The defeat of Antony and Cleopatra by Augustus at the battle of Actium saw one of the greatest Roman Emperors (also the first Emperor) Augustus triumphant and in control of all Rome. Augustus actually took the title Princeps instead of using Emperor as he wished to make it look as if he had had powers granted to him by the senate.
He made many civil reforms that included setting up a fire brigade and a police service within Rome as well as sorting out corn distribution. Most significant howevr was the setting up of the personal bodyguard of the Emperor, also called the Practorian Guard, a force of around 3000 men .
Provincial reform was a great and lasting reform of Augustus. He divided the provinces into two groups, older provinces under the control of the senate and newer ones under his own personal control. Now the provinces were watched over and the governors could not misuse their power as they had previously. Augustus did not look to expand the Empire as he believed it was as large as it could get for effective government, he used natural barriers around the Empire such as the Rhine and Danube rivers to mark out the extent of his territory.
Augustus ushered in the Pax Romana - Roman peace that was to last for 200 years.
Socially he reformed religion and brought back a number of festivals that had been allowed to languish. He also brought in the cult of the Emperor God meaning Romans could worship the Emperor as divine. He extended citizenship to gain support and in his social reforms he made some unpopular moves against women such as restricting the attendance of women at public spectacles and allowing a husband to be able to kill his wife and her lover if he caught them in the act of adultry. He looked for moral standards, but Rome was probably not ready for these!
Posted by markchambers1966
on September 23, 2012 at 7:49 PM (Answer #1)