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Res Gestae Divi Augusti


Model of the temple of Augustus in Ancyra. Museo nazionale della civiltÓ romana, Roma (Italy). Photo Jona Lendering.
Model of the Temple of Augustus and Roma in Ankara
(Museo nazionale della civiltÓ romana, Rome)
The Res Gestae Divi Augusti ("the achievements of the deified Augustus") are the official autobiography of Augustus, the man who had renovated the Roman Empire during his long reign from 31 BCE to 14 CE. The text tells us how he wanted to be remembered. It is best summarized in the full title: "the achievements of the deified Augustus by which he placed the whole world under the sovereignty of the Roman people, and of the amounts which he expended upon the state and the Roman people". In other words - it is propaganda.

The translation offered here, made by F.W. Shipley, was copied from LacusCurtius, where you can also find the Greek and Latin text.
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[16] To the municipal towns I paid money for the lands which I assigned to soldiers in my own fourth consulship [30 BCE] and afterwards in the consulship of Marcus Crassus and Gnaeus Lentulus [14 BCE]. The sum which I paid for estates in Italy was about six hundred million sesterces, and the amount which I paid for lands in the provinces was about two hundred and sixty million. I was the first and only one to do this of all those who up to my time settled colonies of soldiers in Italy or in the provinces. And later, in the consulship of Tiberius Nero and Gnaeus Piso [7 BCE], likewise in the consulship of Gaius Antistius and Decimus Laelius [6 BCE], and of Gaius Calvisius and Lucius Pasienus [4 BCE], and of Lucius Lentulus and Marcus Messalla [3 BCE], and of Lucius Caninius and Quintus Fabricius [2 BCE], I paid cash gratuities to the soldiers whom I settled in their own towns at the expiration of their service, and for this purpose I expended four hundred million sesterces as an act of grace.



[17] Four times I aided the public treasury with my own money, paying out in this manner to those in charge of the treasury one hundred and fifty million sesterces. And in the consulship of Marcus Lepidus and Lucius Arruntius [6 CE] I contributed one hundred and seventy million sesterces out of my own patrimony to the military treasury, which was established on my advice that from it gratuities might be paid to soldiers who had seen twenty or more years of service.



[18] Beginning with the year in which Gnaeus and Publius Lentulus were consuls [18 BCE], whenever taxes were in arrears, I furnished from my own purse and my own patrimony tickets for grain and money, sometimes to a hundred thousand persons, sometimes to many more.



[19] I built the Curia and the Chalcidicum adjoining it, the temple of Apollo on the Palatine with its porticoes, the temple of the deified Julius, the Lupercal, the portico at the Circus Flaminius which I allowed to be called Octavia after the name of him who had constructed an earlier one on the same site, the state box at the Circus Maximus, the temples on the Capitol of Jupiter Feretrius and Jupiter Tonans, the temple of Quirinus, the temples of Minerva, of Juno the Queen, and of Jupiter Libertas, on the Aventine, the temple of the Lares at the highest point of the Sacra Via, the temple of the Di Penates on the Velia, the temple of Youth, and the temple of the Great Mother on the Palatine.


Coin, commemorating the reconstruction of the Via Flaminia. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Jona Lendering.
Coin, commemorating the reconstruction of the Via Flaminia (British Museum).
[20] The Capitol and the theater of Pompey, both works involving great expense, I rebuilt without any inscription of my own name. I restored the channels of the aqueducts which in several places were falling into disrepair through age, and doubled the capacity of the aqueduct called the Marcia by turning a new spring into its channel. I completed the Julian Forum and the basilica which was between the temple of Castor and the temple of Saturn, works begun and far advanced by my father, and when the same basilica [Basilica Julia] was destroyed by fire [12 CE] I began its reconstruction on an enlarged site, to be inscribed with the names of my sons, and ordered that in case I should not live to complete it, it should be completed by my heirs. In my sixth consulship [28 BCE], in accordance with a decree of the Senate, I rebuilt in the city eighty-two temples of the gods, omitting none which at that time stood in need of repair. As consul for the seventh time [27 CE] I constructed the Via Flaminia from the city to Ariminum, and all the bridges except the Mulvian and the Minucian.








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Page by Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 18 February 2007
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