In an age characterized by great leaders, two men stand above the rest. At the start is Julius Caesar, the great general who effectively brought an end to the Republican system of government in Rome, and then his heir and successor, Augustus, who is regarded as the first Roman emperor. This paper will closely look at how Augustus transformed the Roman Republic into and empire, and why he was successful where Julius Caesar had not been.
In a time of Turbulence in Rome, Three army Generals decided to form an alliance, Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus . With the death of Crassus and Pompey's power mainly in Greece, Julius Caesar turned to Rome. Realizing this, the Senate ordered him to put down his weapons and not to return to Rome, they also order him not to cross a small stream called the Rubicon. In 49 B.C he crossed the Stream defying the Senate . Once he reached Rome he defeated the Senate's forces with ease. Aware that Pompey may be a threat he turned his attention to his state, which in the end led to Caesar's victory. After consecutive victories which gave him domination of all the Roman territories and no danger to be seen, he shaped the Government and the whole Country to his liking. He increased the Senate of 600 to 900 members, many of whom came from the provinces. Caesar's rise to Power created resentments among many Romans. His most important problem, however, was that he was too powerful, the Roman Republic was ruled by a dominant few, which the powers were shared among the senators. Even though the Senate was defeated, the sentiments were strong, and Caesar had to find a way to make his rule tolerable. Upset by the lack of alteration made by Julius Caesar, a group of Senators, Let by Brutus and Cassius successfully assassinated Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 .
Augustus was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, and was named in the latter's will as his principal heir. After the murder of Julius Caesar by his close comrade, Brutus and his partner Cassius, the young Octavianus proceeded to Rome to gain possession of his inheritance.