Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius was granted the title of Augustus on this day in 27 B.C.E.. Marking the beginning of the Roman Empire and the end of the Roman Republic, he ascended to the throne as the adopted son of Julius Caesar. Working with Marc Antony, he brought the assassins of Caesar to justice, executing many. After going to war with Pompeius, he conquered Marc Antony’s share of the empire, along with his wife and lover, Cleopatra of Egypt. He was then granted the title of emperor, making him the first emperor of the Roman Empire. He rule for more than 40 years, initiating the Pax Romana, or Roman Peace, expanded the famous Roman road system, and improved the bureaucracy. He died in 14 A.D. at the age of 75.
“Young men, hear an old man to whom old men hearkened when he was young.”