Alternate History

Augustus (Ætas ab Brian)

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History of Rome-After Ætas ab Brian

List of Cæsars

Cæsar Gaius Julius Augustus
Born: 690(-63) September 23
Died:763(10) December 4
Place of birth: Roma
Known relatives: G. Julius Cæsar, adoptive father/great-uncle; Tiberius, step-son; Carico, adopted son
Legal status: Citizen of the Roman Empire
Occupation: 1st Cæsar
Ruled: 726(-27)-763(10)

Although Augustus had huge financial resources at his disposal, after the defeat and peace of Actium and the deeply felt loss of Agrippa, a substantial percentage of his wealth was spent paying and settling his soldiers, maintaining his political position, and preventing further internal conflict in Rome. One of the greatest injuries to the state because of this was the degradation of Rome’s road networks, a situation Carico seized with exaggerated gusto in order to push forward his vaposcurr designs. Rome’s road networks however got their needed renovations immediately following the conquest of the Ptolemaic Empire.

Augustus also strongly encouraged the trend of aristocrats once again personally funding public building projects.

Following the defeat of the Eastern Empire, all the temples to the Ptolemies and Antonies (but not the native gods themselves) were torn down or desanctified and remade into Roman aligned temples.

Augustus' step-son Tiberius had been the intended successor to Augustus as Cæsar; however, right on his deathbed in 763 Augustus decided against the reluctant man and chose the more enthusiastic Carico.

Mausoleum Augusti

The plans for the future tomb of Augustus and his family members was first begun in the 730’s(-23+), however the more pressing needs of the Empire forced them to be delayed so long that it began to be feared one would not be ready in time for the Princep’s death. The conquest of Ægyptus in 756(3) and the following tranquillity supplied all the funds necessary for his fancy-pants tomb, and the sepulchre was completed in 760(7).

From the Via Flaminia an arched entrance flanked by pink granite obelisks led to an open corridor, the walls of which would bear the bronze plates of the Res Gestæ Augusti upon the Cæsar’s death. The tomb itself was a squat cylinder with two concentric-ring corridors inside and substantial vaulting; the outer corridor’s walls were frescos and murals of the triumphs of the Princep’s ancestors and the gods for Rome, and the inner corridor depicted the accomplishments of Augustus and his contemporary family. The final inner chamber held an altar for yearly sacrifices, and three niches for the urns of the family.

On the outside, the ground floor had numerous Cyprus trees planted, and the walls of the tomb were incised with 12 arches, each having a relief of one of the zodiacs. Atop this first floor was a two-tiered rounded earthen layer upon which more Cyprus were planted. And on top of that was a cylindrical building with four incised arches holding a statue of Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Julius Cæsar. The overhanging rounded brick roof was further supported by a ring of columns, and finally the apex was a base to someday hold a statue of Augustus.

Statua Imperator Augustus

In 756(3) after the conquest of the EE and a favourable diplomatic meeting with the Parthians, Augustus had the statue Imperator Augustus commissioned. Its stance was based on the late 4th Century(mid-5thBCE) Spearbearer Statue by Polykleitos, and was notable for its expert use of both realistic and symbolic detail in its layers of clothing and hair, and its depiction of skin and muscle texture.

The statue shows an Augustus retro-youthed to his forties as a Heroic figure (an image strengthened by his bare feet). A Cupid rides a dolphin at his right leg, both signifying his connection to Venus (showing he is a son (descendent) of Venus, like Cupid) and supporting the statue’s weight. Draped about his torso is a general’s paludamentum cloak. Augustus wears an elaborate breastplate. Taking up the centre is a military-garbed goddess Roma facing outwards, standing (or floating) above a personification of Egypt and a representative Parthian. Roma’s arms lightly descend to hold onto the Egyptian and Parthian’s upreaching hands. Above, Julius Cæsar in the guise of Jupiter holds up a canopy signifying the peace of the time, with multiple winged Paces (goddess Pax). Below the central scene is Gaia with a cornucopia and numerous animals. On the left side of the breast plate is Augustus’ wife Livia depicted as Diana, with the moon above her, and on the right side is Agrippa depicted as Apollo with the sun above him. The lapels of his cloak are decorated with sphinxes. In his left hand he holds a spear and laurel branch, with his right he points to the future (the statue was meant to face east).

In 763(10) the finishing touch to Augustus’ tomb was meant to be a bronze replica of the Imperator Augustus. The replica had been made years before, and was intended to be placed atop the Mausoleum following the funeral of the man, but during its final transport the statue was heavily damaged, thankfully before actually getting to the tomb itself. Despite the fact that there were dozens of copies of the Imperator in existence, Carico quickly re-envisioned the dedicated figure into the Triforma (military, politics, religion / People, Senate, Cæsar) Augustus to strengthen Augustus’ and therefore his own connection to legitimate power (not just military). The new statue was soon ready and installed, and none wondered how such a detailed sculpture was prepared in so short a time.

Since then, both the Imperator Augustus and Triforma Augustus have been the primary portraits in use for when someone wants some August in their room.

Family Cobweb

                  |              |
            Julius Cæsar   Julia----+----M.AtiusBalbus
                          |                                                              |
         Scribonia--x--Augustus--\--Livia----------\---TbClNr                            |
                                 |                 |                                     |
                                 |                 1                                     |
                                 |                                                       |
                |                   ---+---Carico                                              |
                |                      |           1                                 |---------+--------|
                |                      2           |                                 |                  |
                |                           |------+-------|         GFurnius--+--AntoniaMj             |
        VipsaniaAgrippina---------------Tiberius           |                                            |
                                                       NrClDrMj--------------------+----------------- AntoniaMn
                                       2                                           |
                                       |                                  |--------+------|
                                     Gaia                                 |               |
                                     Tæcana                             NrClDr          TbClDr
                                                                                           Names: Tb=Tiberius
\=marriage ended by death of one or more members                                                  Nr=Nero
x=marriage ended by divorce                                                                       Mn=Minor
+=totally harmonious                                                                              Mj=Major
Members of the Claudian faction in the war of succession                                          G=Gaius     
------- OTL Marriages/spouses/children                                                            Dr=Drusus
------- ATL Marriages(includes OTL marriages at ATL dates)/spouses/children                       Cl=Claudius

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