1. What was the Augustan Settlement? How did Augustus balance his perceived need for absolute power with his concern to lend the impression that the republic had been restored and the old ways were being observed?
Augustus, known as Octavian at the time, saw imbalance in the rising Roman empire. He needed to take absolute power so that he could make accomplishments as dictator. Up to this time, there had been many civil wars caused by single individuals attempting to take absolute power, and thus wars were caused by retaliation of the Roman people. Octavian resented the idea of another civil war, so he attempted to give up some his privileges up to the consul, however they were given back to him and he was given the title “Augustus.” He still had concerns that the Romans would fear having one person with absolute power over their city. He attained their trust by restoring old rituals, as ritual was very important to the Roman people. Augustus introduced social laws that prevented adultery, and in his progress, he proved himself an effective dictator of the Roman people.
He took a different approach than people who attempted to achieve dictatorship before him, and he thought on behalf of the city.
2. Use your reading and the video lesson to summarize important events in the life of Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) was an important figure in western civilization. In 60 B.C., the first Triumvirate was formed, it was an alliance between Caesar, Pompey (106-48 B.C.), and Crassus (115-53 B.C.). This was a secret arrangement, not yet known by the Roman public. The purpose of this alliance was to combine their individual power (each of the three had significant power), to get things that each of them wanted, fro instance, Caesar wanted consulship followed by military command. Caesar receives command in Gaul. In 53 B.C., Triumvirate collapses, due to the death of Crassus and the death of Caesar’s daughter who was married to Pompey. This leaves Caesar and Pompey, Caesar’s Gallic wars are a success which arouses jealousy in Pompey. The senate takes the side of Pompey as the lesser of the evils, and he is ordered to return to Rome, this he refuses. He maintains his army, and illegally crosses the Rubicon river, this march on Rome develops into a civil war against Pompey’s forces, and Caesar is victorious.
Caesar was made dictator for life in 48 B.C., and established the Roman empire, granting citizenship, establishing colonies for veterans, and making building and further military plans. He is feared by some of the key senators and in 48 B.C. he was assassinated.