Augustus and the Success of the Empire
Dec 18, 2007
A special guest contribution from community member “Wotwotius”…
“In my sixth and seventh consulships [28-27 BC], after I had extinguished civil wars, and at a time when with universal consent I was in complete control of affairs, I transferred the republic from my power to the dominion of the senate and people of Rome?After this time I excelled all in influence [auctoritas], although I possessed no more official power [potestas] than others who were my colleagues in the several magistracies.” (Res Gestae Divi Augusti 34.1-3)[]
It is with these words that Augustus not only describes, but also justifies his unique political position. Although it is easy to see through his transparent veil, it is also easy to see how the above statement embodies both the subtly and political delicacy used by Rome?s first emperor. His political power is masqueraded as personal ?auctoritas?; his power achieved through his military supremacy passed off as rule by ?universal consent? ? to use a historical clich?, Augustus was the archetypal ?master of spin?….
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