Roman Empire’s
influence has deeply permeated many aspects of Western civilization from
politics to military organization and strategy. Augustus was one of the
well-known emperors in his power of ending the chaos of civil war and
stabilizing society afterwards. Augustus ushered in an unprecedented age of
peace and prosperity; this famous period did not occur naturally. The fact that
Augustus was able to maintain control of both the common people and the
government is a testament to his sovereignty and expertise. His authority also
benefitted his family’s status. Both of them are revealed in Augustus’s
inscription, Res Gestae Divi Augusti, in which he portrayed himself in a
different image. By portraying himself as a benevolent leader under the
republic constitution, Augustus utilized his appearance to consolidate and
extend his sovereignty, influence which he transferred to his family.  

Augustus enumerated his accomplishments in purpose to elevate
him to a selfless and benign leader in the Res Gestate. Augustus writes, “I
raised an army with which I set free the state, which was oppressed by the
domination of a faction” (Augustus para. 1). The “set free the state” refers to
his success in the civil war that military dictators divided the Roman
Republic. He especially emphasizes this achievement at the beginning of Res
Gestae; this insinuates that his most significant achievement were terminating
the political cleavage and restoring freedom and peace for the people. Augustus
particularly emphasized the latter one; he writes, “I rebuilt the
Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any
inscription of my name” (Para. 20). Augustus underlines the “without any
inscription of my name” since he intends to present an image that he concerns about
social infrastructures, not for his fame. Furthermore, the theater of Pompey
was an important architecture built by former ruler of Roman Republic. Augustus
portrayed an appearance of retrieving prosperity and traditional values in the
past, which h conformed to his claim that he would restore the Republic. Thus,
Augustus retained the republic constitution for his portrayal, even though he had
already obtained a great power. He further fortified such image by rejecting
the dictatorship and position as perpetual consulate (Para. 5). Augustus rejected
the offers because they violate the traditional Roman values and the
constitution, even though he arose as a sovereign leader with comprehensive
control of the government. The contraction between his portrayal in Res Gestae
and his actual ambition demonstrated that the inscription was served as his
propaganda to glorify his image and extend his influence over the empire.

            Augustus consolidated his position
as a sovereign leader through massive support. Augustus mentions he was offered
many different positions by the Senate and people throughout the Res Gestae
(Augustus para. 1, 5, 7, 8). Under the republic
constitution, he harnessed the regime by taking positions in extending areas;
he was virtually an absolute monarch, despite an absent title of “dictator.”
Augustus was also granted different honorable titles by the Senate. The most
significant one among them is the “princeps”, which means the “first citizen of
the state.” More precisely, Augustus was recognized as the first priority over
the equal citizens. The title has no official power, but it represented
Augustus’s ultimate status over the empire. The honor titles and various
positions to Augustus proved that he maintained the highest power in the empire,
and his regimes arose from support of the Senate and the people. Despite his
political control over the government, Augustus’s wealth already impacted the
commonwealth. Augustus reflects several times that he used his patrimony to
rebuild architectures and provide public gifts and grains to people (para. 15).
By doing so, Augustus further consolidated his popularity among citizens when
he restored social stability.  Therefore,
he extent his influence through wielding numerous governmental positions as well
as enhancing prominence among citizens. His tremendous influence would also
transfer to his family, which sustained their regime in future. 

            Augustus’s
extending sovereignty also permeated through his family, enhancing the
legitimacy and prestige of his family in the Empire. Augustus mentions many
times that he hold events under his relatives’ names (para. 22). By undertaking
these games in honor of his relatives, Augustus heightened his family’s esteem
while appearing benevolent. Thus, the prestige of his lineages would also be
elevated under Augustus’s tactics. Furthermore, Augustus also sent his two sons
to the Senate and the military (para. 14, 27). His heirs could heighten their
esteem through various triumphs in wars and government. Meanwhile, Augustus intended
to prepare his heirs as future governors of the emperor; his honor would be
inherited in future.

Augustus was a
political expert that harnessed various tactics in purpose to fortify his
regime and glory in this mighty empire. His deeds permeated and deeply impact
the Roman Empire and the future. Such influence even transferred to his family
to preserve their power and honor. Augustus disguised his deeds and characters
to portray an ideal image, but his Res Gestae, a propaganda, provided a solid
basis from his accomplishments.