Was Augustus a Consummate Politician?

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Was Augustus a consummate politician? In the eyes of the average Roman citizen, Augustus was a consummate politician and excellent administrator. He achieved this reputation through his manipulative propaganda and administrative changes that benefited the people of Rome, such as his political and social reforms. However, Augustus faced opposition from both outside and within the family, including threats from Cornelius Gallus and his daughter Julia, which gives evidence of defective aspects of his principate and flaws in his administration. However, while Augustus was not consummate, he is still considered by many as Rome's greatest emperor. His policies and reforms initiated Roman peace and prosperity that enabled him to administer a close to perfect Empire. Augustus’ political reforms regarding the Senate and judicial system allowed him to enhance the lives of Roman people and perfect Rome’s image in the ancient world. He improved the functions of the senate and magistrate with the restoration of dignity and responsibility by increasing the fines of non-attendance and forbidding senators to leave Italy without permission. He also removed disreputable members, and in 18 BC, more than 300 senators were removed. Yet there was an unbalance in power, for Augustus carefully kept in his own control the ultimate sanction of the army by remaining responsible for those provinces needing a military presence, including Syria, Spain and Gaul. Augustus was a manipulative man, and his reforms were often aimed at accumulating more personal power, as Wallace-Hadrill argues, his power base was resignation, and he increased his hold over Rome by deviously manipulating the senate and the people. However, he was successful in establishing new order and contentment amongst members of the government, and according to Scullard, the Senate as a whole was restored to a position of
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