Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Writings From the Time of Augustus Caesar - 3
From Augustus, Res Gestae Divi Augusti
1. At the age of nineteen, on my own initiative and at my own expense, I raised an army which I used to liberate the Republic, which was oppressed by the tyranny of a small group of men. Because of this, the senate, with honorific decrees, made me a member of its order, giving me at the same time the title of consul, and the senate granted me the imperium. It ordered me to see to it that the state suffered no harm. In the same year, when both consuls had fallen in the war, the people elected me consul and a triumvir for the protection of the commonwealth.
2. Those who assassinated my father I drove into exile, avenging their crime by due process of law; and afterwards when they waged war against the state, I conquered them twice on the battlefield.
3. I waged many wars throughout the whole world by land and by sea, both civil and foreign, and when victorious I spared all citizens who sought pardon. Foreign peoples who could safely be pardoned I preferred to spare rather than to destroy. ... Though the Roman senate and people agreed that I should be elected sole guardian of the laws and morals with supreme authority, I refused to accept any office offered me which was contrary to the traditions of our ancestors. ...
9. The senate decreed that prayers for my health should be offered up every fifth year by the consuls and priests. In fulfillment of these prayers, games were often celebrated during my lifetime, sometimes by the priests, sometimes by the consuls. Moreover, the whole citizen body, with one accord, prayed continuously for my health at all the shrines.
10. My name was inserted, by decree of the senate, in hymns sung by the priests. And it was enacted by law that I should receive special protection forever and that I should possess the power of a tribune as long as I live. I declined to become pontifex maximus in place of a colleague while he was still alive. A few years later ... I accepted this position, when death removed the man who had taken possession of it; and from all Italy a multitude flocked to my see my election such as had never previously been recorded at Rome. ...
17. Four times I came to the assistance of the treasury with my own money, transferring to those in charge of the treasury 150,000,000 sesterces. And in the consulship of Marcus Lepidus and Lucius Arruntius I transferred out of my own inheritance 170,000,000 sesterces to the soldiers' bonus fund, which was established on my advice for the purpose of providing bonuses for soldiers who had completed twenty or more years of service.
18. ... (In certain years), whenever the provincial taxes fell short, I made up their tribute in grain and in money from my own grain stores and my own inheritance.
20. I repaired the Capitol and the theater of Pompeii with enormous expenditures on both works, without having my name inscribed on them. I repaired the conduits of the aqueducts which were falling into ruin in many places because of age, and I doubled the capacity of one aqueduct by channeling a new spring into its conduit. I completed the Julian Forum and the Basilica which was between the temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn. These works were begun and far advanced by my father, and when the same basilica was destroyed by fire, I enlarged its site and began rebuilding the structure, which is to be inscribed with the names of my sons. In case it should not be completed while I am still alive, I left instructions that the work be completed by my heirs. ... I repaired eighty-two temples of the gods in the city, in accordance with a resolution of the senate, neglecting none which at that time required repair. ... I reconstructed the Flamininal Way (a roadway) from the city as far as Ariminum, and also all the bridges except the Mulvian and the Minucian. ...
22. I gave a gladiatorial show three times in my own name, and five times in the names of my sons or grandsons; at these shows about 10,000 fought. Twice I presented to the people in my own name an exhibition of athletes invited from all parts of the world, and a third time in the name of my grandson. I presented games in my own name four times, and in addition twenty-three times in the place of other magistrates. ... I celebrated the Secular Games. ... I was the first to celebrate the Games of Mars, which afterwards the consuls have regularly celebrated in the succeeding years. Twenty-six times I provided for the people, in my own name or in the names of my sons or grandsons, hunting spectacles of African wild beasts in the circus or in the Forum or in the amphitheaters; in these exhibitions about 3,500 animals were killed.
23. I presented to the people an exhibition of a naval battle across the Tiber where the grove of the Caesars now is, having had the site excavated 1,800 feet in length and 1,200 feet in width. In this exhibition thirty beaked ships, triremes, and biremes (and in addition a great number of smaller vessels) engaged in combat. On board these ships, not counting rowers, there were about 3,000 combatants. ...
26. I extended the frontiers of all the provinces of the Roman people on whose boundaries were peoples subject to our empire. I restored peace to the Gallic and Spanish provinces and likewise to Germany, that is, to the entire region bounded by the Ocean from Gades to the mouth of the Elbe River. I caused peace to be restored in the Alps, from the region nearest to the Adriatic Sea as far as the Tuscan Sea, without undeservedly making war against any people. My fleet sailed the Ocean from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the territory of the Cimbrians, to which no Roman previously had penetrated either by land or sea. ...
34. (At one point in my career), I transferred the state from my own power to the control of the Roman senate and people. For this service of mine I received the title of Augustus by decree of the senate, and the doorposts of my house were publicly decked with laurels, the civic crown was affixed over my doorway, and a golden shield was set up in the senate house, which, as the inscription on this shield testifies, the Roman senate and people gave me in recognition of my valor, clemency, justice, and devotion. After that time I excelled all in authority, but I possessed no more power than the others who were my colleagues in each magistracy.
35. When I held my thirteenth consulship, the senate, the equestrian order, and the entire Roman people gave me the title of "father of the country" and decreed that this title should be inscribed in the vestibule of my house, in the senate house, and in the Augustan Forum on the pedestal of the chariot which was set up in my honor by decree of the senate. At the time I wrote this document I was in my seventy-sixth year.
Writings From the Time of Augustus By:
The Rise of the Roman Empire
Historical Periods of
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| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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