As part of my aim to get 365 blog posts I thought once a month I'd highlight one of the first twelve Roman emperors! This is mostly inspired by my friend Erin who blogs a series on Hidden Historical Heroines.
So today we have the first of the Roman emperors, Augustus!
Augustus was born Gaius Octavius, referred to by many as Octavius. He was the nephew of Julius Caesar, and was adopted by his uncle in Caesar's will. He was popular with the troops that had been formerly commanded by his uncle, and with them and help from the Senate proceeded to wage a war against Caesar's enemy, Mark Antony.
The battles between Octavian and Mark Antony went on for over a decade. Caesar was murdered in 44BC, Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide in 30BC. Over the following years he was granted more and more powers by the Roman Senate, until he gave himself the title Imperator. He expanded the Roman empire through a series of wars against various peoples and tribes, including north Spain and areas of the Alps, and expanded the empires borders in Africa.
When Augustus died in AD 14 he had set up his step-son Tiberius as his heir. The work of his life led to several hundred years of lines of Emperors, and even when the Roman Empire itself fell the title continued through the Holy Roman Emperor for centuries more.
Just a shame that some of his heirs proved to be a bit mental...