The Most Successful Early Roman Emperors

Essay add: 21-12-2015, 12:53   /   Views: 56
The Most Successful Early Roman Emperors

Throughout the Roman Republic's early years , three powerful emperors brought changes and improvements that gained them respect and helped propel Rome on its high paced race to greatness. These men ruled differently in the areas of public and foreign policy and social cooperation. But, which one was the most successful?



Augustus Octavian took the throne after Caesar's murder. He had been adopted by Caesar and , therefore , was willed the throne. Augustus changed public policy during his reign. He had already learned from Caesar's mistakes and took advantage of his knowledge. First, he knew that all the Senate needed was a sense of importance. He pacified their need by cooperating with them. Augustus also ruined the established governing class and promoted new social elements. Socially , Augustus cooperated with bankers , corrupt paymasters and adventurers to shift convenient alliances. Augustus boasted often that he had "found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble" , and he eventually led the people of Rome and its Senate to believe that he had restored the Roman Republic. He hadn't done anything of the sort. Instead , he had gained sole control of the army and many important provinces, the power to propose and veto legislation , and the power to sit alongside the consuls. Augustus's foreign policies only went as far as turning his army's conquests into provinces. Overall, he calmed Rome's fear of a solitaire, powerful leader by , in essence , pulling the wool over their eyes. And he was successful in doing so.



The next great emperor , Claudius , took the throne after Gaius's public assassination. His reign reeked of foreign policy. Acquiring Britain was his one main theme. He succeeded and annexed the island making it the first addition to Rome's empire since Augustus's reign. This move defined his entire reign , being the most significant occurrence in his time. Claudius's public affairs , such as his relationship with the Senate did not get off to a good start. Claudius made efforts to appeal to the council but also detrimented his efforts by accepting unworthy men in the Order. Claudius was notorious for his judicial procedures. He was accused of not listening to both sides of a case and making savage and cruel rulings based on bias. The only known group he cooperated with were unworthy , long-haired Gauls and other people unaccepted by the snobbish Senate. Though his attempts obvious , Claudius failed to cooperate with the Senate during his reign and made some bad judicial decision. These factors made his reign disrespected and not thought of as an improvement.



Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. But Vespasian rose to the occasion. He encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots and restored the Capitol. He raised money for the projects by using his power to manipulate the supply of certain commodities in order to inflate their price. Also, to enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius's men. In matters of foreign policy , Vespasian increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England. Vespasian also advanced towards Scotland , Germany , and Spain. His rule was filled with expansion and restoration.



I believe that Augustus was the most successful leader of Rome. He was a highly decorated commander and led Rome off on the path of greatness with his ingenuities. He molded the republic and structured a new form of government while , at the same time , earning his people's respect and pacifying the Senate. He cast a mold for all of the other leaders to follow and was strong enough not to crumble under future clumsy reigns.

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