What was the biggest mistake Augustus Caesar made?

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Caesar (100BC-44BC) was a colossus of the ancient world. Among all the figures of ancient history, only Alexander the Great was as renowned. Caesar was a man of extraordinary ability and charisma. But he—like all men—was not infallible.

One area in which Caesar exhibited carelessness was in his numerous amorous affairs. These affairs sometimes had the potential to jeopardize his position in Rome. Credible rumors of his affairs with the King of Bithynia dogged him throughout his life. Also, he may have had an affair with Pompey the Great's wife. And finally, his relationship with Queen Cleopatra and his decision to bring her to Rome were not popular with Romans.

Caesar's biggest mistake, however, was probably his willingness to forgive enemies. He not only forgave them, but he also put them in positions of power. The two men most responsible for his assassination—Cassius and Brutus—were former enemies. Cassius and Brutus served under Pompey until the latter was defeated by Caesar at Pharsalus in central Greece. Cassius then became one of Caesar's legates, and Brutus became a praetor. Cassius and Brutus were among the leading senators who killed Caesar in 44 BC.

Caesar's death, like that of Alexander the Great years before, caused a protracted civil war.

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Augustus Caesar was a great leader of Rome. He ruled for 41 years, from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. There were many accomplishments during the time he ruled Rome including beginning the approximate 200 years of peace known as the Pax Romana. He also increased the reach of the Roman Empire and built new roads and aqueducts.

However, there was one major error that he made. There was no clear path to determine who would take over after his death. While the Roman Senate and the people could have possibly chosen a leader, that likely would have plunged Rome into internal conflict. Since Augustus claimed that he had no more power than others in the Roman government, he really couldn’t name a successor. While Augustus favored certain individuals, the lack of a clear plan of succession eventually led to turmoil and to a slow destabilization of the Roman government as time passed.

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