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Rome after Caesar
Soon after Caesar’s death the third civil war broke out. Mark Antony, Octavian and Lepidus
formed the second triumvirate in 43 BC to defeat Caesar’s murderers. They wanted to get rid
of the enemies, so several hundred senators and equestrians was compiled. In 42 BC at
Philippi Brutus and Cassius were defeated and they committed suicide.
After their death the triumvirate lived out its aim. Lepidus was sent to Africa, and a conflict
arose between Antony and Octavian. Antony married Octavian’s sister, Cleopatra, who bore
him twins.
In 31 BC they met near Actium in Greece, where Antony and Cleopatra were defeated. They
returned to Egypt and when Octavian returned to Egypt Antony and Cleopatra committed
In 29 BC Octavian returned to Rome. In 27 BC he got the name and title: Augustus. Later he
received more titles. The most important was: princeps (first citizen). He had the right to vote
first so influencing the decisions of Senate. Principate: This is a political order when the
institutions of the republic were formally kept but in fact political life was influenced,
controlled, supervised and determined by the princeps.
Populus Romanus gave him the office of the tribune, the Senate gave him the offices of
princeps and proconsul.
He retained the most important republican offices: consul, censor, imperator, pontifex and
augur but refused the office of a dictator.
Pax Romana
Well-paid professional bureaucracy was formed. He also reformed the army – 20 years of
service for more money, and established the Preatorian guard to keep peace and order in
He started a huge building programme: new forum, Mausoleum, temples, Pantheon
In the west he had limited control: Spain was brutally pacified, Gaul was made into 3
provinces. In the north Danube area, Pannonia came under Roman controll by 9 AD.
Augustus established natural bounderies – rivers, mountains...
He adopted his stepson Tiberius, and the dynasty after Augustus was called Julio-Claudian
In August AD 14 Augustus died.