Augustus gives an account of his deeds through the Res Gestae Divi Augustae. In the autobiography, Augustus gives an account of his accomplishments. The primary core objective brought about by the author is advertising the deeds he considered heroic in the culture that prevailed during his lifetime. He writes of what he goes through in different echelons. He reiterates how he tackles different issues and his actions to his society. He claims to have observed the law at all times. If the claims by Augustus are true, he was a model leader worth being emulated by all as the autobiography portrays him as generous, clement, just and piety; a true father of the fatherland.
According to Deeds of the Divine Augustus, Augustus accomplishes many significant things since his childhood. He tries to pass the message of what he was able to accomplish and conquer and give the reader a chance to know him long after this. He paints the picture on how he transforms his society; reconstructs it and how he helps to change it. The reader is given a chance to evaluate him according to his deeds.
Augustus talks a lot about how generous he is. Generosity calls for one to understand and meet other people’s needs before his desires. Augustus finds himself in a situation in which he wields much authority and power. He has a lot of wealth with him which he had acquired at an early age. He is generous because at one time he gives a lot of his wealth to his people. A case in point is the time he gave out Plebs three hundred sesterces at one time and also counted a gift of four hundred sesterces at another time. Augustus views himself as a leader who brought glory to his land. He claims that his glory came after struggles. Augustus tries to do a lot of things in different ways. He tries to lay strategies that would make him a different person from the others. This goes on for a while and the struggle continues. Augustus brings glory to his Res Publica by conquering whatever had not been conquered previously.
The self-proclaimed significant leader acclaims the honor of battle fields in his era. He also claims patronage to the decree of senate to leaders. Leaders of all kinds wanted to show themselves as possessors of unique capabilities. Battles came and went and Augustus together with his predecessors had chances to prove their worth. Augustus in his reign had so many battles that challenged him and his authority. Honor was given to Augustus for winning several battles and achieving what the other leaders had not achieved. He conquered his enemies and extended his borders. He claims in his biography that he earned an honor and a lot favor from men; a feat that his predecessors could not make.
Augustus found a society that needed reconstruction and social reforms. Negligence of the previous leader may have made the temples and water channels in the region to languish in deplorable conditions for ages. It was a society where custom of the ancestors needed to be followed at any single time. There were so many challenges being posed to him since people needed reforms. Augustus made a significant impact and reconstruction of temples. Theatre and other social amenities that had been neglected were given reconstructed and building new ones.
Augustus found a society that needed property patronage. There was a need to reclaim land from domination of a small oppressive faction that owned the largest portion of resources. Moreover, there was a need to free people from all kind of oppression. This is what he did at age nineteen when he reclaimed Res Public. He set the oppressed free and was elected to the senate. Prioritizing reconstruction was also essential in the region since most structures of national heritage had been neglected. Temples and social amenities had to be prioritized. This would reflect the kind of leader associated with such area. The picture that may have been painted was negligence with the kind of buildings and temples that littered his territory. Augustus at significant expense rebuilt Capitoline temple and the Pompey Theatre. He also repaired water channels which had not been repaired in a long time.
According to the self-proclaimed charismatic ruler, border extensions and expansions meant a lot to any reign. A small region meant that a leader was in-charge of a few subjects. The more the subjects a leader had under his control, the more respected one became. The surrounding neighbors also had to prove to others that they were the best. Augustus pacified the Gallic and Spanish provinces among other areas. Respect of the rule of law within any given country is essential. There were customs in the Res Publica that had to be obeyed. There was a need to prioritize the observation of this law. This could have depicted the leadership that was in authority. Augustus respected the rule of law. He abhorred dictatorship at all levels. In his autobiography, he claims that he successfully dodged the attempts by the senate to lure him to the rule of dictatorship. He refused to be made the Pontifex Maximus by the senate in the place of his colleague. He did not want to do what was contrary to the custom of their ancestors.
According to Augustus autobiography, he had several qualities that are worth aping by all leaders. Augustus’ actions also portray some values that a leader is supposed to have for him to be in respectable authority. Generosity is portrayed by the action of giving to the commoners not only once, but also several times. He paid for land in the region and helped the public treasury among other things.
Like the whole humanity, Augustus could not always be right all the time. Leadership comes with challenges and one’s subjects cannot always get all their expectations from him. No one is perfect enough to exhibit all the virtues expected of a leader. Augustus was good in some aspects and also weak in others. He decried justice because he went on and extended his borders. He did all his instincts and reason informed him to be right. A number of times, the ruler used his mighty army to meet his needs and massage his ego.
Readers of the auto-biography of Augustus are often left with many pressing questions unanswered. The most disturbing and certainly recurring of these concerns is the possibility of this autobiography being a dorm of the present day propaganda. It is envied with ewe and zeal. This is due to the custodians of truth behind the magnificent claims by the all-powerful king. After going through what Augustus did in his era, there is a need to analyze the possibility of truth. A reader will have to assess the situation of Augustus and look at what he or she offers to the society. Augustus wants to portray himself to readers as a leader that had not been previously seen in Rome by what he achieved with what he had at that time. To readers, he did receive honors where his predecessors failed to achieve at their time.
Historians should read this work with an inquiring mind. They should try analyzing every point in this writing. More so, they should try get the right perception because the writer may have written to pass his accomplishments and works only, without giving credit where is due. Augustus in this case also gives accounts where his son`s and stepson`s play a role in his success. For example, Tiberius Nero conquered the Pannonian races and Augustus mentions that this is made possible through his urgency. The true picture was that his step-son was behind this conquest.
Modern readers can get the information and events that were going on during those times. The modern reader will also try and compare the events that happened during those times with current events. The modern reader will get knowledge on how land and region were acquired during those old times. They will also put themselves in most of the situations that Augustus was at that time. Modern readers will get to know that Augustus was an ambitious leader who wanted to conquer and achieve everything possible.
Despite the hitches, Augustus brought changes in his society according to the deeds of the divine Augustus. The book is persuasive and convincing. These changes are made possible by people who surround him. His army under his leadership gives him the glory and he does not forget to give them credit. According to his deeds, Augustus is a determined man who is not ready to see any form of oppression on his people. He is ready to free them. He is truly a leader who brought social changes and reconstruction in his society by doing what was just. Augustus is an example of a leader ready to follow the rules and laws of the society. He is a generous leader, just, clement and piety. He is truly the father of the fatherland in his society, and a ruler to emulate.
Classic MIT Education Center. The Deeds of the Divine Augustus. 05 Feb 2002. 15 Oct 2013
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