What is the content, context, subject, and audience for the Res Gesta Divi Augusti?

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The text is an account that the Roman Emperor Augustus, who reigned 31 BCE to 14 CE, wrote near the end of his life. The title phrase, which translates as the "achievements of the deified Augustus," is the inscription that appears on his tomb.

The autobiography covers Augustus' career from his early days and growth, spanning his successful campaigns of conquest, and revealing his attitudes toward the Roman people and his place in history. Writing in third person, he begins by saying that Augustus "placed the whole world under the sovereignty of the Roman people."

Augustus repeatedly says how he turned down honors and positions of greater power, refusing

any power offered me which was contrary to the traditions of our ancestors.

Even as he judged himself a generous ruler, he was aware of playing a unique role as a world conqueror and anticipated his positive commemoration. As the text was inscribed on his mausoleum, he intended it to reach all of Rome (or at least those who were literate).

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