The Gestae. Upon investigating this document, scholars inquire: what

The rise of the Roman Empire was a turbulent period following Augustus’s triumph in the Battle of Actium when he became the first Roman emperor (McKay 155-156). Augustus narrates his transformation of Rome from  republic to  autocracy in his autobiography Res Gestae. Upon investigating this document, scholars inquire: what does Augustus’s portrayal of his life reveal about his relationship with the Roman Empire? Although some argue that Res Gestae is a biased portrayal of Augustus’s rule to manipulate Romans and advance his selfish agenda, Augustus’s autobiography  reveals his efforts to create an unthreatening image to gain the trust and support of the Romans in order to strengthen the Roman Empire. He emphasizes his accomplishments and versatile attributes, his contributions to the improvement and beautification of Rome while honoring Roman traditions, and his selfless rule. Some view Res Gestae as propaganda preserving Augustus’s legacy, using the Romans to attain post-mortem glory. They perceive Augustus’s self-portrayal as brainwashing his citizens, embellishing his accomplishments and attributes while neglecting to address more accurate, flawed aspects of his rule. This argument is ascertained from Res Gestae through Augustus revealing that he wrote this piece at 75 (Augustus par. 35). They argue that Augustus knew he was nearing death and wrote to glorify his rule and guarantee his fame.    Augustus’s actions illustrate his intention to secure a trusting relationship with the Romans, writing Res Gestae at 75 to ensure that his legacy survived and catalyzed growth of the empire. He reflects upon his actions to positively impact the Roman people, including monetary gifts and hosting games (Augustus). Augustus seeks to establish a benevolent relationship with the Romans and fortify the empire.   Augustus’s account emphasizes his numerous accomplishments and shows his desire to be trusted by the Romans. Augustus was an imperator, a consul,  a member of the tribune (Augustus par. 4). Already in charge of lawmaking, politics, and the army he became Pontifex Maximus, Rome’s religious leader (Cohen 1/10/18). Augustus stresses his participation in festivities such as gladiator shows (Augustus par. 22). His immersion with the commoners is addressed to portray him as a credible, accessible ruler capable of leading the empire to prosperity. Augustus depicts himself as a well-rounded leader who connects with his people on different platforms to establish solidarity and prolong the stability of Rome.   Augustus stresses his harmonious relationship with the Roman Empire, examining his contributions to architecture and territorial expansion while upholding Roman traditions. Augustus’s land conquests included the annexation of Spain, twelve towns in Gaul, and many other surrounding territories (McKay 159). Augustus led reconstruction of the Capitol and the theatre of Pompey, new aqueducts, and many other buildings and temples (Augustus par. 20). His account of these accomplishments creates an image of strong leadership  that primed his citizens into viewing domestic growth and foreign expansion as essential components to the vitality of the empire. Despite remarkable success expanding territory and developing infrastructure, Augustus  presents himself as similar to past Roman rulers who aimed to align with the Roman mindset of emphasizing tradition over innovation (Cohen 1/10/18). Augustus portrays himself as a steadfast leader entrusted to preserve Roman tradition while introducing expansion and improvements into the Roman Empire, convincing the Romans that these efforts were essential to advancing the empire. Throughout Res Gestae, Augustus avoids mentioning his autocratic identity and seeks to maintain a benevolent image, persuading the Romans to support his plans for fortification. He never identifies himself as the emperor or “shows public displays of power” (Cohen 1/10/18). Augustus objects to unrestricted power, stating: “. . . I refused the dictatorship . . .” (Augustus par. 5). His provides monetary gifts, such as “. . . aiding the Treasury from his own funds . . .” (Augustus par. 17). Mentioning these gifts exemplifies his selflessness. His choice to not identify himself as an emperor, his rejection of dictatorship, and his generosity show that Augustus wants to be seen as an altruistic leader, one respected by  Romans and able to establish governmental framework for a stable empire. Despite the argument that Augustus wrote Res Gestae to use the Romans as tools to uphold his reputation, Augustus seeks  to establish the image of a magnanimous rule that strengthened the empire and would endure after his death. Augustus succeeds by  highlighting his well-rounded abilities, his physical advancement of Rome, and his aversion to dictatorship. Concluding his autobiography, Augustus states that he was denominated “Father of his Country . . . ” (Augustus par. 35). This title solidifies Augustus’s image as a dependable ruler who achieved his goal in Res Gestae, leaving readers inquisitive about the longevity of his legacy in the framework of future Roman autocracies.