Analysis Of Augustus' Res Gestae - UCSD - MMW12 - Essay Assignment

836 words - 4 pages

After Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 BCE, his heir and grandnephew, Augustus, went on to
defeat those that had betrayed Caesar. Then in 31 BCE, Augustus had a victory that marked
the end of the Roman Republic and the start of the Roman Empire (McKay, 155). Towards the
later stages of his life, he wrote an autobiography, ​Res Gestae​, which highlighted his
achievements in his political and military career. Although many could argue that the senate
was the real successor in maintaining the Roman Empire, looking through the text, Augustus’
portrayal of events show that his relationship with the Roman Empire was more impactful than it
may have seemed at the time. Through the repetition of using his personal funds, the use of
pathos, ethos and logos, and the fact that he kept refusing titles, showed how he helped
maintain the Roman Empire with its military and politically and economically.
Augustus had a large impact on the Economy during the Roman Empire which was clear as he
used repetition to help emphasize that he used his own funds to help the Empire. “... at my own
expense, I raised an army with which I set free the state…” (Augustus, 1) This shows that only
because of his own funding of an army, they were able to transition from the Roman Republic to
the Roman Empire. And through having an army, Augustus went on to win many other battles
(Augustus, 3) which also went on to help with the Roman’s financial stability as they were
conquering other places. He also “rebuilt 82 temples of the gods” and mentioned how each work
came “at enormous cost”, which helped Rome and Christianity to be more unified.
Furthermore, through the use logos, ethos and pathos, Augustus justifying that he was one of
the most qualified people to maintain the Roman Empire. He uses diction, to appeal to his
reader’s sense of emotion, pathos. “I drove the men who slaughtered my father into exile…”
(Augustus, 2). The word “slaughtered” is extreme and has a negative connotation, therefore, the
audience sympathizes with his loss. Then he uses quantities to appeal to the reader’s sense of
logic, logos. “About 500,000 Roman citizens were sworn to me. I led something more than
300,000 of them into colonies…” (Augustus, 3). In using numbers, it shows an objective side to
the readers and makes this text appear more legitimate. And finally, he rejected when the
dictatorship was offered to him (Augustus, 5), showing he isn’t power crazed as well...

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