As the title implies, the author confronts here two versions of Augustus Caesar: firstly there is Octavian the warlord who, through political manouver, alliance brokering, battle, and acres of good luck, gained control of the world's most powerful nation. Secondly there's Augustus the ruler, arguably the greatest of the classical world, whose policies and Pax Romana would cement Rome as a lasting Empire whose culture and influence would hold sway in the West for centuries. The author succeeds in reconciling the two, presenting a man's evolution from reckless, entitled, mouthy upstart to Emperor par excellence.
Sources on Augustus are notably sparse; what writings survive from his time mostly survive in part. Adrian Goldsworthy is frank that he relied on histories such as Josephus, written centuries later. Extant material by Augustus own hand - innuendo-strewn poems and forthright letters, mainly - is miniscule compared against the surviving words of his adoptive father, Julius Caesar. A notable story of Octavius as toddler might have a crest of truth: escaping his nanny, the boy found his way to the rooftop terrace and was found there, staring at a dazzling full moon.
Perhaps the most outstanding quality of Octavian as a youth was his unreasonable, brazen ambition and confidence. An early rebuff in Rome's forum at his attempt to assert himself heir to Rome as a teenager was a needed wakeup call; a moderation to vanity. Several twists of fate in the internecine conflict between he, Mark Antony, and various assassins of Caesar might easily have ended his attempt at power in a spatter of blood. Yet good fortune, be it bad weather that wrecked enemy navies or the apparition of sympathetic legionary veterans, saved the lad's cause. An aptitude for xenophobic propaganda - painting Mark Antony as a man seduced by Cleopatra the Egyptian temptress - paid dividends as the fight wore on.
Physically, Augustus was not a strong or particularly healthy man. Even during youth, he experienced bouts of illness that required weeks, even months of recuperation. In battle he knew how to put on a good show of valor, but lacked the dogged competence of the late Julius Caesar. In one instance a dash across an rickety bridge toward a battlefield, complete with war cries, ended with Augustus and an adjunct falling off with injuries. It is too much to say that his military victories were carried by hardened veterans and Caesar loyalists under his command, but these played a heavy role in the practical successes. It is reasonable to say that Augustus's most effective and nullifying weapon was clemency.
A notable figure to emerge out of the chaotic melee was Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa: the stocky, diligent workaholic of low birth who would serve as Augustus's right hand in matters military and civic appeared to be an NPA type.
A common thread of Octavian and Augustus was his ability to speak and persuade; Cicero, who never lived to see his rise, attested to a youth with a great deal of charm. Imitating the generous Julius Caesar, Augustus made and delivered upon great pledges of money and rank - kindness to be sure, but also pragmatic exchange. Tactical generosity to the people and the nobility ensured Augustus was never a figurehead or patsy; cunning and a showman, he would spend his maturity pretending his reluctance to rule. It was an ironic role of glorification; the hesitant hero whom the people and Senate demanded rule in perpetuity for the good of all - a mock-humble part played to great effect. By the time he assumed power, Rome was war weary and craved peace - this, as well as stability in politics and superb public builds, made the Pax Romana what it was.
I used the process of elimination AMB would employ to arrive at a verdict, narrowing Augustus down to either N or NPA. On balance, the author's narrative demonstrates Augustus Caesar was an N type, a man who during his seventy-five years epitomized the various strengths and weaknesses of that type rather well.
What of Augustus's wife, Fulvia? Notorious for a supposed fig poisoning that finished off the elderly Augustus (which the author rubbishes as implausible, propagandistic rumor that emerged during Tiberius' rule), it's difficult to proffer defining traits. She was clever, witty and tactful, tolerating the affairs Augustus likely had in the early years of their union and going on to become a competent adviser. There is much to suggest she was discreet and gave her husband sound counsel, but very little to support the notion she was a Machiavellian power behind the throne. To be sure, following Augustus' death she asserted her power as dowager, but there simply isn't enough to go on to conclude a personality type.
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