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Upon his adoption, Octavius assumed his great-uncle's name Gaius Julius Caesar.Roman citizens adopted into a new family usually retained their old nomen in cognomen form (e.g., Octavianus for one who had been an Octavius, Aemilianus for one who had been an Aemilius, etc.).
The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies.In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator.However, though some of his contemporaries did, Historians usually refer to the new Caesar as Octavian during the time between his adoption and his assumption of the name Augustus in 27 BC in order to avoid confusing the dead dictator with his heir.A later senatorial investigation into the disappearance of the public funds took no action against Octavian, since he subsequently used that money to raise troops against the Senate's arch enemy Mark Antony.Mark Antony was amassing political support, but Octavian still had opportunity to rival him as the leading member of the faction supporting Caesar.
Mark Antony had lost the support of many Romans and supporters of Caesar when he initially opposed the motion to elevate Caesar to divine status.His father, also named Gaius Octavius, had been governor of Macedonia.Philippus claimed descent from Alexander the Great, and was elected consul in 56 BC.He was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum.He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves.Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia; expanding possessions in Africa; expanding into Germania; and completing the conquest of Hispania.