After augustus

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  • The process which has resulted in this book began many decades ago when, as an undergraduate student, I found myself asking the question, ‘What did the Romans think they were doing when they created the Roman Empire?’ For many years this question lurked in the background of my thoughts as I worked on Roman history more generally and on Roman Spain in particular, not least because itwas not clear tome howsuch a questionmight be answered.What follows is, I hope, if not an answer, at least a contribution towards one.

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  • Germanicus, the father of Caius Caesar, and son of Drusus and the younger Antonia, was, after his adoption by Tiberius, his uncle, preferred to the quaestorship [377] five years before he had attained the legal age, and immediately upon the expiration of that office, to the consulship [378]. Having been sent to the army in Germany, he restored order among the legions, who, upon the news of Augustus's death, obstinately refused to acknowledge Tiberius as emperor [379], and offered to place him at the head of the state.

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  • When King Richard of England, whom men call the Lion-hearted, was wasting his time at Messina, after his boisterous fashion, in the winter of 1190, he heard of the fame of Abbot Joachim, and sent for that renowned personage, that he might hear from his own lips the words of prophecy and their interpretation. Around the personality of Joachim there has gathered no small amount of _mythus.

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  • That the family of the Octavii was of the first distinction in Velitrae [106], is rendered evident by many circumstances. For in the most frequented part of the town, there was, not long since, a street named the Octavian; and an altar was to be seen, consecrated to one Octavius, who being chosen general in a war with some neighbouring people, the enemy making a sudden attack, while he was sacrificing to Mars, he immediately snatched the entrails of the victim from off the fire, and offered them half raw upon the altar; after which, marching out to battle, he returned victorious.

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  • Romans held Greek civilization in high regard and, like us, considered fifth-century-BC Greece to be the region’s golden age, a time characterized by refined artistic and cultural production, scholarship, and military strength. During his reign five hundred years later, Augustus sought to align his rule with this era and promote a rebirth of the golden age of Greece in Rome. Augustus’s interest in Greek art and culture strengthened Roman reverence for classical Greek art, philosophy, and intellectual life.

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  • The Aqua Augusta, an aqueduct built by Octavian (63 BC–AD 14; later known as Augustus, the first emperor of the Roman Empire), was completed in the late first century BC and provided an uninterrupted supply of pressurized water to eight towns around the bay, including Pompeii. The arrival of a constant source of running water in these cities allowed residents to design and grow more elaborate gardens. Gardeners were able to accentuate their landscape designs with springs, water courses, pools, and fountains modeled after Greek statuary.

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