augustus referred any questions about accounts to his freedmen and slaves (Suet. Aug. 101.4): control over the state had effectively been transferred to Augustus.

The interests of the plebs were cultivated by Augustus. In 22 bce, he assumed the cura annonae, with grain distributions being administered by a senatorial commission of curatores. After 7 ce, the cura annonae, directed by an equestrian prefect, expanded into a sizeable administration. He replaced the provision of fire-fighting, previously entrusted to aediles, with a system based on the new urban neighbourhoods, and, in 6 ce, with seven cohorts of freedmen vigiles under an equestrian prefect. This inhibited any ambitious politician from gaining too much popularity with the plebs, as had happed with M. Egnatius Rufus in 22 bce. Augustus introduced a regulation in 22 bce limiting games-givers to no more than 120 gladiators for each show, requiring them to obtain permission from the Senate for putting on a show, and imposing upon them a maximum of two shows within a single year (Dio Cass. 54.2.4). This ensured that Augustus excelled in games-giving as in so many other ways. The plebs in their turn expressed their enthusiasm for Augustus: an inscription from 4 bce states that Augustus was making a dedication to the public Lares with money offered to him in his absence by the people (CIL VI 456; Suet. Aug. 57.1). This was part of a regular annual practice, whereby ordinary Romans would give Augustus a small monetary gift each January 1 as an expression of their esteem and good wishes for the coming year. Augustus in turn then supplemented these monetary gifts himself in order to fund the setting-up of valuable statues of deities in the neighbourhoods.70

The place of Augustus and his family at the top of the social hierarchy became gradually concretized through their official powers, wealth, relationship with the army, ceremonial celebrations, monumental commemorations, and intermarriage.71 Augustus’s family members came to monopolize traditional elements of elite display at Rome. From as early as 35 bce his wife and sister, Livia and Octavia, were exceptionally granted tribunician sacrosanctity (Dio Cass. 49.38.1), whilst the construction of the massive Mausoleum demonstrated Augustus’s intention to promote his family. The fact that Augustus had only a single daughter, Iulia (3), from his first marriage to Scribonia, made it necessary for women to take on a prominent role in his family,72 and Augustus used marriage alliances with his daughter as a means to provide heirs of his blood: Iulia was married in turn to her cousin Marcellus, her father’s oldest friend Agrippa, and her stepbrother Tiberius. The sons of Agrippa and Iulia, Gaius and Lucius, were adopted by their grandfather in 17 bce; when they died in 2 and 4 ce, Tiberius and Agrippa Postumus (youngest son of Iulia and Agrippa) were adopted by Augustus, and Germanicus by Tiberius.

Augustus’s family played crucial roles in consolidating Augustus’s dominance. His close friend, ally, and son-in-law Agrippa was responsible for developing a navy and for subsequent naval victories at Naulochus and Actium, as well as for the conquest of the Iberian peninsula. Agrippa shared consulships and grants of censorial and tribunician power with Augustus. Together, as members of the quindecimviri, they presided over the ludi saeculares. Agrippa then headed eastwards, where he established Polemon (1) as king of Pontus, and settled veterans at Berytus and Heliopolis. Together with Iulia, he provided Augustus with five grandchildren, three of them boys. His death in 12 bce deprived Augustus of an able colleague. Augustus’s stepsons Tiberius and Drusus played prominent roles in military victories in the Alps, Germany, Pannonia, and Illyricum. Gaius and Lucius were both promoted early, but both died prematurely. Gaius met his death whilst in the East, where he had appointed a new client king in Armenia. Other members of his family, however, undermined Augustus’s authority. His daughter Iulia and granddaughter Iulia (4) were both exiled for adultery in 2 bce and 8 ce, in circumstances that at best challenged Augustus’s own laws and at worst raised the spectre of civil wars long past. His only surviving grandson, Agrippa Postumus (see Agrippa Iulius Caesar), was also relegated for his “bad character” in 6 ce.73

It is unclear at what date Augustus began to plan seriously for dynastic succession to his position. Although later sources present his nephew/son-in-law Marcellus as a potential heir, this is likely to be with the benefit of hindsight. Similarly, the common descriptions of Augustus as “first emperor of Rome” and the “founder of the Principate” are also the result of subsequent events, and do not map neatly onto contemporary perceptions of his rule.74 By 2 bce, Gaius and Lucius were hailed as the principes iuventutis, suggesting that leadership at Rome was being steered towards the next generation of Augustus’s family. Even in their case, however, it seems that Augustus may have been envisioning a dual succession. Acknowledgement that they were being trained up as potential heirs appears in Augustus’s letter of 1 ce on his sixty-fourth birthday (Gell. NA 15.7.3) and in the reactions to their premature deaths as preserved in inscribed decrees from Pisa (CIL XI 1420–1421). Rather than viewing Augustus as having already founded a new political system, which we now know as the Principate, it is more accurate to view Gaius and Lucius (and in due course Tiberius) as being lined up to inherit their paterna statio (“father’s post”). The evolution of political life at Rome and the emergence of the Principate as a system of authority continued after Augustus’s death.

Discussion of Literature

The Roman Revolution by Sir Ronald Syme, published in 1939 when threats of autocratic dictatorships were only too evident, still remains the starting point for any analysis of Augustus.75 Syme was clear that Augustus came to power through military force and that a crucial role was played in supporting him by many “new men” from Italian municipalities who supplanted many of the traditional aristocratic families at Rome (many of whom perished in the civil wars). The significance of Syme’s work is the focus of three volumes, which draw attention to new perspectives.76 Scholars in recent decades have also radically rethought the relationship of Augustan writers to the regime, moving beyond Syme’s “Organization of Opinion.”77

An equally momentous contribution to the study of Augustus is Paul Zanker’s The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, originally published in German as Augustus und die Macht der Bilder.78 Ever since then, no study of the Augustan era can be complete without consideration of the visual and material culture of the time alongside the ancient historical texts that offer a political narrative. This interdisciplinary approach has been facilitated by the publication of two major reference tools, the Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae and a mapping project for Augustan Rome which is available both in print and digital formats.79 This is part of a wider shift whereby the topography and monuments of the city of Rome are now incorporated into discussions of broader historical developments.80

Constitutional questions have traditionally formed the backbone of Augustan studies, as scholars have tried to define exactly what Augustus’s constitutional powers were.81 To a large extent this interest is justified by Augustus’s obvious concern in the Res Gestae (5–6) to represent himself as adhering to mos maiorum (“ancestral custom”) in his political role. This has, however, led to misleading claims that Augustus “restored the Republic” whilst hiding his powers behind this façade. These claims still linger, even though Edwin Judge produced a convincing refutation of them in the 1970s.82 Increasingly, however, scholars have challenged accepted terminology, which labels Augustus as “emperor” and his period in power as a “reign,” or frameworks such as the “settlement of 27 bce,” recognizing that Augustus had no grand plan from the start for how to become an autocrat (here the perspective of our main narrative source, Dio Cassius, is misleading). Although some have claimed that the “Principate” was founded in 27 bce, no new political constitution was in fact ever established as such by Augustus during his lifetime: Augustus himself described his aim in terms of a desire to establish the res publica in its optimus status (“best state of affairs”). What we now see as the “Principate” evolved after his death, as Tiberius was faced with taking over his paterna statio and dealing with the problem that he was not Augustus.83

To define Augustus solely in terms of his constitutional powers is to misconstrue the way in which he exerted his authority, which also depended upon his vast financial resources and control of Rome’s military forces.84 Equal importance should be given to his centrality to religious, political, exemplary, economic, and visual spheres of action at Rome, in Italy, and in the provinces. This might be understood as auctoritas.85 The prominence of Augustus’s portrait on coins and the empire-wide distribution of his portrait statues meant that his image became one of the most important unifying elements of the Roman empire.86 His name was included in a wide variety of monumental inscriptions, including building dedications and milestones, even if he personally had made no contribution to their setting-up.87 The Senate as a body played a fundamental role in helping to shape Augustus’s positive image, experimenting with voting him a variety of honours over time.88 Individual senators also contributed to this process, with the proconsul of Asia, Paullus Fabius Maximus (husband of Augustus’s cousin Marcia), proposing that from 8 bce Augustus’s birthday should be regarded as New Year’s Day in the provincial calendar.89

Paradoxically perhaps, this entry focusing on the figure of Augustus ends with a reminder that Augustus was not the central motivator for all change that occurred during his many years in power. It is all too easy to write as if Augustus were the active agent of change, and to assume that he followed some strategy or policy in his transactions with others, whether in Rome, Italy, or the provinces. In order to understand Augustus and his age, however, we need to resist adopting an exclusively biographical approach, or one that is centred upon Rome alone, or one that deals with a limited range of evidence, or one that fails to take account of Augustus’s reception in both ancient and more modern times.90 Furthermore, the traditional neat periodization between “Republic” and “Principate” is no longer a helpful tool of analysis.

Primary Texts

  • Cooley, Alison E.Res Gestae divi Augusti: Text, Translation, and Commentary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Cooley, Melvin G. L., ed. The Age of Augustus. LACTOR 17. London: London Association of Classical Teachers, 2003.
  • Rich, John W.Cassius Dio: The Augustan Settlement (Roman History 53–55.9). Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1990.
  • Rowan, Clare. From Caesar to Augustus (c. 49 bcad 14): Using Coins as Sources. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Smith, Christopher, and Anton Powell, eds. The Lost Memoirs of Augustus. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales, 2008.
  • Swan, Peter Michael. The Augustan Succession: An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History, Books 55–56 (9 B.C.–A.D. 14). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Toher, Mark. Nicolaus of Damascus: The Life of Augustus and the Autobiography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • Wardle, David. Suetonius, Life of Augustus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Woodman, Anthony J.Velleius Paterculus: The Caesarian and Augustan Narrative (2.41–93). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Links to Digital Materials


  • Béranger, Jean. Principatus. Etudes de notions et d’histoire politiques dans l’antiquité gréco-romaine. Publications de la Faculté de Lettres 20. Geneva: Université de Lausanne, 1973.
  • Bowersock, Glen. Augustus and the Greek World. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.
  • Bowman, Alan K., Edward Champlin, and Andrew Lintott, eds. The Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. 10, The Augustan Empire, 43 B.C.–A.D. 69. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • Edmondson, Jonathan, ed. Augustus. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.
  • Galinsky, Karl. Augustan Culture. An Interpretive Introduction. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.
  • Galinsky, Karl, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Galinsky, Karl. Augustus. Introduction to the Life of an Emperor. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Gildenhard, Ingo, et al., eds. Augustus and the Destruction of History: The Politics of the Past in Early Imperial Rome. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Philological Society, 2019.
  • Giovannini, Adalberto, ed. La Révolution Romaine après Ronald Syme: Bilans et perspectives. Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 2000.
  • Goodman, Penelope J. “Twelve Augusti.” Journal of Roman Studies 108 (2018): 156–170.
  • Gurval, Robert A.Actium and Augustus: The Politics and Emotions of Civil War. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.
  • Hurlet, Frédéric. Les collègues du prince sous Auguste et Tibère. Collection de l’École Française de Rome 227. Rome: École Française de Rome, 1997.
  • La Rocca, Eugenio, et al., eds. Augusto. Milan: Electa, 2013.
  • Lott, J. Bert. The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Lowrie, Michèle. Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Milnor, Kristina. Gender, Domesticity and the Age of Augustus: Inventing Private Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Morrell, Kit, Josiah Osgood, and Kathryn Welch, eds. The Alternative Augustan Age. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • Millar, Fergus, and Erich Segal, eds. Caesar Augustus: Seven Aspects. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984.
  • Raaflaub, Kurt A., and Mark Toher, eds. Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate. Berkeley and Oxford: University of California Press, 1990.
  • Severy, Beth. Augustus and the Family at the Birth of the Roman Empire. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.
  • Syme, Ronald. The Roman Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939.
  • Wallace-Hadrill, Andrew. “Image and Authority in the Coinage of Augustus.” Journal of Roman Studies 76 (1986): 66–87.
  • Zanker, Paul. The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. Translated by Alan Shapiro. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988.


  • 1. On problems concerning the date and place of Augustus’s birth, see David Wardle, Suetonius, Life of Augustus (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 95–97.

  • 2. Wardle, Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 109.

  • 3. Mark Toher, “Octavian’s arrival in Rome, 44 B.C.,” Classical Quarterly 54, no. 1 (2004): 174–184.

  • 4. Nandini B. Pandey, The Poetics of Power in Augustan Rome: Latin Poetic Responses to Early Imperial Iconography (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 35–82.

  • 5. Walter Schmitthenner, Oktavian und das Testament Cäsars: Eine Untersuchung zu den politischen Anfängen des Augustus, 2nd ed. (Munich: Beck, 1973), 104–115.

  • 6. Alison E. Cooley, Res Gestae divi Augusti: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 113.

  • 7. Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939), 187–201.

  • 8. On the renewal of the triumvirate, see Cooley, Res Gestae, 134.

  • 9. On Caesar’s divinization, see Michael Koortbojian, The Divinization of Caesar and Augustus: Precedents, Consequences, Implications (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

  • 10. Cooley, Res Gestae, 115–116.

  • 11. Judith P. Hallett, “Perusinae glandes and the changing image of Augustus,” American Journal of Ancient History 2 (1977): 151–170; full corpus of the Perusine glandes in Lucio Benedetti, Glandes Perusinae:Revisione e aggiornamenti (Rome: Quasar, 2012).

  • 12. Wardle, Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 205.

  • 13. John W. Rich and Jonathan H. C. Williams, “Leges et ivra p.R. restituit: A New Aureus of Octavian and the Settlement of 28–27 bc,” Numismatic Chronicle 159 (1999): 169–213.

  • 14. Fundamental analysis of new visual language under Augustus developed by Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, trans. Alan Shapiro (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988).

  • 15. Ronald Syme, “Imperator Caesar: A Study in Nomenclature,” Historia 7 (1958): 172–188, reprinted in Roman Papers, vol. 1, ed. Ernst Badian (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), 361–377.

  • 16. Cooley, Res Gestae, 224–228.

  • 17. Compare Roman influence on coins minted by Kujula Kadphises, founder of the Kushan empire, generally dated 30–80 ce but possibly contemporary or near-contemporary with Augustus: Karl-Uwe Mahler, “Augustus und Kujula Kadphises, Herrscher der Kushan,” in Augustus—Der Blick von außen: Die Wahrnehmung des Kaisers in den Provinzen des Reiches und in den Nachbarstaaten; Akten der Internationalen Tagung an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz vom 12. bis 14. Oktober 2006, ed. Detlev Kreikenbom (Wiesbaden: Harassowitz, 2008), 297–320.

  • 18. The remains of an Augustan arch in the Roman Forum next to the temple of divus Iulius have been interpreted variously as the Actian Arch and the Parthian Arch: John Rich, “Augustus’s Parthian Honours, The Temple of Mars Ultor and the Arch in the Forum Romanum,” Papers of the British School at Rome 66 (1998): 71–128; and Amy Russell, “The Augustan Senate and the Reconfiguration of Time on the Fasti Capitolini,” in Augustus and the Destruction of History: The Politics of the Past in Early Imperial Rome, ed. Ingo Gildenhard et al. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Philological Society, 2019), 157–186.

  • 19. C. Brian Rose, “The Parthians in Augustan Rome,” American Journal of Archaeology 109, no. 1 (2005): 21–75.

  • 20. Cooley, Res Gestae, 230–234.

  • 21. For the term “friendly king,” see David Braund, Rome and the Friendly King: The Character of the Client Kingship (London: Croom Helm, 1984). The complementary role of royal women is explored by Duane W. Roller, Cleopatra’s Daughter and Other Royal Women of the Augustan Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

  • 22. Duane W. Roller, The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene: Royal Scholarship on Rome’s African Frontier (New York: Routledge, 2003).

  • 23. David Jacobson and Nikos Kokkinos, eds., Herod and Augustus: IJS Conference, 21st–23rd June 2005 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008).

  • 24. Important contribution on the relationship between geographical knowledge and imperial power in the Augustan era by Claude Nicolet, Space, Geography and Politics in the Early Roman Empire (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991).

  • 25. John Richardson, The Language of Empire: Rome and the Idea of Empire from the Third Century bc to the Second Century ad (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 117–145.

  • 26. Wolfgang Havener, “Augustus and the End of ‘Triumphalist History,’” in Augustus and the Destruction of History: The Politics of the Past in Early Imperial Rome, ed. Ingo Gildenhard et al., eds. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Philological Society, 2019), 111–131.

  • 27. Kurt A. Raaflaub, “The Political Significance of Augustus’ Military Reforms,” in Augustus, ed. Jonathan Edmondson (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), 203–228.

  • 28. Stephen Mitchell and Marc Waelkens, Pisidian Antioch: The Site and its Monuments (London: Duckworth, 1998).

  • 29. Fundamental on “public” (rather than “senatorial”) provinces: Fergus Millar, “‘Senatorial’ Provinces: An Institutionalized Ghost,” Ancient World 20 (1989): 93–97, reprinted in Hannah Cotton and Guy Rogers, eds., Rome, the Greek World, and the East, vol.1., The Roman Republic and the Augustan Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 314–320.

  • 30. Josiah Ober, “Tiberius and the Political Testament of Augustus,” Historia 31, no. 3 (1982): 306–328.

  • 31. Survey article by John Patterson, “The City of Rome: From Republic to Empire,” Journal of Roman Studies 82 (1992): 186–215. For all topographical details relating to Rome, see Digital Augustan Rome, which complements the printed volume Mapping Augustan Rome, ed. Lothar Haselberger, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement 50 (Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2002, reprinted with corrections 2009), 50; and Eva M. Steinby, ed., Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, 6 vols. (Rome: Quasar, 1993–2000).

  • 32. Konrad Kraft, “Der Sinn des Mausoleums des Augustus,” Historia 16 (1967): 189–206; Henner von Hesberg and Silvio Panciera, Das Mausoleum des Augustus: Der Bau und seine Inschriften (Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1994); and Penelope J. E. Davies, Death and the Emperor: Roman Imperial Funerary Monuments from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000).

  • 33. For insightful overviews of Augustus’s impact on religion, see Simon R. F. Price, “The Place of Religion: Rome in the early Empire,” in Cambridge Ancient History, ed. Alan K. Bowman, Edward Champlin, and Andrew Lintott, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 812–847; John Scheid “Augustus and Roman Religion: Continuity, Conservatism, and Innovation,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, ed. Karl Galinsky (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 175–193; and Jörg Rüpke, Pantheon. A New History of Roman Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018), 185–210.

  • 34. For the importance of his election as pontifex maximus for Augustus’s ability to influence Roman religious life, see John Scheid, “Ronald Syme et la religion des Romains,” in La Révolution Romaine après Ronald Syme, ed. Adalberto Giovannini (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 2000), 39–72.

  • 35. Penelope Goodman, “In omnibus regionibus?: The Fourteen Regions and the City of Rome,” Papers of the British School at Rome 88 (2020): 119–150; and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, “Mutatas formas: The Augustan Transformation of Roman Knowledge,” in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, ed. Karl Galinsky (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 55–84, esp. 76–78.

  • 36. Marianne Bonnefond, “Transferts de fonctions et mutation idéologique: Le Capitole et le Forum d’Auguste,” in L’Urbs: Espace urbain et histoire, Collection de l’École Française de Rome 98 (Rome: École Française de Rome, 1987), 251–278.

  • 37. Statue fragments published by Joachim Ganzert and Valentin Kockel, “Augustusforum und Mars-Ultor-Tempel,” in Kaiser Augustus und die verlorene Republik (Berlin: Antikenmuseum, 1988), 194–199, nos. 80–92; analysis of the whole complex by Martin Spannagel, Exemplaria Principis: Untersuchungen zur Entstehung und Ausstattung des Augustusforums (Heidelberg: Verlag Archäologie und Geschichte, 1999). On the statues, see Joseph Geiger, The First Hall of Fame: A Study of the Statues in the Forum Augustum (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008).

  • 38. Vibeke Goldbeck, Fora augusta:Das Augustusforum und seine Rezeption im Westen des Imperium Romanum (Regensburg: Schnell und Steiner, 2015).

  • 39. Zanker, Power of Images, 192–215; T. James Luce, “Livy, Augustus, and the Forum Augustum,” in Between Republic and Empire. Interpretations of Augustus and his Principate, ed. Kurt A. Raaflaub and Mark Toher (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990), 123–138.

  • 40. Havener, “Augustus and the end of ‘Triumphalist History’”; and Russell, “The Augustan Senate and the Reconfiguration of Time on the Fasti Capitolini.”

  • 41. Nicholas Purcell, “Forum Romanum (the Imperial Period),” in Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae. ed. Eva M. Steinby, vol. 2 (Rome: Quasar, 1995), 336–342.

  • 42. Penelope J. E. Davies, Death and the Emperor: Roman Imperial Funerary Monuments from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000), esp. 49–67.

  • 43. Zanker, Power of Images, esp. 120–123, 172–183, 217–218; John Elsner, “Cult and Sculpture: Sacrifice in the Ara Pacis Augustae,” Journal of Roman Studies 81 (1991): 50–61; and Hannah Cornwell, Pax and the Politics of Peace: Republic to Principate (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), esp. 155–183.

  • 44. In the past, debate has raged over the nature of this monument, whether sundial or meridian instrument: see Lothar Haselberger, ed., The Horologium of Augustus: Debate and Context (Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2014); and Bernard Frischer, “Edmund Buchner’s Solarium Augusti: New Observations and Simpirical Studies,” Atti della Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, 3rd ser., Rendiconti 89 (2017): 3–90.

  • 45. T. Peter Wiseman, The House of Augustus: A Historical Detective Story (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019).

  • 46. T. Peter Wiseman, Historiography and Imagination: Eight Essays on Roman Culture (Exeter, UK: University of Exeter Press, 1994), chapter 8.

  • 47. Mary Beard, John North, and Simon Price, Religions of Rome (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 1:192–206.

  • 48. Richard Gordon, “The Veil of Power: Emperors, Sacrificers and Benefactors,” in Pagan Priests: Religion and Power in the Ancient World, ed. Mary Beard and John North (London: Duckworth, 1990), 201–231, esp. 206–211.

  • 49. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, “Civilis princeps: Between Citizen and King,” Journal of Roman Studies 72 (1982): 32–48.

  • 50. Price, “The Place of Religion: Rome in the Early Empire”; and Scheid, “Augustus and Roman Religion: Continuity, Conservatism, and Innovation.”

  • 51. Bärbel Schnegg-Köhler, Die augusteischen Säkularspiele, Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 4 (Munich and Leipzig: Saur, 2002); and Bärbel Schnegg, Die Inschriften zu den Ludi saeculares: Acta ludorum saecularium (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2020).

  • 52. Denis Feeney, Literature and Religion at Rome: Cultures, Contexts, and Beliefs (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 32–38; and Alison E. Cooley, “Beyond Rome and Latium: Roman Religion in the Age of Augustus,” in Religion in Republican Italy, ed. Celia E. Schultz and Paul B. Harvey, Jr., Yale Classical Studies 33 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 228–252.

  • 53. J. Bert Lott, The Neighborhoods of Augustan Rome (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Harriet I. Flower, The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017), esp. 255–347; and Amy Russell, “The Altars of the Lares Augusti: A View from the Streets of Augustan Iconography,” in The Social Dynamics of Roman Imperial Imagery, ed. Amy Russell and Monica Hellström (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 25–51.

  • 54. For the West, see Duncan Fishwick, The Imperial Cult in the Latin West: Studies in the Ruler Cult of the Western Provinces of the Roman Empire, 4 vols. (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1991–2005); for the East, Simon Price, Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984); for Rome and Italy, Ittai Gradel, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002). Succinct overview: Gwynaeth McIntyre, Imperial Cult (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2019).

  • 55. Nicholas Purcell, “The Nicopolitan Synoecism and Roman Urban Policy,” in Nicopolis I: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Nicopolis, ed. Evangelos Chrysos (Preveza, Greece: Dēmos Prevezas, 1987), 71–90.

  • 56. Claude Nicolet, “Augustus, Government, and the Propertied Classes,” in Caesar Augustus: Seven Aspects, ed. Fergus Millar and Erich Segal (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 89–128; and Amy Russell, “Inventing the Imperial Senate,” in The Alternative Augustan Age, ed. Kit Morrell, Josiah Osgood, and Kathryn Welch (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 325–341.

  • 57. Cooley, Res Gestae, 138–139.

  • 58. T. Peter Wiseman, New Men in the Roman Senate, 139 B.C.–A.D.14 (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), esp. 177–178.

  • 59. Cooley, Res Gestae, 126.

  • 60. Wardle, Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 284.

  • 61. Nicolet, “Augustus, Government, and the Propertied Classes.”

  • 62. Wardle, Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 272–278.

  • 63. Peter A. Brunt, “The Role of the Senate in the Augustan Regime,” Classical Quarterly 34 (1984): 423–444.

  • 64. Werner Eck, “Senatorial Self-Representation: Developments in the Roman Period,” in Caesar Augustus. Seven Aspects, ed. Fergus Millar and Erich Segal (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), 129–167.

  • 65. Nicolet, “Augustus, Government, and the Propertied Classes.”

  • 66. Nicholas Purcell, “The apparitores: A Study in Social Mobility,” Papers of the British School at Rome 51 (1983): 125–173.

  • 67. Paul R. C. Weaver, “Where Have all the Junian Latins Gone?: Nomenclature and Status in the Early Empire,” Chiron 20 (1990): 275–305.

  • 68. On the columbarium for Livia’s household, see Susan Treggiari, “Jobs in the Household of Livia,” Papers of the British School at Rome 43 (1975): 48–77; on the development of columbarium tombs more generally under Augustus, see Dorian Borbonus, Columbarium Tombs and Collective Identity in Augustan Rome (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

  • 69. Paul R. C. Weaver, Familia Caesaris: A Social Study of the Emperor’s Freedmen and Slaves (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1972).

  • 70. Flower, The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden, 263–268.

  • 71. Beth Severy, Augustus and the Family at the Birth of the Roman Empire (New York and London: Routledge, 2003).

  • 72. On the changing profile of women in public and private under Augustus, see Kristina Milnor, Gender, Domesticity and the Age of Augustus: Inventing Private Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

  • 73. Andrew Pettinger, The Republic in Danger: Drusus Libo and the Succession of Tiberius (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

  • 74. Alison E. Cooley, “From the Augustan Principate to the Invention of the Age of Augustus,” Journal of Roman Studies 109 (2019): 71–87.

  • 75. Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939).

  • 76. Fergus Millar and Erich Segal, eds., Caesar Augustus: Seven Aspects (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984); Kurt A. Raaflaub and Mark Toher, eds., Between Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus and His Principate (Berkeley and Oxford: University of California Press, 1990); and Adalberto Giovannini, ed., La Révolution Romaine après Ronald Syme: Bilans et perspectives (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 2000).

  • 77. For example, David West and Tony Woodman, eds., Poetry and Politics in the Age of Augustus (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1984); Anton Powell, ed., Roman Poetry and Propaganda in the Age of Augustus (London: Bristol Classical Press, 1992); Peter White, Promised Verse: Poets in the Society of Augustan Rome (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1993); Michèle Lowrie, Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); John F. Miller, Apollo, Augustus, and the Poets (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Philip Hardie, ed., Paradox and the Marvellous in Augustan Literature and Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Joseph Farrell and Damien P. Nelis, eds., Augustan Poetry and the Roman Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013); Nandini B. Pandey, The Poetics of Power in Augustan Rome: Latin Poetic Responses to early Imperial Iconography (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018). On individual authors, Hans P. Stahl, Propertius: “Love” and “War”: Individual and State under Augustus (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1985); Tara S. Welch, The Elegiac Cityscape: Propertius and the Meaning of Roman Monuments (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2005); Francis Cairns, Sextus Propertius: The AugustanElegist (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Philip R. Hardie, Virgil’s Aeneid: Cosmos and Imperium (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986); R. Oliver A. M. Lyne, Further Voices in Vergil’s Aeneid (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987); R. Oliver A. M. Lyne, Horace: Behind the Public Poetry (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 1995); Alessandro Barchiesi, The Poet and the Prince: Ovid and Augustan Discourse (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997); and Peter J. Davis, Ovid and Augustus: A Political Reading of Ovid’s Erotic Poems (London: Duckworth, 2006).

  • 78. Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, trans. Alan Shapiro (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988), originally published as Augustus und die Macht der Bilder (Munich: Beck, 1987).

  • 79. Eva M. Steinby, ed., Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, 6 vols. (Rome: Quasar, 1993–2000); Digital Augustan Rome web site; and Lothar Haselberger, ed., Mapping Augustan Rome, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplement 50 (Portsmouth, RI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2002; reprinted with corrections, 2009).

  • 80. John Patterson, “The City of Rome: From Republic to Empire,” Journal of Roman Studies 82 (1992): 186–215.

  • 81. On constitutional questions, see, for example, Arnold H. M. Jones, “The Imperium of Augustus,” Journal of Roman Studies 41 (1951): 112–119; Jean-Louis Ferrary, “À propos des pouvoirs d’Auguste,” Cahiers Centre Glotz 12 (2001): 101–154; Hannah M. Cotton and Alexander Yakobson, “Arcanum Imperii: The Powers of Augustus,” in Philosophy and Power in the Graeco-Roman World: Essays in Honour of Miriam Griffin, ed. Gill Clark and Tessa Rajak (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 193–209.

  • 82. Edwin A. Judge, “‘Res Publica Restituta’: A Modern Illusion?,” in Polis and Imperium: Studies in Honour of Edward Togo Salmon, ed. James A. S. Evans (Toronto: Hakkert, 1974), 279–312; at greater length in Edwin A. Judge, The Failure of Augustus (Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019). See also Fergus Millar, “Two Augustan Notes,” Classical Review 18 (1968): 263–266.

  • 83. The limitations of a constitutional approach are explored by Walter Eder, “Augustus and the Power of Tradition,” and Erich S. Gruen, “Augustus and the Making of the Principate,” both in The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, ed. Karl Galinsky (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 13–32, 33–51; and Alison E. Cooley, “From the Augustan Principate to the Invention of the Age of Augustus,” Journal of Roman Studies 109 (2019): 71–87.

  • 84. Michael A. Speidel, “Geld und Macht: Die Neuordnung des staatlichen Finanzwesens unter Augustus,” in La Révolution Romaine après Ronald Syme: Bilans et perspectives, ed. Adalberto Giovannini (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 2000), 113–166.

  • 85. On auctoritas, see Karl Galinsky, Augustan Culture An Interpretive Introduction (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), and “Augustus’ auctoritas and Res Gestae 34.3,” Hermes 143, no. 2 (2015): 244–249, in response to Gregory Rowe, “Reconsidering the auctoritas of Augustus,” Journal of Roman Studies 103 (2013): 1–15; and Michèle Lowrie, Writing, Performance, and Authority in Augustan Rome (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), esp. 279–308.

  • 86. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, “Image and Authority in the Coinage of Augustus,” Journal of Roman Studies 76 (1986): 66–87; Roland R. R. Smith, “Typology and Diversity in the Portraits of Augustus,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 9 (1996): 30–47.

  • 87. Geza Alföldy, “Augustus und die Inschriften: Tradition und Innovation; Die Geburt der imperialen Epigraphik,” Gymnasium 98 (1991): 289–324.

  • 88. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, “Roman Arches and Greek Honours: The Language of Power at Rome,” Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 36 (1990): 143–181.

  • 89. Umberto Laffi, “Le iscrizioni relative all’introduzione nel 9 a.C. del nuovo calendario della provincia d’Asia,” Studi Classici e Orientali 16 (1967): 5–98; Robert K. Sherk, Roman Documents from the Greek East: Senatus Consulta and Epistulae to the Age of Augustus (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1969), 328–337, no. 65 (composite text); Boris Dreyer and Helmut Engelmann, “Augustus und Germanicus im ionischen Metropolis,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 158 (2006): 173–182; and Sacha Stern, Calendars in Antiquity: Empires, States, and Societies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 274–278, with arguments for 8 bce rather than 9 bce.

  • 90. Kit Morrell, Josiah Osgood, and Kathryn Welch, eds., The Alternative Augustan Age (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).