Augustus Caesar used many forms of trickery to get what he wanted. He pretended that he did not want any power so that the people would feel safe and secure when it came to giving him all of the power. His plan worked and once he had gained enough power, he created the first Roman Empire. Augustus acted without any regard to anyone else’s needs but his own in order to satisfy his fiery ambition and covered up his true motivations by saying his actions were for the people’s own good.
He fooled people into believing his motivations were good by making the public impression seem to be that he was performing his duties solely out of his sincere concern for the populace . Augustus Caesar was not very interested at all in what the people actually wanted or needed, but instead only cared about his own selfish desires and used deception and acting to gain full power and to get anything he desired. Augustus played his cards very well when he rose to power.
He started by using reverse psychology and giving up all of his power which led to him ultimately gaining full power. He does this to get the people to want him to be their ‘king’ in a method similar to the way that Julius Caesar rose to prominence. But rather than a king, they wanted him to be their dictator. Augustus felt there was very great risk in accepting this and he did deny the people their desire three times, claiming that Rome was a republic and that it should always remain that way.
This is not correct and its sounds just like what Julius Caesar did. Julius denied the throne three times, claiming that he wanted Rome to remain a republic, He does this as part of a devious plot in order to trick the senate and all of the people of the land into thinking he was just your everyday person with good intentions, and that he was not at all greedy or selfish. Augustus finally accepted the offer after quite some time, but he managed to convince the people that he was not ruling as a dictator, but instead in the best traditions of the republic.
In truth, what he had really done was trick Rome into granting him the full and absolute power over them that he desired. In order to do this though, he had to put on a very large and intricate acting performance. According to his wife and adopted son his true last words were, “Have | played the part well? Then applaud me as I exit. ” rather than his famous words of turning a stone rome into marble. Although he did say that, that wasn’t the very last thing he said. His family would be a more credible source of what his last words really were, rather than what the media wanted it to be.
These not as famous final words give great clues and insight into the idea that his whole thing wasn’t for the sake of what the people wanted, but instead only what he had wanted. He acted well enough to make the people think it was what they wanted as well. Even though his not so famous last words clue to trickery being his main plot, he previously claimed that all of his actions and achievements in life and ruling was all for the people. He even wrote a ‘book’ about all of the great and amazing deeds he did for his beloved ‘children’.
Although he claims that it is for the people, the majority of the things written were things that mainly benefited him only. Any benefit to the people was a side effect and not intentional. The majority of his ‘deeds are things such as him killing Julius’ murderers, waging war, and forcing the people to pay taxes. All of this might sound like they could have been done with the good of the Romans in mind, but it was actually all done in order to fulfill and satisfy his own greed, ambition, and anger.
However, he is even today still considered a great ruler with an enduring legacy and has even been depicted as a god. One may wonder why or how this could have come to pass if he is as greedy as he sounds? This is again where his acting comes into play. He used his many tactics of trickery, deception, and play-acting in order to fool the citizens and even some historians today into believing him and falling for his performance. He played a role so convincingly that he may have even started to believe it himself. The way he was seen as a ruler by his people also helps define his acting ability and skill.
If he was indeed a good actor, then that would mean that he would have seemed to be a good ruler to the people. One main point that leans more toward him being a good actor is him becoming a ‘god’ with his ‘great deeds’ not having anything to do with his people. In his book, the people added four verses in the end saying what they loved about him, and it only has four things and they are all about building and rebuilding statues and monuments for them. Another thing he would have to do is convince the people that his actions were in their best interests and what they wanted.
But what if his interests were really in the people? or were they in his own selfish desires? As shown above, most of the deeds he did that he considered ‘great, were in truth they were just things that benefitted him. It mainly comes down to the fact that either he really did think what he was doing helped everyone, or as we have seen so far, he is only doing these things to satisfy his ambition. This has been a conundrum that historians have not been able to fully solve even up to today. Nobody can be certain if he was a ‘good’ or ‘bad leader.
There is really no way to absolutely determine this because through his deceiving, he was pragmatic to the point of betrayal, but by his war tributes and the accounts of the people, he was a hero that pulled Rome out of civil war and made it stronger than ever. But the people could have just been accounting for the false face they saw and thought was the ‘real him’. With what evidence history has, Augustus did it to suffice his roaring ambition. Even though he put this shady act up, he is considered, by people of today, a great ruler.
Are the people of today blind as well? or did he have good intentions? The fact that he was named a god could either prove that he was good hearted, or that he was very good at deceiving people. He seemed to the people to be a heroic figure who ended wars and built temples for them. He was considered a god after death, and had many statues built for him, and there was even a temple built for him. It is unlikely that they loved him this much just because of his fighting skills and him building temples and halls for them, because all leaders, good or bad do this.
The only other explanation history can give is that they fell for his acting. They confused tangential benefits for society at large as his main goals instead of seeing them for the random side effects that they really were. So why would he put up such an immense act like this? It is because he is ambitious- very similar to his uncle Julius. But unlike Julius Caesar, Augustus managed to gain full power of Rome and in the end he turned it into an empire. Although this was good, he did it for all of the wrong reasons. He wanted full power so he could do whatever he wanted, and no one could get mad at him.
As shown above, Augustus Caesar used trickery and deception in order to gain full power to do what he wanted, and satisfy his greed and ambition. He modified, customized, and improved upon the tactics of Julius Caesar in order to form an intricate performance and successfully convince his audience that the illusion was instead the reality. In one sense, he truly was a great success because he succeeded in convincing the citizens of his day as well as the writers of history and people of our time into believing that he was a true and just ruler with the interests of his people at heart.