Assess the Success of Augustus as a General and a Politician During This Period

Assess the success of Augustus as a general and a politician during this period. (2007)

Many consider Augustus to be Rome's greatest emperor; his policies extended the Empire's life span and initiated the celebrated Pax Romana. As a politician, he was intelligent, decisive and shrewd, and had a positive impact on the Roman government with his successful political reforms, such as his increase in the role and responsibility of the senate and his judicial changes. In addition, his reforms of the armed forces, changes to administration of the provinces and successful frontier policy helped him create a permanent, standing, professional army and thus achieve the reputation as a successful military general. Augustus’ success as a politician and general left a long-term legacy of Roman peace and prosperity that the Empire enjoyed for the next two centuries under the system he initiated.

Augustus’ political reforms regarding the senate and magistrates were successful in establishing new order and contentment amongst members of the government. The administration of the Empire was an enormous task, thus Augustus needed to share the workload with the senators, and they co-operated in running the empire, dividing legislative, executive and judicial functions between them. Augustus improved the functions of the senate and magistrate through various reforms, such as the removal of unsuitable members and the restoration of dignity and responsibility by increasing the fines of non-attendance and forbidding senators to leave Italy without permission. However, Augustus kept in his own control the sanction of the army by remaining responsible for those provinces needing a military presence, thus there was still an unbalance in power. However, according to Scullard, the Senate as a whole was restored to a position of considerable prestige and influence. Augustus’ reforms regarding the senate and magistrates were not exactly egalitarian, however the Senate enjoyed a new sense of...