Augustus was born Gaius Octavius on September 23, 63 BC in Rome to Gaius Octavius and Atia Balba Caesonia who were both descended from Rome’s most powerful families. His father died when he was young and his mother married Marcus Atius Balbus Minor who adopted him as his son and gave him his name. After Balbus Minor died in 59 BC, Octavius returned home to live with Atia but would not return to school until Caesar came back from Gaul in 56 BC; which is where he first met Julius Caesar who would have an enormous influence on his future career as Emperor of Rome.
The reign of Augustus was a period of relative peace and prosperity for Rome, which he had transformed from a Republican city-state into the capital of an empire. Augustus’ legacy is reflected in the administrative, legislative, and military achievements of his reign. He presided over the Roman Empire’s territorial expansion to its greatest extent during the Principate — he established colonies throughout Italy, North Africa, Gaul, Spain, and along the Danube river.
He also instituted a pension system for retired soldiers who had served 20 years or more in active military service (they were given land grants in his newly conquered territories).
The transformation of Rome from a republic into an empire under Augustus was accomplished by Augustus’ careful political maneuvering, broad skill base, and ability to create a network of supporters to help him govern effectively. He is considered to be one of Rome’s greatest emperors.