|Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus as he may|
have looked in 30 BC, via wikipedia
On this day in history in 30 BC, a young man stepped off a boat and onto the soil in the city of Alexandria, in Egypt. He had just enjoyed a victory over enemies that had once been his friends, and so remembered that day for the rest of his life.
He was much better at politics than his great uncle had been, and over the years he maneuvered his way into power. He was given control of most of the provinces that Rome controlled, and had the power to appoint anyone he chose to govern them in his absence. The legions he had commanded in the wars were still loyal to him even when he was not officially a general, and therefore he had more power than all of the principal men in Rome combined. Though these military forces did represent his power, they also did plenty to calm the unrest that had been stirred up because of the civil wars.
Publicly he seemed much more humble than Julius Caesar, but behind the scenes he was much more powerful. By holding several different positions “for life” in the Senate that allowed him to convene it whenever he wanted, to discuss whatever he brought up, and to vote whenever he deemed it necessary, he was the most important politician in Rome.
|Augustus wearing the civic crown of oak|
Photo by Bibi Saint-Pol
Three years after his victory in Egypt, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus made a big show of turning down several gifts of honor that the Senate offered him. They placed a crown made of oak on his head and hung laurels from the doorposts of his home, symbols of triumph and victory. He refused to be draped in symbolic honors like his great uncle, and only accepted the names they honored him with: Princeps and Augustus.
One honor that he did make use of was the right to create a new month in the calendar. He named it after himself, and its first day commemorated the triumphant moment that he became the victorious man that he was for the rest of his life.
Congratulations on your win, Augustus Caesar, and Happy August.