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The Deeds of Divine Augustus or Res Gestae Divi Augusti - Essay Example

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This paper aims to provide the analysis of the "The Deeds of Divine Augustus" which is the funerary inscription of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. In it, you will find the complex analysis of the source, that includes the investigation of texts and structure of the document. Also, The motive behind writing the document is further discussed…
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The Deeds of Divine Augustus or Res Gestae Divi Augusti
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"The Deeds of Divine Augustus or Res Gestae Divi Augusti"

Download file to see previous pages The Deeds of Divine Augustus or Res Gestae Divi Augusti is the first hand inscription of the first emperor who united the Great Roman Empire, Augustus. In this short document Augustus has given a summary of his lifelong achievements and experiences which are to be served as the role model for the coming generation of rulers of the Great Roman Empire. In this precise and defined address to the Roman people Augustus has portrayed himself to be the ultimate hero of the Roman people. The document provides a detailed description of the image depicted to the Roman people by Augustus, thus the document is a great source of information for understanding the binding forces in Roman Empire at its onset. Augustus has presented himself in the form of a strong personality, a great leader, a profound follower of Gods and an exemplary reformer. The first emperor of the Roman Empire has mentioned even the minutest of his achievements and works for his people because he wanted to create a strong linkage between the emperor and the people of Roman Empire for which winning the trust of the people was the prime step (Burger, 2003).
The Document
The text of the document has been divided into 36 paragraphs of which the first paragraph is the introduction which tells about the purpose of the document. The 35 body paragraphs can be broadly classified into four categories on the basis of the content. Each and every aspect of his life as the leader of the people of Rome and as the emperor of the Great Roman Empire including all his political achievements, military triumphs, public benefactions and his traits as a ruler and administrator (Everitt, 2007). In the first 14 paragraphs Augustus has presented a detailed account of his political achievements and the honors he received from the Senate as well as the public. While telling about his great leadership abilities Augustus mentions the number of times he was made triumvir for the settling of the state. During his conquest of foreign lands, Augustus depicted great administrative qualities by preserving the properties of the captured areas rather than destroying them. He won the hearts of the captured people by forgiving them and by providing them with funds for better agriculture, this way thousands of people from Europe, Asia and Africa embraced the Roman Empire happily rather than by force. He also inducted a few people from the captured areas into his army and provided them with funds to establish them as strong battalions of Roman Empire. Augustus also conducted census in the captured areas and the census recorded the largest number of subjects in the history of Roman Empire because a number of Asians, Africans and European people were now a part of Roman Empire. He has also portrayed modesty as one of his greatest political achievements and mentions in the document that he refused to accept the greatest honors of Roman Empire several times because he thought himself to be not prepared for them at that time (Cooley, 2009). In the second segment from paragraph 15 – 24 Augustus very precisely presents an extensive discussion of all the funds he spend on the people of Roman Empire and its army. He has also mentioned the gladiator fights, chariot races and naval battles he sponsored. Augustus was undoubtedly a great leader and he was well aware of the priorities of the people of Rome. He knew that warfare and commerce are not enough to make his people happy therefore he invested generously in theatrical and stage activities in order to promote cultural activities in his newly established empire. He did not want himself to be known for his great conquests only, he considered himself to be a great reformer and that is why he put immense stress on the cultural activities he promoted. Augustus has also talked about the great respect for the Roman gods he had because religion was a matter of great concern in Rome at that time and Augustus wanted to describe himself as a righteous person (Massie, 2007). The next section of the document consisting of 9 paragraphs from 25 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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