An an army he was given political power.

An emperor and
consul are a few of the many words to describe Octavian Caesar best known as
Augustus (63 BCE-14 CE). Before Augustus took power, Rome was governed by a
republican system until leaders wanted absolute power which led to wars (McKay).
Caesar Augustus ended one hundred years of civil war (McKay 155). Augustus job was
to reconstruct Rome (McKay 156). He describes his accomplishments while reconstructing
Rome in “Augustus’ Res Gestae.” Although
Augustus may seem to portray himself as an invaluable and humble leader, his military accomplishments, expansion
of the Roman Empire by conquering rivals, and reconstruction of temples
and religious monuments reveals his arrogance and selfishness in
consolidating power.

            Augustus
wanted Romans to believe he was restoring the republic, yet how he describes
his accomplishments say otherwise (McKay 156). Caesar “… on his own expense… raised
an army…,” and after was titled a consul and given absolute power (Augustus 1).
Augustus’ narcissistic tone to describe his accomplishment shows his arrogance
and selfishness. If he really was a humble leader, he would have stated that he
raised an army without including the using of his own money. Augustus did this
good deed only to be praised for raising an army with his own expenses. He
raised an army to benefit Rome, yet by being able to raise an army he was given
political power.

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            Caesar
is not only selfish when describing his military accomplishments, his expansion
of the Roman empire demonstrates his selfishness as well. Augustus helped
extend “the borders of all the provinces of the Roman people…” and “restored
peace” between Rome and other provinces (Augustus 25, 26). While Augustus did
help expand Rome, his use of phrases such as “I extended” or “I recovered” make
it seem that he did everything on his own without the help of anyone (Augustus
26, 27). Augustus fails to acknowledge his army or anyone because he wants people
to think he was the only person who helped Rome. By not acknowledging anyone,
Augustus comes off as an arrogant person who only wanted power for himself. 

            After
the end of many wars, Augustus needed to rebuild temples (McKay 156). Augustus
mentions the temples he built including “…the temple of Mars Ultor, which cost
him about HS 100,000,000” (Augustus 21). Augustus purpose of reconstructing
temples may have been to restore religion, but his repetition about how much
something cost him demonstrates how he likes to brag about himself. When he
does a good deed, he finds the need to let Romans know how much it cost him. Augustus
continues to do good deeds, so he can gain political positions, in this case pontifex
maximus or chief priest (McKay 156). Caesar wants his followers to believe that
he is benefitting everyone, but everything he does is only to benefit himself.

            While
Augustus’ deeds reveal his arrogance in consolidating power, one might believe Augustus
deeds demonstrate his invaluable and humble relationship with the Roman Empire.
Romans gave him many political positions and names such as the “father of the
country” because of his accomplishments and contributions to Rome (Augustus
35). People celebrated games in honor of him, and all citizens prayed for him (Augusts
9). One might believe everything he did was for the interest of everyone.

Although he did
accomplish a lot for the Romans, everything he did was not for the interest of
everyone. Augustus made people believe he was restoring the republic, but “he
was actually transforming the government into one in which all power was held
by a single ruler” in this case himself (McKay156). He was successful in making
Romans believe he wanted to share power along with senate and the people,
because as previously noted many people praised him. For every good deed,
Augustus in return gets another political title.

Augustus’ way of
describing his numerous accomplishments in his Res Gestae reveals his arrogance and
selfishness in consolidating power. He might seem as an invaluable and
humble leader, but it is important to recognize his word choice and tone when
describing his military career, expansion of the Roman Empire,
and reconstruction of temples and religious monuments. Augustus’ deeds
should not be taken to face value because the main reason he wrote these deeds
was not to reveal how he helped Rome, but so people can praise and consider him
a great leader. Augustus deeds demonstrate