When Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated in March of 44 B.C., his grand-nephew and adopted son and heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (formerly Gaius Octavius) was studying military tactics and philosophy in Apollonia, a Greek city that was located in modern day Albania. Octavian, as most historians refer to him during the period between his adoption and 27 B.C., when he took the name Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus, traveled back to Italy following Caesar’s assassination.
When he learned the contents of Caesar’s will, Octavian decided to accept his position as Caesar’s political heir as well as being heir to most of Caesar’s estate. He then traveled to Brundisium, where he began to take control of Caesar’s troops as well as the funds amassed for those troops. On arriving in Rome nearly two months after Caesar’s assassination, Octavian, who had managed to build a formidable army of soldiers who had been loyal to Caesar, began challenging Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) for political power, including making deals with some of the conspirators in Caesar’s assassination. This began a long series of alliances and conflicts that, over the course of many years, resulted in Octavian becoming the first emperor of Rome.