Law school of Beirut
The law school of Beirut was a center for the study of Roman law in classical antiquity located in Beirut. It flourished under the patronage of the Roman emperors and functioned as the Roman Empire's preeminent center of jurisprudence until its destruction in AD 551; the law schools of the Roman Empire established organized repositories of imperial constitutions and institutionalized the study and practice of jurisprudence to relieve the busy imperial courts. The archiving of imperial constitutions facilitated the task of jurists in referring to legal precedents; the origins of the law school of Beirut are obscure, but it was under Augustus in the first century. The earliest written mention of the school dates to 239 AD, when its reputation had been established; the school attracted young, affluent Roman citizens, its professors made major contributions to the Codex of Justinian. The school achieved such wide recognition throughout the Empire that Beirut was known as the "Mother of Laws". Beirut was one of the few schools allowed to continue teaching jurisprudence when Byzantine emperor Justinian I shut down other provincial law schools.
The course of study at Beirut lasted for five years and consisted in the revision and analysis of classical legal texts and imperial constitutions, in addition to case discussions. Justinian took a personal interest in the teaching process, charging the bishop of Beirut, the governor of Phoenicia Maritima and the teachers with discipline maintenance in the school; the school's facilities were destroyed in the aftermath of a massive earthquake that hit the Phoenician coastline. It was moved to Sidon but did not survive the Arab conquest of 635 AD. Ancient texts attest that the school was next to the ancient Anastasis church, vestiges of which lie beneath the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Beirut's historic center; as the guarantor of justice, the Roman emperor was expected to devote substantial amounts of time to judicial matters. He was the chief magistrate whose major prerogative was the ordering of all public affairs, for which he could demand assistance from anyone at any time. With legal appeals, petitions from subjects and judicial queries of magistrates and governors, the emperors were careful to consult with the jurists, who were secretaries drafted from the equestrian order.
From the reign of Augustus, jurists began compiling organized repositories of imperial edicts, legal scholarship became an imperially sponsored function of administration. Every new judicial decision was founded on earlier deliberations; the edict repositories and the imperially sponsored legal scholarship gave rise to the earliest law school system of the Western world, aimed at training professional jurists. During the reign of Augustus, Beirut was established under the name Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus as a colony for Battle of Actium veterans from the fifth Macedonian and the third Gallic legions, it was chosen as a regional center instead of the more prominent Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, which had a history of belligerence against Rome. Beirut was first mentioned in writing as a major center for the study of law in the 239 works of Gregory Thaumaturgus, the bishop of Neo-Caesarea. Other early written sources do not mention when the law school was established, the date is much debated among modern historians and scholars.
Edward Gibbon suggested its founding may have been directed by locally born Emperor Alexander Severus, who reigned during AD 222–235. Italian jurist Scipione Gentili, attributed the school's foundation to Augustus, while 19th-century German theologian Karl Hase advocated its establishment shortly after the victory at Actium. Adolf Friedrich Rudorff dated it to the reign of Hadrian, while Franz Peter Bremer suggested that it opened around 200, based on Thaumaturgus. Theodor Mommsen linked the establishment of the law school in Beirut with the need for jurists, since the city was chosen to serve as a repository for Roman imperial edicts concerning the eastern provinces. After arriving in Beirut, these were translated into Greek and archived; this function was first recorded in 196 AD, the date of the earliest constitutions contained in the Gregorian Codex, but the city is thought to have served as a repository since earlier times. The proximity of the repository to the law school allowed the Beiruti jurists to consult archived documents and for students to learn of the most recent imperial decrees—an advantage that the law schools of Caesarea Maritima and Alexandria lacked.
The 3rd-century emperors Diocletian and Maximian issued constitutions exempting the students of the law school of Beirut from compulsory service in their hometowns. In the 4th century, the Greek rhetorician Libanius reported that the school attracted young students from affluent families and deplored the school's instructional use of Latin, abandoned in favor of Greek in the course of the century. By the 5th century, Beirut had established its leading position and repute among the Empire's law schools. From 425, the law school of Constantinople became a rival center of law study and was the only school, along with Beirut's, to be maintained after Justinian I closed those of Alexandria, Caesarea Maritima and Athens in 529 because their teachings contradicted with Christian faith. On July 9, 551, the Pho
Septimius Severus known as Severus, was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna in the Roman province of Africa; as a young man he advanced through the cursus honorum—the customary succession of offices—under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors. After deposing and killing the incumbent emperor Didius Julianus, Severus fought his rival claimants, the Roman generals Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Niger was defeated in 194 at the Battle of Issus in Cilicia; that year Severus waged a short punitive campaign beyond the eastern frontier, annexing the Kingdom of Osroene as a new province. Severus defeated Albinus three years at the Battle of Lugdunum in Gaul. After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged another brief, more successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 197 and expanding the eastern frontier to the Tigris.
He enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus in Arabia Petraea. In 202 he campaigned in Mauretania against the Garamantes, he proclaimed as Augusti his elder son Caracalla in 198 and his younger son Geta in 209. In 208 he travelled to Britain, reoccupying the Antonine Wall. In the same year he invaded Caledonia, but his ambitions were cut short when he fell fatally ill of an infectious disease, in late 210. Severus died in early 211 at Eboracum, was succeeded by his sons, thus founding the Severan dynasty, it was the last dynasty of the Roman Empire before the Crisis of the Third Century. Born on 11 April 145 at Leptis Magna as the son of Publius Septimius Geta and Fulvia Pia, Septimius Severus came from a wealthy and distinguished family of equestrian rank, he had Italian Roman ancestry on his mother's side and descended from Punic – and also Libyan – forebears on his father's side. Severus' father, an obscure provincial, held no major political status, but he had two cousins, Publius Septimius Aper and Gaius Septimius Severus, who served as consuls under the emperor Antoninus Pius r.
138–161. His mother's ancestors had moved from Italy to North Africa. Septimius Severus had two siblings: Publius Septimius Geta. Severus's maternal cousin was consul Gaius Fulvius Plautianus. Septimius Severus grew up in Leptis Magna, he spoke the local Punic language fluently, but he was educated in Latin and Greek, which he spoke with a slight accent. Little else is known of the young Severus' education but, according to Cassius Dio, the boy had been eager for more education than he had got. Severus received lessons in oratory: at age 17 he gave his first public speech. Around 162 Septimius Severus sought a public career in Rome. At the recommendation of his relative Gaius Septimius Severus, Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted him entry into the senatorial ranks. Membership in the senatorial order was a prerequisite to attain positions within the cursus honorum and to gain entry into the Roman Senate, it appears that Severus' career during the 160s met with some difficulties. It is that he served as a vigintivir in Rome, overseeing road maintenance in or near the city, he may have appeared in court as an advocate.
At the time of Marcus Aurelius he was the State Attorney. However, he omitted the military tribunate from the cursus honorum and had to delay his quaestorship until he had reached the required minimum age of 25. To make matters worse, the Antonine Plague swept through the capital in 166. With his career at a halt, Severus decided to temporarily return to Leptis, where the climate was healthier. According to the Historia Augusta, a unreliable source, he was prosecuted for adultery during this time but the case was dismissed. At the end of 169 Severus journeyed back to Rome. On 5 December, he took office and was enrolled in the Roman Senate. Between 170 and 180 his activities went unrecorded, in spite of the fact that he occupied an impressive number of posts in quick succession; the Antonine Plague had thinned the senatorial ranks and, with capable men now in short supply, Severus' career advanced more than it otherwise might have. The sudden death of his father necessitated another return to Leptis Magna to settle family affairs.
Before he was able to leave Africa, Mauri tribesmen invaded southern Spain. Control of the province was handed over to the Emperor, while the Senate gained temporary control of Sardinia as compensation. Thus, Septimius Severus spent the remainder of his second term as quaestor on the island of Sardinia. In 173 Severus' kinsman Gaius Septimius Severus was appointed proconsul of the Province of Africa; the elder Severus chose his cousin as one of his two legati pro praetore, a senior military appointment. Following the end of this term, Septimius Severus returned to Rome, taking up office as tribune of the plebs, a senior legislative position, with the distinction of being the candidatus of the emperor. About 175, Septimius Severus, in his early thirties at the time, contracted his first marriage, to Paccia Marciana, a woman from Leptis Magna, he met her during his tenure as legate under his uncle. Marciana's name suggests Punic or Libyan origin, but nothing else is
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a military and political leader of the late Roman Republic. He came from a wealthy Italian provincial background, his father had been the first to establish the family among the Roman nobility. Pompey's immense success as a general while still young enabled him to advance directly to his first consulship without meeting the normal requirements for office, his success as a military commander in Sulla's second civil war resulted in Sulla bestowing the nickname Magnus, "the Great", upon him. His Roman adversaries insulted him as adulescentulus carnifex, "the teenage butcher", after his Sicilian campaign, he celebrated three triumphs. In mid-60 BC, Pompey joined Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Julius Caesar in the unofficial military-political alliance known as the First Triumvirate, which Pompey's marriage to Caesar's daughter Julia helped secure. After the deaths of Julia and Crassus, Pompey sided with the optimates, the conservative faction of the Roman Senate.
Pompey and Caesar contended for the leadership of the Roman state, leading to a civil war. When Pompey was defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, he sought refuge in Egypt, where he was assassinated, his career and defeat are significant in Rome's subsequent transformation from Republic to Empire. Pompey was born in Picenum to a local noble family. Pompey's father, Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo, was first of his family to achieve senatorial status, despite the anti-rural prejudice of the Roman Senate; the Romans referred to Strabo as a novus homo. Pompeius Strabo ascended the traditional cursus honorum, becoming quaestor in 104 BC, praetor in 92 BC and consul in 89 BC, he acquired a reputation for political double-dealing and military ruthlessness. He fought the Social War against Rome's Italian allies, he supported Sulla, who belonged to the optimates, the pro-aristocracy faction, against Marius, who belonged to the populares, in Sulla's first civil war. He died during the siege of Rome by the Marians, in 87 BC—either as a casualty of an epidemic, or by having been struck by lightning.
His twenty-year-old son Pompey inherited his estates, the loyalty of his legions. Pompey had served two years under his father's command, had participated in the final part of the Social War; when his father died, Pompey was put on trial due to accusations that his father stole public property. As his father's heir, Pompey could be held to account, he discovered. Following his preliminary bouts with his accuser, the judge took a liking to Pompey and offered his daughter Antistia in marriage. Pompey was acquitted. Another civil war broke out between the Marians and Sulla in 83–82 BC; the Marians had taken over Rome while Sulla was fighting the First Mithridatic War against Mithridates VI of Pontus in Greece. In 83 BC, Sulla returned from landing in Brundisium in southern Italy. Pompey raised three legions in Picenum to support Sulla's march on Rome against the Marian regime of Gnaeus Papirius Carbo and Gaius Marius the Younger. Cassius Dio described Pompey's troop levy as a "small band". Sulla was appointed as Dictator.
He thought that he was useful for the administration of his affairs. He and his wife, persuaded Pompey to divorce Antistia and marry Sulla's stepdaughter Aemilia Scaura. Plutarch commented that the marriage was "characteristic of a tyranny, benefitted the needs of Sulla rather than the nature and habits of Pompey, Aemilia being given to him in marriage when she was with child by another man." Antistia had lost both her parents. Pompey accepted, but "Aemilia had scarcely entered Pompey's house before she succumbed to the pains of childbirth." Pompey married Mucia Tertia. We have no record of; the sources only mentioned Pompey divorcing her. Plutarch wrote that Pompey dismissed with contempt a report that she had had an affair while he was fighting in the Third Mithridatic War between and 66 BC and 63 BC. However, on his journey back to Rome he examined the evidence more and filed for divorce. Cicero wrote that the divorce was approved. Cassius Dio wrote that she was the sister of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer and that Metellus Celer was angry because he had divorced her despite having had children by her.
Pompey and Mucia had three children: The eldest, Gnaeus Pompey, Pompeia Magna, a daughter, Sextus Pompey, the younger son. Cassius Dio wrote, he was condemned to death, but released for the sake of his mother Mucia. The survivors of the Marians, those who were exiled after they lost Rome and those who escaped Sulla's persecution of his opponents, were given refuge in Sicily by Marcus Perpenna Vento. Papirius Carbo had a fleet there, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus had forced an entry into the Roman province of Africa. Sulla sent Pompey to Sicily with a large force. According to Plutarch, Perpenna left Sicily to Pompey; the Sicilian cities had been treated harshly by Pompey treated them with kindness. Pompey "treated Carbo in his misfortunes with an unnatural insolence", taking Carbo in fetters to a tribunal he presided over, examining him "to the distress and vexation of the audience", sentencing him to death. Pompey treated Quintus Valerius "with unnatural cruelty", his opp
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was a German classical scholar, jurist, journalist and archaeologist. He was one of the greatest classicists of the 19th century, his work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902 for being "the greatest living master of the art of historical writing, with special reference to his monumental work, A History of Rome", after having been nominated by 18 members of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, he was a prominent German politician, as a member of the Prussian and German parliaments. His works on Roman law and on the law of obligations had a significant impact on the German civil code. Mommsen was born to German parents in Garding in the Duchy of Schleswig in 1817 ruled by the king of Denmark, grew up in Bad Oldesloe in Holstein, where his father was a Lutheran minister, he studied at home, though he attended the gymnasium Christianeum in Altona for four years. He studied Greek and Latin and received his diploma in 1837.
As he could not afford to study at Göttingen, he enrolled at the University of Kiel. Mommsen studied jurisprudence at Kiel from 1838 to 1843, finishing his studies with the degree of Doctor of Roman Law. During this time he was the roommate of Theodor Storm, to become a renowned poet. Together with Mommsen's brother Tycho, the three friends published a collection of poems. Thanks to a royal Danish grant, Mommsen was able to visit France and Italy to study preserved classical Roman inscriptions. During the revolution of 1848 he worked as a war correspondent in then-Danish Rendsburg, supporting the German annexation of Schleswig-Holstein and a constitutional reform. Having been forced to leave the country by the Danes, he became a professor of law in the same year at the University of Leipzig; when Mommsen protested against the new constitution of Saxony in 1851, he had to resign. However, the next year he obtained a professorship in Roman law at the University of Zurich and spent a couple of years in exile.
In 1854 he became a professor of law at the University of Breslau. Mommsen became a research professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences in 1857, he helped to create and manage the German Archaeological Institute in Rome. In 1858 Mommsen was appointed a member of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin, he became professor of Roman History at the University of Berlin in 1861, where he held lectures up to 1887. Mommsen received high recognition for his academic achievements: foreign membership of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1859, the Prussian medal Pour le Mérite in 1868, honorary citizenship of Rome, elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1870, the Nobel prize in literature in 1902 for his main work Römische Geschichte. At 2 a.m. on 7 July 1880 a fire occurred in the upper floor workroom-library of Mommsen's house at Marchstraße 6 in Berlin. After being burned while attempting to remove valuable papers, he was restrained from returning to the blazing house.
Several old manuscripts were burnt to ashes, including Manuscript 0.4.36, on loan from the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. There is information that the important Manuscript of Jordanes from Heidelberg University library was burnt. Two other important manuscripts, from Brussels and Halle, were destroyed. Mommsen was an indefatigable worker. People saw him reading whilst walking in the streets. Mommsen had sixteen children with his wife Marie, their oldest daughter Maria married Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, the great Classics scholar. Their grandson Theodor Ernst Mommsen became a professor of medieval history in the United States. Two of the great-grandsons, Hans Mommsen and Wolfgang Mommsen, were prominent German historians. Mommsen published over 1,500 works, established a new framework for the systematic study of Roman history, he pioneered epigraphy. Although the unfinished History of Rome, written early in his career, has long been considered as his main work, the work most relevant today is the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, a collection of Roman inscriptions he contributed to the Berlin Academy.
Mommsen's History of Rome, his most famous work, appeared as three volumes in 1854, 1855, 1856. Since Mommsen admired Caesar, he felt unable to describe the death of his hero, he compared the political thought and terminology of the ancient Republic during its last century, with the situation of his own time, e.g. the nation-state and incipient imperialism. It is one of the great classics of historical works. Mommsen never wrote a promised next volume to recount subsequent events during the imperial period, i.e. a volume 4, although demand was high for a continuation. Popular and acknowledged internationally by classical scholars, the work quickly received criticism; the Provinces of the Roman Empire from Caesar to Diocletian, published as volume 5 of his History of Rome, is a description of all Roman regions during the early imperial period. Roman Chronology to the Time of Caesar written with his brother August Mommsen. Roman Constitutional Law; this systematic treatment of Roman constitutional law in three volumes has been of importance for research on ancient history
A Roman legion was a large unit of the Roman army. In the early Roman Kingdom "legion" may have meant the entire Roman army but sources on this period are few and unreliable; the subsequent organization of legions varied over time but legions were composed of around five thousand soldiers. During much of the republican era, a legion was divided into three lines of ten maniples. In the late republic and much of the imperial period, a legion was divided into ten cohorts, each of six centuries. Legions included a small ala, or cavalry, unit. By the third century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, there were more of them. In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have become smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx. For most of the Roman Imperial period, the legions formed the Roman army's elite heavy infantry, recruited from Roman citizens, while the remainder of the army consisted of auxiliaries, who provided additional infantry and the vast majority of the Roman army's cavalry.
The Roman army, for most of the Imperial period, consisted of auxiliaries rather than legions. Many of the legions founded before 40 BC were still active until at least the fifth century, notably Legio V Macedonica, founded by Augustus in 43 BC and was in Egypt in the seventh century during the Islamic conquest of Egypt; because legions were not permanent units until the Marian reforms, were instead created and disbanded again, several hundred legions were named and numbered throughout Roman history. To date, about 50 have been identified; the republican legions were composed of levied men that paid for their own equipment and thus the structure of the Roman army at this time reflected the society, at any time there would be four consular legions and in time of war extra legions could be levied. Toward the end of the 2nd century BC, Rome started to experience manpower shortages brought about by property and financial qualifications to join the army; this prompted consul Gaius Marius to remove property qualifications and decree that all citizens, regardless of their wealth or social class, were made eligible for service in the Roman army with equipment and rewards for fulfilling years of service provided by the state.
The Roman army became a volunteer and standing army which extended service beyond Roman citizens but to non-citizens that could sign on as auxillia and were rewarded Roman citizenship upon completion of service and all the rights and privileges that entailed. In the time of Augustus, there were nearly 50 upon his succession but this was reduced to about 25–35 permanent standing legions and this remained the figure for most of the empire's history; the legion evolved from 3,000 men in the Roman Republic to over 5,200 men in the Roman Empire, consisting of centuries as the basic units. Until the middle of the first century, ten cohorts made up a Roman legion; this was changed to nine cohorts of standard size with the first cohort being of double strength. By the fourth century AD, the legion was a much smaller unit of about 1,000 to 1,500 men, there were more of them; this had come about as the large formation legion and auxiliary unit, 10,000 men, was broken down into smaller units - temporary detachments - to cover more territory.
In the fourth century AD, East Roman border guard legions may have become smaller. In terms of organisation and function, the Republican era legion may have been influenced by the ancient Greek and Macedonian phalanx. A legion consisted of several cohorts of heavy infantry known as legionaries, it was always accompanied by one or more attached units of auxiliaries, who were not Roman citizens and provided cavalry, ranged troops and skirmishers to complement the legion's heavy infantry. The recruitment of non-citizens appears to have occurred in times of great need. A Legion consisted of a Contubernium, consisted of 8 Legionaries; these Legionaries Were accompanied by 2 slaves. The Legionaries would select a man amongst their ranks to become a Decanus this was more of an election than a decision by one person; the size of a typical legion varied throughout the history of ancient Rome, with complements of 4,200 legionaries and 300 equites in the republican period of Rome, to 5,200 men plus 120 auxiliaries in the imperial period.
In the period before the raising of the legio and the early years of the Roman Kingdom and the Republic, forces are described as being organized into centuries of one hundred men. These centuries were grouped together as required and answered to the leader who had hired or raised them; such independent organization persisted until the 2nd century BC amongst light infantry and cavalry, but was discarded in periods with the supporting role taken instead by allied troops. The roles of century leader, secon
Antiochus VII Sidetes
Antiochus VII Euergetes, nicknamed Sidetes known as Antiochus the Pious, was ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire who reigned from July/August 138 to 129 BC. He was the last Seleucid king of any stature. After Antiochus VII Sidetes was killed in battle, the Seleucid realm was restricted to Syria, he was one of the sons of Demetrius I Soter, the brother of Demetrius II Nicator and his mother may have been Laodice V. Antiochus was elevated after Demetrius' capture by the Parthians, he married Cleopatra Thea, the wife of Demetrius. Their offspring was Antiochus IX, who thus became both half-brother and cousin to Seleucus V and Antiochus VIII. Sidetes defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 132. During the siege he allowed a seven-day truce for the Jews to celebrate a religious festival, impressing the Jewish leadership. According to Josephus the Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulchre and removed three thousand talents, which he paid Antiochus to spare the city.
King Antiochus' respectful treatment of the Jews, respect for their religion, earned him their gratitude and added name Euergetes. With no Jewish sources of that time, it is unclear if the siege of Jerusalem ended with a decisive Seleucid victory or a peace treaty. Furthermore, Jewish forces assisted Sidetes in his wars, for nearly 20 years after his death, John Hyrcanus refrained from attacking areas under Seleucid control. All in all it indicates a renewal of the friendly relations from the time of Demetrius II. Antiochus spent the final years of his life attempting to reclaim the lost eastern territories, overrun by the Parthians under their "Great King", Mithridates I. Marching east, with what would prove to be the last great Seleucid royal army, he defeated Mithridates in two battles, killing the aged Parthian king in the last of these, he restored Mesopotamia and Media to the Seleucid empire, before dispersing his army into winter quarters. The Seleucid king and army spent the winter feasting and drinking.
As with any time an army is quartered upon a population, tensions soon grew between the locals and the Syrian troops. The new Parthian ruler, Phraates II, had not been idle. Hoping to further sow dissension amongst his foes, Phraates released his long-held prisoner, Demetrius II, Antiochus' older brother, to return to Syria and reclaim the throne; that winter, several Median towns attacked their Seleucid garrisons. Antiochus marched to support one such isolated garrison with only a small force. In a barren valley, he was ambushed and killed by Phraates II and a large force of Parthians, which had entered the country without being detected. After the battle the Parthians told the people that Sidetes killed himself because of fear, but the last great Seleucid king died in battle, a fitting end for the heir of Seleucus I Nicator. Antiochus confirmed, but a fragment from book 16 of Posidonius' "Histories", which survives in the Deipnosophistae written by Athenaeus, mentions a king named Seleucus, captured in Media by king Arsaces and treated like royalty.
The identity of this Seleucus have been a matter of debate. List of Syrian monarchs Timeline of Syrian history Paola. "Kings and Drunkards: Athenaeus' Information on the Seleucids". In Erickson, Kyle. Seleucid Dissolution; the Sinking of the Anchor. Harrassowitz Verlag. P. 168. ISBN 978-3-447-06588-7. ISSN 1613-5628. Antiochus VII Sidetes entry in historical sourcebook by Mahlon H. Smith
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo