One on my own initiative and at my

One of the purpose of writing Res Gestae was to document Augustus’
accomplishments in a way that elevated him to the role of a great and benign
leader. Augustus writes, “In my nineteenth year, on my own initiative and at my
own expense, I raised an army with which I set free the state, which was
oppressed by the domination of a faction” (Augustus para. 1). The “set free the
state” refers to his success in the civil war that divided the Roman Republic by
military dictators. He especially emphasize this achievement at the beginning
of Res Gestae insinuating that he deserved glory from terminating such cleavage
and restoring peace in Roman Empire. In addition, Augustus also emphasizes his
restore of social stability for commonwealth. He writes, “I rebuilt the
Capitol and the theater of Pompey, each work at enormous cost, without any
inscription of my name. I rebuilt aqueducts in many places that had
decayed with age, and I doubled the capacity of the Marcian aqueduct by
sending a new spring into its channel.” (Para. 20) Augustus’s emphasize of
“without any inscription of my name” since he wants to present an image that he
is only thinking for commonwealth, not for his fame. Furthermore, the theater
of Pompey was an important architecture built by his ancestor, Augustus had a
political monument to communicate a message of continuity with the past,
prosperity in the future and stability in the present. In the midst of his
achievements, Augustus also mentions he has no intention to violate the Roman
constitution even though he has obtained such a great power, “When the
dictatorship was offered to me, both in my presence and my absence, by the
people and senate, … I did not accept it. … When the annual and perpetual
consulate was then again offered to me, I did not accept it.” Augustus denied
the position as a dictator because such position violates the traditional Roman
values and the constitution. Although Augustus claims to restore the Roman
Republic in the inscription, he in fact arise as a sovereign leader with
comprehensive control of the government. The contraction of his portrayal in
Res Gestae and his actual ambition fortify the fact that this inscription is
served as his propaganda to glorify his image and extend his influence in the

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