Option E: Gaius Octavius Thurinus was born in 63 B.C.E to Gaius Octavius and Atia in the city of Rome. At the age of four, his father died and he was sent to live with his grandmother, the sister of Julius Caesar. Octavius was elected to the College of Pontiffs at a young age. This group was made up of the highest-ranking priests in the state religion.
He later joined his uncle, Julius Caesar, in Hispania where they would fight the army led by Pompey. Caesar was impressed by Octavius and named him him primary heir as he had not children of his own. Julius Caesar was a nobleman who fought to reform the unfair laws of Rome along with his private army. He redistributed land equally amongst the wealthy and the poor and improved the economy of Rome. When he was stabbed to death by a group of senators in 44 B.C.
E, Octavian was left to rule Rome. Octavian joined forces with Mark Antony and Lepidus to finish what his uncle had started. Years later, Lepidus was eliminated when his troops joined Octavian’s army. Octavian and Antony were left in charge, which was no issues as they became brothers-in-law when Antony married Octavia, Octavian’s sister.
They divided the empire in two where Octavian ruled the western half and Antony ruled the eastern half. They peacefully ruled both sides of Rome until Antony began a romantic relationship with the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. This awakened doubts in Octavian, and he soon convinced the Senate to allow him to take control over the entire empire. Cleopatra and Antony joined forces in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.
C.E against Octavian, who won the battle. After Antony committed suicide, and when Cleopatra failed to keep control of Egypt she also committed suicide. This marked the end of the Civil Wars and left Octavian in complete control of the Roman Empire at the age of 32. While in control he turned Rome into a dictatorship and became the first Roman Empire.
He was later known as Caesar Augustus, a name given by the senate years later. During the next approximately two-hundred years, Rome was at peace. This period of time was known as the Pax Romana (Latin for “Roman Peace”). Augustus used this time of peace to reform the morals of the society. He brought back traditions by building temples and restoring religious festivals.
He created laws that forbade adultery and decreased the crime rate in the streets of Rome. Augustus later attempted to bring equality to all social classes by creating a system that ensured all individuals the access to government jobs. Augustus died in 14 C.E at the age of 75 from natural cause on a trip to Nola, Italy. He had been ill for a while and expected his death to be near, so he prepared by choosing wisely when deciding who would be his successor.
It has been said that his last words spoken publicly were, “Behold, I found Rome of clay, and leave her to you of marble.” Fun Fact: The month of August was previously known as “Sextilis” since it is the sixth month of the original Roman calendar and six is “sex” in Latin. It was later changed to August named after Augustus Caesar.