Augustus Res Gestae Analysis

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Augustus’ Res Gestae is a piece of autobiographical work with a range of purposes, all of which are propagandist in nature. Augustus’ skillful use of symbols and ability to manipulate the Latin language enabled him to manipulate the Roman populace through display of his unique auctoritas. It is with this unofficial power that he implies the solving, in an unostentatious manner, of the administrative problems of Rome and the restoration of the republic. Display of the Hellenistic theory of apotheosis is evident in the undertones of the text, which contrasted with the geographical location of the inscription, would otherwise be misinterpreted. The Res Gestae presents Augustus as a man with the self-discipline and power to shape the future, a guise that was achieved through the omission of select facts. As Mommsen famously states,…show more content…
This is his paramount accomplishment – the procurement of and worthiness to assert his auctoritas. Augustus’ claim to auctoritas begins with self-glorification of the statesman; that is, his lengthy list of achievements as per the Res Gestae. Augustus makes note of his many unparalleled “firsts” and “mosts” , including victories, honors and offices; in particular personal expenditure for public purpose, census statistics , building programs and shows provided for Rome, as well as his expansion of Roman territory. Through this he establishes himself as an ideal man; almost a hero. Perhaps the most important act of Augustus is the returning of power back to the senate and people: this abolished the idea of himself as “king” or “tyrant”, while still distinguishing himself as the father and auctor of Rome. This transfer of power to the state propagated his famous claim of exceeding magistrates in not potestas, but

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