Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

The Emperor Augustus

The Roman Republic came to an end after the Battle of Actium.

Henceforth until his death Cæsar ruled over the great Roman Empire, and he was now known as the Emperor Augustus. His reign began in 30 B.C., and ended in 14 A.D.

If he did not add much to his great dominions, he saw to it that, during his long reign of forty-four years, those within his realm were able to live at peace with each other and with foreign peoples. Once again, and for the third time since Romulus built the city of Rome, the gates of the temple of Janus were closed.

The Emperor came to be adored by the people of Rome, because his rule was kind and just. His magistrates were not allowed to oppress or rob the poor, while his merchants' ships were able to ply their trade without fear of pirates.

At one time Augustus was away from Italy for three years. His people longed for his return. Here are the very words in which the poet Horace expressed their desire.

'O best guardian of the race of Romulus,' he wrote, 'return . . . your country calls for you with vows and prayers . . . for when you are here the ox plods up and down the fields in safety; Ceres and bounteous blessing cheers our farms; our sailors speed o'er seas infested by no pirate; credit is kept unspotted; crime is checked, family life purified, none fears the invasion of the Parthian or German . . . each man closes a peaceful day on his native hills, trains his vines to the widowed trees, and home returning, light of heart, quaffs his wine and blesses you as his god.'

When Augustus knew that the people really believed what the poet said in language more beautiful than they could frame, he must surely have felt rewarded for all the labours which he had undertaken for the sake of his country.

The Emperor died in 14 A.D. His wife Livia was with him to the end, and as he kissed her for the last time he said, 'Good-bye, never forget our married life.' Nor was she likely to do so, for Cæsar had ever loved her well, and treated her with respect. His adopted son, Tiberius, succeeded him.

Thus from the single city founded by Romulus in the Palatine Hill in 753 B.C. there grew up through struggle and victory, the mighty Empire, over which Augustus first ruled as Emperor. And this mighty Empire held within its bounds the whole of Europe south of Germany and the Danube, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, as well as a large part of the northern district of Africa.

'Thine, Roman, be the task to rule the nations with thy sway. These shall be thine arts—to impose the laws of peace, to spare the humbled and to crush in war the proud.'


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus