Though Augustus took over the rule of the Roman Empire in 29 B.C., and was granted supreme authority for his entire life, he was never officially named emperor
The interest of the last ten years of Augustus's life centers in the events occurring on the northern frontier. The difficult task of bringing the German tribes between the Rhine and the Elbe under Roman rule, commenced by Drusus in 13 BC, had on his death been continued by Tiberius (9-6 BC).
‘In my sixth and seventh consulships [28-27 BC], after I had extinguished civil wars, and at a time when with universal consent I was in complete control of affairs, I transferred the republic from my power to the dominion of the senate and people of Rome…After this time I excelled all in influence [auctoritas], although I possessed no more official power [potestas] than others who were my colleagues in the several magistracies.’ (Res Gestae Divi Augusti 34.1-3)
He shrewdly combined military might, institution-building and lawmaking to become Rome's sole ruler, laying the foundations of the 200-year Pax Romana (Roman Peace) and an empire that lasted, in various forms, for nearly 1,500 years.
He tried setting an example by dressing without extravagance and by living in a modest house. He emphasized the worship of those gods he thought had given him victory in battle, among them the god Apollo. He claimed that Rome's gods had given him victory over Cleopatra and what he saw as the monstrous gods of Egypt.
Augustus was clearly the greatest Emperor in all of Roman history, and the title "Father of his country" was well-deserved. He made many wise and clear decisions throughout the provinces, boasting that he had transformed Rome "from a city of brick into a city of marble."
27 years before Jesus Christ was born, the Senate of Rome bestowed upon Octavian the title Augustus. Augustus became the first "Emperor", which comes from the military title imperator. In actuality he became no more than first senator, but he skillfully combined within himself all the powers of consul, tribune, and other offices, and he really had no rival.
The treatment of the loose, flowing folds of the toga recalls Hellenistic art, leading some to interpret it as a work from the Hadrianic period. It is thought that the head and body were assembled during the eighteenth century when the portrait belonged to the Giustiniani collection in Venice; by the time it reached the Vatican collections in 1780, it was in its present form.
Augustus was determined to be succeeded by someone of his own blood, but he had no sons, only a daughter, Julia, the child of his first wife. His nephew Marcellus and his beloved grandsons Gaius and Lucius pre-deceased him, so he reluctantly made Tiberius his heir.
Augustus lived a long life and served Rome well. When he died in AD 14 at the age of 77, he was declared a Roman god, and every emperor after him adopted the title of Caesar.
He ruled an empire that stretched from Spain to Judea and turned the Mediterranean Sea into a peaceful Roman lake. Augustus Caesar, born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, was a part of the triumvirate that took over the rule of Rome after the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.