|The Story of Rome|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|A vivid account of the story of Rome from the earliest times to the death of Augustus, retold for children, chronicling the birth of a city and its growth through storm and struggle to become a great world empire. Gives short accounts of battles and campaigns, and of the men who expanded the borders of the Roman empire to include all lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Ages 10-14 |
THE EMPEROR AUGUSTUS
 THE Roman Republic came to an end after the Battle of Actium.
Henceforth until his death Cæsar ruled over the great Roman Empire, and he was now
known as the Emperor Augustus. His reign began in 30 B.C., and ended in 14
If he did not add much to his great dominions, he saw to it that, during his long
reign of forty-four years, those within his realm were able to live at peace with
each other and with foreign peoples. Once again, and for the third time since
Romulus built the city of Rome, the gates of the temple of Janus were closed.
The Emperor came to be adored by the people of Rome, because his rule was kind and
just. His magistrates were not allowed to oppress or rob the poor, while his
merchants' ships were able to ply their trade without fear of pirates.
At one time Augustus was away from Italy for three years. His people longed for his
return. Here are the very words in which the poet Horace expressed their desire.
"O best guardian of the race of Romulus," he wrote, "return . . . your country
calls for you with vows and prayers . . . for when you are here the ox plods up and
down the fields in safety; Ceres and bounteous blessing cheers our farms;
sailors speed o'er seas infested by no pirate; credit is kept unspotted; crime
is checked, family life purified, none fears the invasion of the Parthian or German
. . . each man closes a peaceful day on his native hills, trains his vines to the
widowed trees, and home
 returning, light of heart, quaffs his wine and blesses you as his god."
When Augustus knew that the people really believed what the poet said in language
more beautiful than they could frame, he must surely have felt rewarded for all the
labours which he had undertaken for the sake of his country.
The Emperor died in 14 A.D.
His wife Livia was with him to the end, and as he
kissed her for the last time he said, "Good-bye, never forget our married life."
Nor was she likely to do so, for Cæsar had ever loved her well, and treated her
with respect. His adopted son, Tiberius, succeeded him.
Thus from the single city founded by Romulus in the Palatine Hill in 753 B.C. there
grew up through struggle and victory, the mighty Empire, over which Augustus first
ruled as Emperor. And this mighty Empire held within its bounds the whole of Europe
of Germany and the Danube, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, as well as a large part
of the northern district of Africa.
"Thine, Roman, be the task to rule the nations with thy sway. These shall be thine
arts—to impose the laws of peace, to spare the humbled and to crush in war the
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