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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.
1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 26-30 31-36, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Bust of Augustus. Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, MÚrida (Spain). Photo Marco Prins.
Bust of Augustus (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, MÚrida)
[26] I extended the boundaries of all the provinces which were bordered by races not yet subject to our empire. The provinces of the Gauls, the Spains, and Germany, bounded by the ocean from Gades to the mouth of the Elbe, I reduced to a state of peace. The Alps, from the region which lies nearest to the Adriatic as far as the Tuscan Sea, I brought to a state of peace without waging on any tribe an unjust war. My fleet sailed from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the lands of the Cimbri to which, up to that time, no Roman had ever penetrated either by land or by sea, and the Cimbri and Charydes and Semnones and other peoples of the Germans of that same region through their envoys sought my friendship and that of the Roman people. On my order and under my auspices two armies were led, at almost the same time, into Ethiopia and into Arabia which is called the "Happy," and very large forces of the enemy of both races were cut to pieces in battle and many towns were captured. Ethiopia was penetrated as far as the town of Napata, which is next to MeroŰ. In Arabia the army advanced into the territories of the Sabaei to the town of Mariba.

[27] Egypt I added to the empire of the Roman people [30 BCE]. In the case of Greater Armenia, though I might have made it a province after the assassination of its King Artaxes [20 BCE], I preferred, following the precedent of our fathers, to hand that kingdom over to Tigranes [III], the son of King Artavasdes [II], and grandson of King Tigranes, through Tiberius Nero who was then my stepson. And later, when the same people revolted and rebelled [1 CE], and was subdued by my son Gaius [2 CE], I gave it over to King Ariobarzanes the son of Artabazus, King of the Medes, to rule, and after his death to his son Artavasdes [III; 4 CE]. When he was murdered I sent into that kingdom Tigranes [V; 6 CE], who was sprung from the royal family of the Armenians. I recovered all the provinces extending eastward beyond the Adriatic Sea, and Cyrene, which were then for the most part in possession of kings, and, at an earlier time, Sicily and Sardinia, which had been seized in the servile war.

[28] I settled colonies of soldiers in Africa, Sicily, Macedonia, both Spains, Achaea, Asia, Syria, Gallia Narbonensis, Pisidia. Moreover, Italy has twenty-eight colonies founded under my auspices which have grown to be famous and populous during my lifetime.

[29] From Spain, Gaul, and the Dalmatians, I recovered, after conquering the enemy, many military standards which had been lost by other generals.  The Parthians I compelled to restore to me the spoils and standards of three Roman armies, and to seek as suppliants the friendship of the Roman people. These standards I deposited in the inner shrine which is in the Temple of Mars Ultor.

[30] The tribes of the Pannonians, to which no army of the Roman people had ever penetrated before my principate, having been subdued by Tiberius Nero who was then my stepson and my legate, I brought under the sovereignty of the Roman people, and I pushed forward the frontier of Illyricum as far as the bank of the river Danube. An army of Dacians which crossed to the south of that river was, under my auspices, defeated and crushed, and afterwards my own army was led across the Danube and compelled the tribes of the Dacians to submit to the orders of the Roman people.

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Page by Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 18 February 2007
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other