All hail Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Divi Filius Augustus, the villain in my Cleopatra’s Daughter novels, and the man after whom the month of August is named. It is not, as some believe, his birth month. No, he didn’t want to be celebrated for the mere act of entering the world, but rather, he wanted to be remembered for the month in which he defeated the wicked female menace, Cleopatra VII, who took her own life on August 12th, 30 B.C.E.
Augustus was born a humble man, but eventually set out to create his image as that of the savior of mankind, the bringer of the Golden Age. To that end, his most important and enduring monument is the Ara Pacis, now housed in a museum in modern day Rome. He is remembered for having ushered in the Pax Romana, a one-hundred year stretch of relative peace and prosperity.
Now, peace for the Romans was definitely a relative prospect. It didn’t necessarily mean that they weren’t spilling blood so much as that nobody was spilling theirs. Nevertheless, I do enough damage to Augustus’ reputation in my books, so I’m content to give him this one day of celebration.
Happy August, everyone. And to you too, Augustus, wherever you are now…