Marcus Terentius Varro
Marcus Terentius Varro was an ancient Roman scholar and writer. He is sometimes called Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his younger contemporary Varro Atacinus. Varro was born in or near Reate to a family thought to be of equestrian rank, always remained close to his roots in the area, owning a large farm in the Reatine plain, reported as near Lago di Ripa Sottile, until his old age, he supported Pompey, reaching the office of praetor, after having been tribune of the people and curule aedile. He was one of the commission of twenty that carried out the great agrarian scheme of Caesar for the resettlement of Capua and Campania. During the civil war he commanded one of Pompey's armies in the Ilerda campaign, he escaped the penalties of being on the losing side in the civil war through two pardons granted by Julius Caesar and after the Battle of Pharsalus. Caesar appointed him to oversee the public library of Rome in 47 BC, but following Caesar's death Mark Antony proscribed him, resulting in the loss of much of his property, including his library.
As the Republic gave way to Empire, Varro gained the favour of Augustus, under whose protection he found the security and quiet to devote himself to study and writing. Varro studied under the Roman philologist Lucius Aelius Stilo, at Athens under the Academic philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon. Varro proved to be a productive writer and turned out more than 74 Latin works on a variety of topics. Among his many works, two stand out for historians, his Nine Books of Disciplines became a model for encyclopedists Pliny the Elder. The most noteworthy portion of the Nine Books of Disciplines is its use of the liberal arts as organizing principles. Varro decided to focus on identifying nine of these arts: grammar, logic, geometry, musical theory and architecture. Using Varro's list, subsequent writers defined the seven classical "liberal arts of the medieval schools"; the compilation of the Varronian chronology was an attempt to determine an exact year-by-year timeline of Roman history up to his time. It is based on the traditional sequence of the consuls of the Roman Republic — supplemented, where necessary, by inserting "dictatorial" and "anarchic" years.
It has been demonstrated to be somewhat erroneous but has become the accepted standard chronology, in large part because it was inscribed on the arch of Augustus in Rome. Varro's literary output was prolific. Called "the most learned of the Romans" by Quintilian, Varro was recognized as an important source by many other ancient authors, among them Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Virgil in the Georgics, Aulus Gellius, Macrobius and Vitruvius, who credits him with a book on architecture, his only complete work extant, Rerum rusticarum libri tres, has been described as "the well digested system of an experienced and successful farmer who has seen and practised all that he records."One noteworthy aspect of the work is his anticipation of microbiology and epidemiology. Varro warned his contemporaries to avoid swamps and marshland, since in such areas there are bred certain minute creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes, but which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and cause serious diseases.
De lingua latina libri XXV Rerum rusticarum libri III Saturarum Menippearum libri CL or Menippean Satires in 150 books Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum libri XLI Logistoricon libri LXXVI Hebdomades vel de imaginibus Disciplinarum libri IX De rebus urbanis libri III De gente populi Romani libri IIII De sua vita libri III De familiis troianis De Antiquitate Litterarum libri II De Origine Linguae Latinae libri III Περί Χαρακτήρων Quaestiones Plautinae libri V De Similitudine Verborum libri III De Utilitate Sermonis libri IIII De Sermone Latino libri V De philosophia Most of the extant fragments of these works can be found in the Goetz–Schoell edition of De Lingua Latina, pp. 199–242. Cardauns, B. Marcus Terentius Varro: Einführung in sein Werk. Heidelberger Studienhefte zur Altertumswissenschaft. Heidelberg, Germany: C. Winter, 2001. D’Alessandro, P. Varrone e la tradizione metrica antica. Spudasmata, Bd. 143. Hildesheim. Dahlmann, H. M. Terentius Varro. Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
Supplement 6, Abretten bis Thunudromon. Edited by Wilhelm Kroll, 1172–1277. Stut
Third Punic War
The Third Punic War was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between the former Phoenician colony of Carthage and the Roman Republic. The Punic Wars were named because of the Roman name for Carthaginians: Poenici; this war was a much smaller engagement than the two previous Punic Wars and focused on Tunisia on the Siege of Carthage, which resulted in the complete destruction of the city, the annexation of all remaining Carthaginian territory by Rome, the death or enslavement of the entire Carthaginian population. The Third Punic War ended Carthage's independent existence. In the years between the Second and Third Punic War, Rome was engaged in the conquest of the Hellenistic empires and of the Illyrian tribes to the east, suppressing the Hispanian peoples in the west, although they had been essential to the Roman success in the Second Punic War. Carthage, stripped of allies and territory, was suffering under a large indemnity of 200 silver talents to be paid every year for 50 years. According to Appian, the senator Cato the Elder finished his speeches on any subject in the Senate with the phrase ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam, which means "Moreover, I am of the opinion that Carthage ought to be destroyed".
Cicero attributed a similar statement to Cato in his dialogue De Senectute. He was opposed by the senator Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Corculum, who favoured a different course that would not destroy Carthage, who prevailed in the debates; the peace treaty at the end of the Second Punic War required that all border disputes involving Carthage be arbitrated by the Roman Senate and required Carthage to get explicit Roman approval before going to war. As a result, in the 50 intervening years between the Second and Third Punic War, Carthage had to take all border disputes with Rome's ally Numidia to the Roman Senate, where they were decided exclusively in Numidian favour. In 151 BC, the Carthaginian debt to Rome was repaid, meaning that, in Punic eyes, the treaty was now expired, though not so according to the Romans, who instead viewed the treaty as a permanent declaration of Carthaginian subordination to Rome akin to the Roman treaties with its Italian allies. Moreover, the retirement of the indemnity removed one of the main incentives the Romans had to keep the peace with Carthage – there were no further payments that might be interrupted.
The Romans had other reasons to conquer her remaining territories. By the middle of the 2nd century BC, the population of the city of Rome was about 400,000 and rising. Feeding the growing populace was becoming a major challenge; the farmlands surrounding Carthage represented the most productive, most accessible and the most obtainable agricultural lands not yet under Roman control. In 151 BC Numidia launched another border raid on Carthaginian soil, besieging the Punic town of Oroscopa, Carthage launched a large military expedition to repel the Numidian invaders; as a result, Carthage suffered a military defeat and was charged with another fifty year debt to Numidia. Thereafter, Rome showed displeasure with Carthage's decision to wage war against its neighbour without Roman consent, told Carthage that in order to avoid a war it had to “satisfy the Roman People.” In 149 BC, Rome declared war against Carthage. The Carthaginians made a series of attempts to appease Rome, received a promise that if three hundred children of well-born Carthaginians were sent as hostages to Rome the Carthaginians would keep the rights to their land and self-government.
After this was done the allied Punic city of Utica defected to Rome, a Roman army of 80,000 men gathered there. The consuls demanded that Carthage hand over all weapons and armor. After those had been handed over, Rome additionally demanded that the Carthaginians move at least 16 kilometres inland, while the city was to be burned; when the Carthaginians learned of this, they abandoned negotiations and the city was besieged, beginning the Third Punic War. After the main Roman expedition landed at Utica, consuls Manius Manilius and Lucius Marcius Censorius launched a two-pronged attack on Carthage, but were repulsed by the army of the Carthaginian Generals Hasdrubal the Boeotarch and Himilco Phameas. Censorius lost more than 500 men when they were surprised by the Carthaginian cavalry while collecting timber around the Lake of Tunis. A worse disaster fell upon the Romans when their fleet was set ablaze by fire ships which the Carthaginians released upwind. Manilius was replaced by consul Calpurnius Piso Caesonius in 149 after a severe defeat of the Roman army at Nepheris, a Carthaginian stronghold south of the city.
Scipio Aemilianus's intervention saved four cohorts trapped in a ravine. Nepheris fell to Scipio in the winter of 147–146. In the autumn of 148, Piso was beaten back while attempting to storm the city of Aspis, near Cape Bon. Undeterred, he laid siege to the town of Hippagreta in the north, but his army was unable to defeat the Punics there before winter and had to retreat; when news of these setbacks reached Rome, he was replaced as consul by Scipio Aemilianus. The Carthaginians endured the siege, starting 149 BC to the spring of 146 BC, when Scipio Aemilianus assaulted the city. Though the Punic citizens offered a strong resistance, they were pushed back by the overwhelming Roman military force and destroyed. Many Carthaginians died from starvation during the part of the siege, while many others died in the final six days of fighting; when the war ended, the remaining 50,000 Carthaginians, a small part of the original pre-war population, were sold into slavery by the victors. Cartha
Temple of Apollo Palatinus
The Temple of Apollo Palatinus was a temple on the Palatine Hill of ancient Rome, first dedicated by Augustus to his patron god Apollo. It was only the second temple in Rome dedicated to the god, after the Temple of Apollo Sosianus, it was sited next to the Temple of Cybele. It was vowed by Octavian in return for the victory over Sextus Pompeius at the Battle of Naulochus in 36 BC and over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium 31 BC, was built on a site where a lightning bolt had struck the interior of Augustus' property on the Palatine, it was dedicated on October 9, 28 BC. The ludi saeculares, reinstituted by Augustus in 17 BC and largely developed and funded by him, involved the new temple. Augustus' private house was directly connected to the terrace of the sanctuary via frescoed halls and corridors; this tight connection between the sanctuary and the house of the princeps, both dominating the Circus Maximus, repeated a trope present in royal palaces of Hellenistic dynasties. If still in use by the 4th-century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.
The remains of the building were excavated in the 1960s by Gianfilippo Carettoni, in an area sloping steeply down towards the Circus Maximus. The temple's precinct was an artificial terrace, supported on opus quadratum sub-structures, it contained an altar faced with the sculptural group "Myron's Herd", sited together on an elaborate base. In the northern part of this terrace the temple was raised on a high podium, built in blocks of tufa and travertine in the load-bearing parts and elsewhere in cement; the temple itself was in blocks of Carrara marble, with a pronaos as well as a facade of full columns on the front and the same order continued on half columns against the outside walls of the cella. In the excavations different polychromatic terracotta slabs were recovered with reliefs of mythological subjects; the adjoining library, according to the Forma Urbis Romae, was constituted from two apsidal halls, with the walls decorated by a row of columns. The ancient sources state the temple held numerous works of sculpture.
The pediment included two bas-reliefs of hunting the Galatians, from Delphi, 6th century BC Chian art, with sculptures of the Niobids by Bupalus and Athenis. The cult group in the cella included a statue of Apollo Citharoedus by Scopas and from the sanctuary of Apollo at Rhamnus in Attica. Into shelves at the basis of the statue of Apollo were placed the Sibylline Books, transferred here from the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol; the temple was surrounded by a portico with columns in yellow'giallo antico' marble, with black marble statues of the fifty Danaids in between the column-shafts, a sculpture of Danaos with his sword unsheathed, equestrian statues of the sons of Egypt. Olivier Hekster and John Rich,'Octavian and the thunderbolt: the Temple of Apollo Palatinus and Roman traditions of temple building', The Classical Quarterly, 56: 149-168 Linda Jones Roccos,'Apollo Palatinus: The Augustan Apollo on the Sorrento Base', American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 93, No. 4, pp. 571-588 Charles L. Babcock,'Horace Carm.
1. 32 and the Dedication of the Temple of Apollo Palatinus', Classical Philology, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 189-194 Ulrich Schmitzer, Guiding Strangers through Rome - Plautus, Vergil, Ammianus Marcellinus, Petrarch Miller,'Apollo Medicus in the Augustan Age' Platner and Ashby Images and bibliography
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Claudius was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Antonia Minor, he was born at Lugdunum in the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37. Claudius' infirmity saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns, his survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an efficient administrator, he was an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, issued up to twenty edicts a day, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign by elements of the nobility.
Claudius was forced to shore up his position. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend. After his death in 54, his grand-nephew, step-son, adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor, his 13-year reign would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years. He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi, Julii Caesares, the Claudii Nerones, he was a great-nephew of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through Tiberius' brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony. Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at Lugdunum, he had two older siblings and Livilla. His mother, may have had two other children who died young, his maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus' sister, he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus' third wife, Tiberius Claudius Nero.
During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the appearance that Augustus was Claudius' paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania from illness. Claudius was left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried; when Claudius' disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, used him as a standard for stupidity, she seems to have passed her son off to his grandmother Livia for a number of years. Livia was a little kinder, but often sent him short, angry letters of reproof, he was put under the care of a "former mule-driver" to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus.
He spent a lot of his time with the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. Expectations about his future began to increase, his work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars, either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar. In either case, it was far too early for such an account, may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant, his mother and grandmother put a stop to it, this may have convinced them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line; when he returned to the narrative in life, Claudius skipped over the wars of the Second Triumvirate altogether. But the damage was done, his family pushed him into the background; when the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the Imperial clan in 8 BC, Claudius' name was inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes and Lucius, Germanicus' children.
There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades and that he did not appear at all. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius—then aged 23—appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the new Emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius was snubbed. Since the new Emperor was no more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the Imperial family, it seems that from early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death, the equites, or knights, chose
First Punic War
The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic, the two great powers of the Western Mediterranean. For 23 years, in the longest continuous conflict and greatest naval war of antiquity, the two powers struggled for supremacy on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters, in North Africa; the war began in 264 BC with the Roman conquest of the Carthaginian-controlled city of Messina in Sicily, granting Rome a military foothold on the island. The Romans built up a navy to challenge Carthage, the greatest naval power in the Mediterranean, for control over the waters around Sicily. In naval battles and storms, 700 Roman and 500 Carthaginian quinqueremes were lost, along with hundreds of thousands of lives. Command of the sea was lost by both sides repeatedly. A Roman invasion of Carthaginian Africa was destroyed in battle at the Bagradas and the Roman consul Marcus Atilius Regulus was captured by the Carthaginians in 255. In 23 years, the Romans conquered Sicily and drove the Carthaginians to the west end of the island.
After both sides had been brought to a state of near exhaustion, the Romans mobilized their citizenry's private wealth and created a new fleet under consul Gaius Lutatius Catulus. The Carthaginian fleet was destroyed at the Aegates Islands in 241, forcing the cut-off Carthaginian troops on Sicily to give up. A peace treaty was signed in which Carthage was made to pay a heavy indemnity and Rome ejected Carthage from Sicily, annexing the island as a Roman province; the war was followed by a failed revolt against the Carthaginian Empire. The Romans exploited Carthage's weakness to seize the Carthaginian possessions of Sardinia and Corsica in violation of the peace treaty; the unresolved strategic competition between Rome and Carthage would lead to the eruption of the Second Punic War in 218 BC. The series of wars between Rome and Carthage took the name "Punic" from the Latin adjective for Carthaginian, Punicus; this refers to the Carthaginian heritage as Phoenician colonists. A Carthaginian name for the conflicts does not survive in any records.
Rome had emerged as the leading city-state in the Italian Peninsula, a wealthy, expansionist republic with a successful citizen army. Over the past one hundred years, Rome had come into conflict, defeated rivals on the Italian peninsula incorporated them into the Roman political world. First, the Latin League was forcibly dissolved during the Latin War the power of the Samnites was broken during the three prolonged Samnite wars, the Greek cities of Magna Graecia submitted to Roman power at the conclusion of the Pyrrhic War. By the beginning of the First Punic War, the Romans had secured the whole of the Italian peninsula, except Gallia Cisalpina in the Po Valley. Carthage was a republic that dominated the political and economic affairs of the western Mediterranean Sea on the North African coasts and islands, above all, due to its navy, it originated as a Phoenician colony near modern Tunis. Carthage had become a wealthy centre for trade networks extending from Gadir along the coasts of southern Iberia and North Africa, across the Balearic Islands, Corsica and the western half of Sicily, to the ports of the eastern Mediterranean, including Tyre, its mother city, on the shores of the Levant.
At the height of power, just before the First Punic War, Carthage was hostile to foreign ships in the western Mediterranean. North African peoples, such as the Berbers, in the area around Carthage were loosely associated with Carthage. In the midst of the First Punic War, some tribes rebelled against Carthage, opening a second front while the Carthaginians battled the Romans in Sicily. Greek colonists were a major presence in the western Mediterranean, following centuries of colonial settlement and conflicts with Rome over Magna Graecia and with Carthage over places such as Sicily; the rich, strategically influential, well-fortified Greek colony of Syracuse was politically independent of Rome and Carthage. Hostilities of the First Punic War began with developments involving the Romans and Greek colonists in Sicily and southern Italy. In 288 BC, the Mamertines, a group of Italian mercenaries hired by Agathocles of Syracuse, occupied the city of Messana in the north-eastern tip of Sicily, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives.
At the same time, a group of Roman troops made up of Campanian "citizens without the vote" revolted and seized control of Rhegium, lying across the Straits of Messina on the mainland of Italy. In 270 BC, the Romans regained control of Rhegium and punished the survivors of the revolt. In Sicily, the Mamertines ravaged the countryside and collided with the expanding regional empire of the independent city of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River. Following their defeat, the Mamertines appealed to both Carthage for assistance; the Carthaginians acted first, approached Hiero to take no further action and convinced the Mamertines to accept a Carthaginian garrison in Messana. Either unhappy with the prospect of a Carthaginian garrison or convinced that the recent alliance between Rome and Carthage against Pyrrhus reflected cordial relations between the two, the Mamertines, hoping for more reliable protection, petitioned Rome for an alliance.
However, the rivalry between Rome and Carthage had grown since the war with Pyrrhus and that alliance was no longer feasible. According to the historian Polybius, considerable debate took place in Rome on the questio
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