Augustus, First Roman Emperor

BookAugustus, First Roman Emperor

Augustus, First Roman Emperor

Power, Propaganda and the Politics of Survival

Greece and Rome Live


September 17th, 2010



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Rome's first emperor, Augustus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, has probably had the most lasting effect on history of all rulers of the classical world. This book focuses on his rise to power and on the ways in which he then maintained authority throughout his reign. It is often assumed that the close relationship between power and presentation, popularly known as 'spin', is a modern phenomenon. Augustus, however, emerges as consummate master of the political process, using propaganda to fashion his own historical legacy. Clark examines the importance of his chief political advisor Maecenas, the patron of Horace and Virgil; and of his military commander Agrippa. He also considers the contrasting fates of the main poets of Augustus' reign, Virgil and Ovid, and the public monuments that - as much as poetry -– served to shape his reputation.

Author Information

Matthew D. H. Clark teaches Classics and Ancient History at Shrewsbury School. He is co-author of 'Measuring the Cosmos' (2003) and reviews regularly for JACT.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
List of Illustrations
Author's Note on Roman Names
Map of the Roman Empire
Map of Italy
Introduction: 'Boy, You Owe Everything to Your Name'
PART I: The Failure of the Roman Republic
1 The Strains of Empire
2 The Death of the Republic
PART II: Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
3 Calculated Risks
4 The Battle for the Empire. 42-30 BC
PART III: Caesar Augustus
5 The Res Publica of Augustus
6 The Frontiers of Empire
7 The Myth of Caesar Augustus
8 Social Engineering: 'Back to Basics'
9 The Imperial Family; The Verdict
Family Tree