Augustus and the Reconstruction of Roman Government and Society

Augustus and the Reconstruction of Roman Government and Society

Augustus and the Reconstruction of Roman Government and Society

Augustus and the Reconstruction of Roman Government and Society

Excerpt

At this time, when the world is preparing to celebrate the Bimellenium of the birth of Augustus, it seems well to sum up once again his achievements, as a political reformer and administrative creator. This book is not intended as a biography of Augustus. Several excellent biographies have recently appeared. It is an attempt rather to see Augustus in the context of the political and administrative problems which he inherited, and to estimate his services as the founder of the empire and reorganizer of the Roman republic. For this reason no mention is made of his early career. The battle of Actium is taken as, roughly speaking, a point of departure, for at that juncture Octavianus was free for the first time to turn his attention to administrative problems and a permanent political settlement. Although the Augustan age is the main theme, I have not hesitated to indicate roughly later developments of Augustan institutions where this seemed necessary, in order to evaluate his specific contribution.

The work represents a course of reading over a period of some ten years by a man who is cursed with a good memory. I have tried to trace and acknowledge all my obligations. If some have escaped me, I make this apology in advance. In addition to obligations mentioned in the footnotes and in the bibliography, I cannot forbear to express the debt that I owe to my former teachers, in particular to Professor T. Callander of Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, who first turned my attention to this subject, to my tutor at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, Dr. G. B. Grundy, whose stimulating influence is still a valued memory, and to Professors J. G. C. Anderson and H. Stuart Jones, as well as Mr. Hugh Last, all of the University of Oxford.

Any student in this field will feel a greater debt of obligation than he can express to the great scholars who have laid firmly and strongly the foundations of our knowledge of Roman political and administrative procedure--Mommsen, Madvig, Marquardt, Hirschfeld, and Rostovtzeff. The extent of my indebtedness to . . .

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