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After his victory at Actium in 31 BC Octavian became the undisputed ruler of the Roman World The troubled period of the triumvirs and endless civil war had finally come to an end Octavian spent the next two years travelling around and organising Romes Eastern provinces before finally returning to Rome in 29 BC There he celebrated a magnificent triple triumph on the 13 - 15 of August No one was to be in any doubt who was in charge However Octavian must have been conscious to avoid the fate of his great-uncle Julius Caesar His first priority was to ensure the stability and continuance of his rule without adopting the outwards trappings of monarchy that would have been unacceptable to Romes ruling classes From 29 - 27 BC therefore he initiated a series of cleverly engineered measures to maintain the faade of restoring the institutions and traditions of the Republic while keeping all the real power to himself This he managed to achieve successfully and what was produced was a somewhat strange combination of Augustus undoubted and unchallenged supremacy superimposed on the institutions and language of the Republic Octavian was essentially a revolutionary leader who seized power through civil war To stabilise his position he needed to ensure the support of the landed classes and the governing elite in Rome Thus as Syme puts it he began a painless and superficial transition intended to ensure his supreme position whilst not too grievously offending the institutions of the Republic This supposed transfer of power as Augustus himself claims was a gradual process over his sixth and seventh consulships It is likely to have taken places in 2 stages the first in 28 BC dealt mainly with domestic affairs Here there were several issues and practices which were obviously not compatible with the ways of the Republic For example there were real changes in making public appointments From 28 BC magistracies were again to
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