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Rome’s first Emperor
from 27 BC – 14 AD
 Originally
named Gaius Octavius, Augustus
was born in Rome in 63 BC
 He was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar
 When Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC,
Octavius was in Illyria; returning to Italy, he
learned that he was Caesar's adopted heir
 He took the name Gaius Julius Caesar, to
which historians added Octavianus, which is
usually shortened to Octavian in English.
Caesar's assassination plunged Rome into turmoil. Octavian, determined
to avenge his adoptive father and secure his own place, vied with Mark
Antony, for power and honor.
Octavian recognized the necessity of making peace with his rival. In late
43 BC, the two--joined by Antony's ally, the general Marcus Aemilius
Lepidus--met and formed the Second Triumvirate to rule the Roman
By 40 BC the triumvirs had divided the Roman world among them.
Octavian was in control of most of the western provinces and Antony of
the eastern ones; Lepidus was given Africa.
Although Antony and Octavian clashed over the control of Italy, they
patched up their differences. In fact, Antony married Octavian’s
daughter, Octavia. Octavian then forced Lepidus from power while
Antony was in the east fighting the Parthians.
Oh, the drama! Antony sent Octavia back to Rome and he soon married
Cleopatra, whom Caesar had installed as queen of Egypt. Cleopatra
recognized Caesarion (47-30 BC), her son by Caesar, as her coruler. This
undercut Octavian's position as Caesar's only son, and war was inevitable.
In a naval battle off Actium in 31 BC Octavian defeated the forces of
Antony and Cleopatra, who killed themselves in 30 BC. Caesarion was
In 29 BC Octavian returned to Rome, sole master of the Roman world.
 em·per·or
the male sovereign or supreme
ruler of an empire: the emperors of Rome.
 em·pire
a group of nations or peoples
ruled over by an emperor, empress, or
other powerful sovereign or government:
usually a territory of greater extent than
a kingdom.
 He
restored unity and orderly government
after nearly a century of civil wars
 He
was a reformer, patron of arts and