TIMELINE -- Octavian Caesar Augustus:
63 BC, September
23: Octavian born, at Rome to Gaius Octavius and Atia, niece of Julius
Caesar; received early training in private life from his great uncle
(Julius Caesar) (Suet. Aug. 5, 6, 94)
60 BC: First
Triumvirate of Pompey, Crassus and Caesar
53 BC: Crassus
killed and his army wiped out at Carrhae
ca. 50 BC:
Funeral Oration for his grandmother Julia
49 BC: Caesar
crosses the Rubicon, marches on Italy; Pompey and the Senate flee to
Pharsalus; Caesar victorious; Pompey flees to Egypt where he is
October 18: Toga
virilis (ceremony: legally enters into manhood)
45 BC: In Spain
with Julius Caesar: Battle of Munda; later at Apollonia to study and
await Caesar's expedition to Parthia
Assassination of Caesar; Octavian named his principal heir and adopted
by Caesar in his will.
April 18: At
Meeting with Cicero and Balbus (Cic. Att. 14.10); then goes to Puteoli
(Philippus' villa), then Cumae (Cicero's Villa)
Early May: In
Rome, meets with Antony in Horti Pompei (Pompey's Gardens); Octavian
attempts to collect his legacy from Antony (who has seized Caesar's
papers and fortune). They eventually come to blows.
April 14: Battle
at Forum Gallorum (Antonius Defeated)
Octavian, invested with propraetorian imperium, leads legions in battle
at Mutina, along with consuls Hirtius and Pansa
May 24: Antonius
and Lepidus join forces
Octavian and his cousin (Caesar's nephew) Quintus Pedius become suffect
consuls; Octavian recognized as Julius Caesar's adoptive son under name
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus
Octavian meets with Antony and Lepidus at island of Reni (Near Bononia)
Second Triumvirate legislated at Rome, for 5 years via the lex Titia
Beginning of the
200 senators +
2000 equites (Appian)
300 senators +
3000 equites (Plutarch)
ex-consul known (Cicero), out of nearly 100 known names
Julius Caesar is proclaimed a god (due to a comet that appeared at
games in his honor in 44); Octavian becomes "son of a god", divi filius
Spring - Winter
Preparations for the campaign against the forces of Brutus and Cassius,
Antony and Octavian avenge Caesar's assassination at the Battle of
Philippi (well, Antony does all the work).
41/40 BC: War of
Perusia between Octavian and Antony's brother and wife, Lucius Antonius
and Fulvia. Octavian wins.
40 BC: Treaty of
Brundisium between the Triumvirs: Octavian gets the West, Antony the
East, Lepidus Africa. Antony marries Octavian's full-sister
Octavia to seal the deal.
39 BC: Treaty of
Tarentum: Antony and Octavian cede Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica to
Sextus Pompey as a "Protectorate." Octavian marries Scribonia, a
relative of Sextus Pompey, with whom he has one daughter, Julia.
38 BC: Octavian
fights two indecisive sea battles with Sextus Pompey and loses his
fleets in storms; divorces Scribonia upon the birth of Julia and
marries Livia. The Triumvirate's mandate runs out.
Triumvirate renewed for 5 more years. Agrippa trains a new fleet near
Naples. Antony marries Cleopatra (this is invalid in Rome) and starts
his disastrous Parthian Campaign.
36 BC: Octavian,
with the help of Agrippa and Lepidus, defeats Sextus Pompey at
Naulochus in Sicily; Lepidus attempts to take over Sicily, but instead
loses his position as Triumvir, his army and his navy and is sent into
exile. Octavian now has more military resources than Antony. East and
West are now in complete control of two men.
34 BC: Antony
breaks with Rome and Octavian for good. He holds a "triumph" in
Alexandria to celebrate his "victory" in Armenia. Officially divorces
Octavian's sister Octavia. Donations of Alexandria: Antony divides much
of Rome's eastern empire among Cleopatra's children (3 of whom are his
as well) and declares Octavian a usurper of Caesar's rightful heir,
Caesarion, son of Caesar and Cleopatra.
Triumvirate runs out again; Octavian campaigning in Illyria
32 BC: The "war
of words" between Antony and Octavian; Octavian reads Antony's will
(which again declares Caesarion as Caesar's lawful heir) in the Senate.
The west, alarmed at Antony's apparent prediliction for the East and
willingness to advance the interests of Cleopatra over Rome's,
officially declares war on Egypt and demands Octavian (who currently
holds no magisterial office) as "Dux" or leader of the war effort.
31 BC, September
2: Octavian (now consul for the third time) and Agrippa are victorious
over Antony and Cleopatra at Actium.
30 BC, August:
Octavian and his forces take Alexandria; Antony and Cleopatra commit
29 BC, August
13-15: Octavian celebrates a triple triumph at Rome (Illyria, Actium
and Alexandria) on three successive days; he attributes the success to
Apollo. The influx of money and booty causes a sharp decreas in
interest rates, making Octavian more popular than ever.
28 BC: Octavian
dedicates a temple to Apollo on the Palatine Hill, Rome (next to his
27 BC, January
13 & 16: Octavian "hands the Republic back to the people" and in
return receives the title Augustus and an enormous proconsular province
including Spain, Gaul, Syria and Egypt. He thus controls most of the
military provinces, and hence maintains his preeminent power. His
virtues are commemorated in golden shield (clipeum virtutis) set up at
the senate house (Curia Julia) in the Roman Forum.
25 BC: Augustus
marries his daughter Julia to Marcellus (his sister's son)
23 BC, June:
Augustus lays aside the Consular office he has held continuously since
31 in order to allow more aristocrats a chance at prestige; he receives
in return imperium maius, which gives him authority over all other
magistrates and commanders, and tribunicia potestas which gives him
broad legislative authority. On the domestic side, his nephew and
son-in-law Marcellus dies, so Augustus makes Agrippa divorce his wife
and marry Julia, who then bears three sons, Gaius, Lucius and Postumus,
and two daughters, Agrippina and Julia.
22 BC: Journey
to the East: Athens, Eleusis (where he is initiated), Peloponnese,
Samos, Syria, etc.
20 BC: Through
diplomatic negotiations, Augustus recovers standards captured by the
Parthians in three wars against Rome; commemorates this event in art
19 BC, October
12: Augustus' return from the East celebrated with religious vows and a
new altar to Fortuna Redux (Fortune the home-bringer)
18 BC: lectio
Senatus--revision of the Senate
17 BC: Augustus adopts
his grandsons Gaius and Lucius
Before May 24:
lex Iulia de ordinibus maritandis (marriage laws)
May 31 - June 3:
Celebrates a new age (saeculum) with special sacrifices and games
called the Ludi Saeculares (these ceremonies are held every 100 to 110
13 BC: Agrippa,
having received Tribunician Powers in 18 and Imperium Maius in 13
(making him virtually co-emperor) goes on campaign in Pannonia and
12 BC: Agrippa
dies; Augustus forces his stepson Tiberius to divorce his wife Vipsania
(daughter of Agrippa and Marcella (a niece of Augustus)) to marry
Augustus' daughter Julia (Agrippa's widow). Lepidus dies; Augustus
becomes Pontifex Maximus in his place (March 6), and is now in charge
of Roman religion.
11 BC: lectio
Senatus; Theater of Marcellus opened to the public (May 4)
8 BC: Census
5 BC, January 1:
Augustus COS XII, Presents Gaius Caesar (heir) in public in the Forum
Augustus COS XIII, Presents Lucius Caesar (heir) in public in the
Forum; Augustus named 'PATER PATRIAE' (Father of His Country)
Dedication of Forum Augustum and temple of Mars Ultor
Julia scandal; Augustus exiles his daughter due to 'plots' with men in
the aristocracy with whom she'd been cavorting...
AD 4: lectio
Senatus; Tiberius adopted by Augustus; Germanicus adopted by Tiberius
AD 9, Summer: P.
Quinctilius Varus and his three legions are massacred by the Germans in
the Teutoburger Wald; panic ensues in Italy; Augustus, distraught,
begins his final decline
AD 13, April 3:
Augustus writes his will; soon after, Tiberius is given imperium maius
which makes him virtual co-emperor with Augustus.
AD 14: Augustus
dies, having deposited his last will and testament, and account of
accomplishments (Res Gestae Divi Augusti) with the Vestal Virgins, the
latter of which is carved on bronze pillars in front of his Mausoleum
in Rome. Tiberius succeeds to the throne.