Res Gestae Divi Augusti
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.
Bust of Augustus (Museo Nacional de Arte Romano, MÚrida)
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
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
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.
I added to the empire of the Roman people [30 BCE]. In the case of Greater
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,
Nero who was then my stepson.
And later, when the same people revolted and rebelled [1 CE], and was
subdued by my son Gaius
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
and Sardinia, which had been seized in the servile war.
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.
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
and to seek as suppliants the friendship of the Roman people.
These standards I deposited in the inner shrine which is in
Temple of Mars Ultor.
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
forward the frontier of Illyricum as far as the bank of the river
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.
by Jona Lendering for
Revision: 18 February 2007