On August 19th 43 BC Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus requested the Roman Senate elect him as consul. They were somewhat compelled to obey by the fact that his army was encamped upon the Field of Mars. So began the long rule of Augustus, fittingly ending on the same date, August 19th 14 AD.
Although a narrow-minded and often divisive character, his long rule of Rome during this critical period would provide the necessary stability for the Roman empire to accelerate their growth and become (along with the Greeks), the foundation of modern Western society, which can still trace their roots back to the seven hilled city on the banks of the Tiber.
Can’t say the followers of the religion of peace have achieved anything similar in the last thousand years or so…
Having tramped around the ancient ruins of the Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Pompeii and Herculaneum I have an appreciation of the ancient past covered in dust that has to be experienced first hand to be truly understood.
I am also well aware of the fundamental conflict between my libertarian views and the autocratic rule of Augustus, but I honestly believe that if it were not for the likes of Augustus, the civilisation that we have today would not have the necessary foundation to survive.
Such is the essential necessity of history, teaching us where we come from and what we may aspire to, that we will still be recounting the tales of Rome while watching c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
I’ll swap a rock in the middle of the desert for the grandeur of the Pantheon 9-days-a-week and then some.