Internal politics of Augustus

Octavian reduces the number of senators to 600 , as in the time of Sulla , and reserves the Senate only to holders of at least 250,000 dinars. The senator then became hereditary , but the power of the Senate was reduced to the management of the senatorial provinces and the proposed laws, which , however, could be ratified only with the consent of Augustus.

Buy much more power the equites , the knights , who , despite being less wealthy, (they had a maximum of 100,000 denarii ) held positions increasingly important as that of the prosecutor.

The prosecutor becomes the official tax collector of ‘ Empire in the provinces , and tax collectors are subject to the prosecutor.

Another important position established by Augustus is one of the prefect . There was the prefect of Egypt ‘ , the prefect of the fleet, the prefect annona , in charge of food distribution in the city, the urban prefect , in charge of public order in Rome , the prefect of the water, which was to control the four aqueducts of the city, and especially the praetorian prefect , head of the bodyguards of the emperor, as a key advisor to the emperor, and also in the early stages of succession to the principality .

From August onwards the provinces are divided into the provinces of the Senate, less turbulent , long established , that do not require a lot of Roman troops , and the imperial ones , which are the borders of the Empire, and they are much more likely to be subject to riots, such as Palestine or regions along the Rhine and the Danube, where then focus the legions employed by the emperor.

At the head of the provinces there is a senatorial proconsul , ex -consul , a member of the Senate, who holds office for one year only , to avoid abuse of the previous period . At the head of the imperial provinces there is a Legato , propraetor , which often leaves Augustus in office for more than a year .

Revenue collection is no longer subject to the whim of the publicans , now mere employees , but is determined by rational parameters and regular, according to the number of inhabitants and the resources actually owned.

Italians , from the Alps to the Straits of Messina , do not pay taxes because they are Roman citizens , not provincial . Augustus divided Italy into 11 regions , and the Italian cities , calls municipalities are autonomous, in fact, every municipality has a Senate.

The provincials who spoke the greek continued to use this language, and all they could to keep their religions , provided that they added the cult of the emperor. In Italy Augusto recovers and extends to the entire peninsula the traditional Roman religion , adding the cult of the imperial family , the Gens Julia .

Augusto proposed a sober lifestyle , which adopted himself , away from the unbridled luxury that was spreading to Rome. Raised at the traditional family model , with at least three children and punished adultery , celibacy and families with fewer children.

The daughter Julia and her niece , with the same name, had many lovers, and even though its close relatives , Augustus made ​​her exile , to demonstrate the sincerity of its policy of moral restoration .



The city of Rome became overcrowded , with half a mill’ion , maybe a mill’ion. While the rich lived in domus , the majority of the population lived in insulae , apartments in dilapidated apartment blocks and built mostly of wood , which are subject to frequent fires . For this he was created a municipal police service that they had to turn off these fires .

There were many public works desired by Augustus : the forum of Julius Caesar, with a temple dedicated to ljui , the Forum of Augustus , the Pantheon, a temple to all the Roman gods , the Mausoleum of Augustus , built when he was still alive , the Altar of peace of Augustus (Ara Pacis ) , the thermal baths of Augustus , the Circus Maximus , where they held public games , such as horse racing on the chariot , the Theatre of Marcellus, and a first amphitheater for gladiator fights , hunts with the slave trade fairs and naval battles , bloody games much loved by the Roman people.

No longer plagued by civil wars and lists of proscription , the city of Rome was enriched with many marble palaces , drinking troughs and fountains, sewers and altars to the Lares and Hands .



The Roman literature becomes rich and original in the first century BC Cifurono orators like Cicero , historians such as Sallust and Caesar himself . There were poets such as Catullus , the most famous Roman poet of love, and Lucretius, who popularized the Epicurean philosophy through his poem De rerum natura , although the Romans were always skeptical and far from the conception of the nature Epicureanism , held little ordered , compared to providentialism stoic .

In the Augustan Age culture flourished even more, thanks to the propaganda of Maecenas. From then on for patronage refers to the support and generous support given to men of culture on the part of those in power .

In the Villa of Maecenas , a close friend and adviser of Augustus , met , were housed and protected in fact the major writers of the time: Virgil, Horace and Propertius .

Virgil exalted in his work the traditional way of life in the camps, and exalted Augustus, giving a foundation to his epic descent from Aeneas.

Horace in his poems extolling the simple and honest life of those who love to surround themselves with friends and live the fleeting moment ( carpe diem ) without aspiring to accumulate wealth and important positions .

Other poets of the time, a bit ‘sad , were Tibullus and Propertius , and Ovid, who was too licentious and libertine , he was exiled by Augustus.

The most important historical era of Augustus was Livy, who wrote a History of Rome from its founding until his day, while Vitruvius wrote a treatment on ‘ Architecture, which remained a landmark until the nineteenth century .

Augustus had a great view of his family, and did represent Mebra of his family on the ‘ Ara Pacis . Also settled before Marcello and then Agrippa as his successors, but both died before him.

Augustus thus adopted the general Tiberius, who had defeated the Germans and had married Julia , daughter of Augustus , who became his successor in 14 AD