• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Augustus' foreign policy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

3."Augustus felt no temptation to increase the boundaries of the Empire or enhance his military glory."(Suetonius) After the battle of Actium at 31 BC Augustus had the full control over the legions of Rome and there was no one left to oppose him. However, his long absence from Rome made his position subtle and he needed to maintain high public profile within the city in order to 'restore' the republic and strengthen his regime. Thus, in the years between 31 BC and 23 BC the possibility of foreign campaign seemed unreasonable and unnecessary. With the second settlement of 23 BC Augustus was granted 'maius proconsulare', which literary made him supreme commander of all legions and unlike before the senate and people of Rome forced him in this position. ...read more.

Middle

After the battle of Actium, Caesar's heir came to power with the promise of prolonged peace. He even restored one of the forgotten republican traditions - the closing of the Gates of Janus Quirinus when Rome was not at war (Res Gestae 13). It is also possible that Augustus felt temptation for a prolonged foreign campaign but he never found the right time to start one. As a mentioned earlier, after 31 BC the Princeps received the responsibility to restore the republic and after 23 BC he had to reorganise the provinces and create a system of defence. The years after 23 BC were marked by private and public calamities: the death of Marcellus and Agrippa was followed by the death of Gaius and Lucius and then a disastrous marriage between Julia and Tiberius. ...read more.

Conclusion

Truly, fighting Parthia was expensive and dangerous but leaving the peace to the caprice of the Eastern king was unreasonable. Here Augustus came with the brilliant idea of creating 'buffer' states which would defend the borders of the Empire. The most important of these was Armenia and Augustus often intervened there to strengthen the government as proven by Res Gestae 27. In conclusion, it is difficult whether Augustus did not feel temptation for foreign war or did not have the opportunity to start one. The Empire was so big that there were few territories worth fighting for and with the creation of buffer states there were even fewer. Augustus major responsibility was to 'build firm and lasting foundations for the commonwealth' (Suetonius 28) and that is what he did. But war-lover or not, the Empire under Augustus was bigger than even before and for first time definite border were defined. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. To what extent did the Roman emperor Augustus restore the republic?

    This therefore suggests further that Augustus did not restore the political powers of the Republic. However, it is essential to note that the Senate still functioned similarly to how it did under the Republic. Magistrates were still elected for instance, although it is still important to note that despite this,

  2. According to the Res Gestae and Suetonius' Life of Augustus, how effective were Augustus' ...

    Augustus was a prestigious leader and he brought back the severity that the Roman army once had, not only making them fear punishment but the troops were also made to feel proud of their regiment, as Suetonius describes how "Augustus [...] exacted the strictest discipline."

  1. To what extent did Augustus use the building programme to beautify Rome.

    Augustus himself displays the orator's pose which highlights his supreme imperium and ability to command an army, the spear he holds too emphasises this ability due to the associations it brings with war and arms. The central image on the breastplate is that of the Parthian handing back the Roman

  2. To what extent do the sources suggest that Rome had become ungovernable by the ...

    this point, suggesting that perhaps the old ways - nor the new - were not in sync with the position of the Roman people during the 50s, rendering there no simple solution. The Catiline Conspiracy of 63 BC shows Sallust's distain for the corruption of Rome, but also shows the division between the politicians due to the patron/client system.

  1. The republic under Augustus

    Indeed, his power had roots in the love of the popular masses towards their champion - he was not only the heir of Caesar but also the generous saviour. Thus, creating the right image helped immensely Augustus to build up strong influence over the public affairs.

  2. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    He had established himself as a 'virtual king' in Gaul.5 He was an exceptional general, in that all historians' agree. There is no debate that doubts his qualities as a military man. But Caesar did not experience an easy campaign during his time in Gaul.

  1. To what extent does the evidence support the view that Roman emperors paid very ...

    As well as supporting the view that disliked emperors could still administer the corn supply, this passage also serves as evidence that either Vespasian or Titus had changed the distribution in between years. This can be taken as a sign that either Vespasian or Titus paid more attention than Nero

  2. To what extent and for what reasons did Augustus resist the creation of an ...

    Clinging to his body is cupid riding a dolphin; as cupid is the sibling of Aenus who founded the Julian line, the direct message that he is involved with the Gods is already being propagated. Equally, the fact that Caesar had been made a deity, established the notion that he was a semi-deity in the minds of many Romans.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work