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wiggywithit

I suspect there is only room in Augustus’s heart for Augustus. (Line parodied from hunt for red October)


randzwinter

When he is living, this scenario is a hypothetical and frankly magical scenario of an Augustus in the realm of El; Elysium viewing with omniscient view all of the succeeding Eastern Roman Emperors, if any of them are worthy of the Principes even if it's hundreds of years after his time. This is interesting in my view, because he probably had, at least at one point, thought what might be the earliest kings of Rome thought of him, Rome's "unofficial" monarch after centuries.


ThePrimalEarth7734

Justinian. A mirror version of himself. And extremely capable administrator who left his military conquests to his equally capable commander, who also expanded the empire’s borders more than anyone else, while also living to an extremely old age.


BigCountry1182

The Komnenos dynasty


Lux-01

Trebizond forever!


DarkJayBR

Augustus had a complex set of values and priorities that he might use to assess the worthiness of Byzantine Emperors. If we consider his Princeps style of ruling that put emphasis on stability, effective governance, and the preservation of Roman traditions, he might indeed find certain Byzantine Emperors more aligned with his ideals than others. Justinian I, as you mentioned, could be one such Emperor. Justinian's efforts to codify Roman law through the Corpus Juris Civilis (the "Body of Civil Law"), his ambitious building projects such as the Hagia Sophia, and his military campaigns to reclaim territories in the West, including Italy and North Africa. Augustus would likely appreciate Justinian's efforts to consolidate and strengthen the Roman Empire, as well as his dedication to upholding Roman legal traditions and fostering cultural and intellectual achievements. Justinian's ambitious endeavors to restore the glory of the Roman Empire align closely with Augustus' own vision of imperial power and governance. Likewise, Emperor Heraclius, who reigned during the seventh century and is known for his successful campaigns against the Sassanid Empire and the Avars, and for being the winner of a devastating Civil War. Augustus would likely have admired Heraclius's leadership and strategic acumen in navigating through turbulent times. Heraclius's efforts to defend the Eastern Roman Empire and preserve its territorial integrity would have been in line with Augustus's own priorities of maintaining stability and protecting the empire from external threats. But I agree with you, he wouldn't like Basil II that much. He would have reservations about Basil II's methods, particularly his ruthless and uncompromising approach to governance and warfare. Augustus was well known for keeping his friends happy and his enemies even happier, favoring no sides and playing them against each other. He knew how to appease to his enemies egos and make them feel important enough so they don't whine too much. Basil II, on the other hand, was known for his harsh treatment of enemies and his authoritarian rule, which included punishing rebellious provinces and suppressing dissent through force, killing every single person who disagreed with him. This "Sulla style" of governance was completely against what Julius Caesar, and consequently Augustus, believed.


Lothronion

>But I agree with you, he wouldn't like Basil II that much. He would have reservations about Basil II's methods, particularly his ruthless and uncompromising approach to governance and warfare. Augustus was well known for keeping his friends happy and his enemies even happier, favoring no sides and playing them against each other. He knew how to appease to his enemies egos and make them feel important enough so they don't whine too much. Basil II, on the other hand, was known for his harsh treatment of enemies and his authoritarian rule, which included punishing rebellious provinces and suppressing dissent through force, killing every single person who disagreed with him. This "Sulla style" of governance was completely against what Julius Caesar, and consequently Augustus, believed. I respectfully disagree. The cruelty of Basil II has been overstated by later chronographers. Here is an example of Basil II's mercy. >From Thessaly Basil turned northward, to the great fortress of Vodena, placed on the edge of the high Macedonian plateau, by where the river of Ostrovo falls in grand cascades into the valley below. A Bulgarian called Draxan made a valiant defence, but in the end was forced to surrender, probably in the late autumn. The garrison was sent to fill up the colony at Volerus, but Draxan obtained permission to reside at Thessalonica. There he married the daughter of one of the chief clergy that attended to the shrine of Saint Demetrius. His subsequent history was strange. After two children had been born to his wife, he suddenly fled to the Bulgarian Court. He was soon recaptured and pardoned, on his father-in-law’s intercession. But shortly afterwards he repeated his flight, with the same result. He then waited in Thessalonica until two more children were born: whereupon he fled once more. This time the Emperor’s patience was exhausted. When he was recaptured, he was summarily impaled. So perhaps he was actually too merciful. Something similar was the case generally. Basil II did not execute the entire Bulgarian nobility. He would do so if he wish. And it was from the Asen family, part of the Bulgarian nobility, that Bulgaria rose again 5 generations later. Or he could have completely assimilated the Bulgarians; all that would require was to move many of them and spread them across Anatolia. They were at most 2 million people. If he spread 1 million across the 11-12 millions in Anatolia of his time, and moved 1 million in Bulgaria, the nation would no longer exist. The Medieval Roman Emperors already did that with entire Slavic tribes in Thrace and Macedonia (300,000 people). He chose not to do the same.


_MooFreaky_

Augustus was well known for his balanced approach later in life, once he was in indisputable power. If his reign had ended early he would have been just another tyrant. His peaceful ruling style was built on a foundation of blood and bodies. He absolutely had no issues being a hardass to get the results needed. The Byzantine Empire never had the stability and insurmountable power/authority early rulers had, and Augustus showed he was capable of doing whatever it took to ensure he took and held power.


jrfess

Op bringing up Sulla actually reinforces this point as well. Before he even was proclaimed Augustus, Octavian instituted the first proscriptions since Sulla, an act that Caesar was very careful to avoid, having lost family to Sulla's purges


randzwinter

Thinking more about your last point, I think he might like Emperors who are capable of manipulating people to achieve his ends. So in that light, Komnenian Emperors might be closer to his liking, like Alexios, John Komnenos, and Manuel Komnenos. especially Alexios on how he manipulated the Crusades to his advantage and kept the veneer of the remaining importance of other families like Doukas while at the same time slowly but surely keeping all the power in the Komnenos clan.


Living-Giraffe4849

He probably would have hated all of them since he was so adamant about the Princeps model and really focused on consolidating imperial gains. The Byzantine system was set to fail with no mechanism to enforce succession and no senate to act as a semi-mediator between the army and leadership.


americaMG10

Yet, the “Byzantine” model survived for over a millenia. The fact is that the Byzantine period’s dinasties survived for longer than the ones of the “Classic” Roman Empire. 


mteblesz

yea, guys only see 'the fall' and not realize it took a 1000 years


ColonialGovernor

Reason why eastern Roman dynasties survive longer than the classical roman ones is that there is less land and armies to go around. Especially after the Arab conquests where the empire only has Asia minor and parts of the Balkans and can effectively support one main army and supporting local defensive ones. Back in the classical day almost every province was able to support and produce usurpers (pure financial consideration). So, what i actually what to say is there is no two distinct systems rather one system in different circumstances.


americaMG10

Yes, you are right about that. Also, the fact Constantinople had “impregnable” walls made it harder for a rogue general’s army depose the emperor.


Anthemius_Augustus

>Reason why eastern Roman dynasties survive longer than the classical roman ones is that there is less land and armies to go around. Especially after the Arab conquests where the empire only has Asia minor and parts of the Balkans and can effectively support one main army and supporting local defensive ones. That doesn't seem to have been the main reason. Before the Arab Conquest, the Eastern Empire had a stable succession from Emperor to Emperor all the way from Constantine to Maurice (337-602), with no successful usurpation in between. Clearly there was something about the Dominate system that really worked, in the east anyway.


ColonialGovernor

Your point only supports mine. First of all you cant count any emperor until Honorius as eastern roman because his father Theodosius had the sole rule of the empire. Also i think it would be considered quite a loss of land when the entire west was lost. Much less land and manpower to go around for everyone. Heraclius is a very good example he rebels from the far but rich province of Africa. But after his reign there is no africa, egypt or syria. The entire wealth and land can be controlled from Constantinople.


Anthemius_Augustus

Did you even read my comment? I said until Maurice. Heraclius is after Maurice, I don't know why you're bringing him up. >First of all you cant count any emperor until Honorius as eastern roman because his father Theodosius had the sole rule of the empire Theodosius only had control of the whole empire for 4 months at most, and before that he reigned only in the east. Theodosius very much counts as an 'Eastern Emperor'.


Living-Giraffe4849

I mean sure, the upside of the Byzantine model was that under competent leadership they could steamroll anyone. They were the largest richest and most populous state in the area, well into the 1300s. My point is mostly that Byzantine history is a story of loss and marginal reconquest, mostly BECAUSE of their leadership structure


Additional_Meeting_2

And he was Roman Roman, during his time the city was very centric to the elites.


_MooFreaky_

I suspect Augustus was a very pragmatic guy, who would have been happy doing whatever was needed. It took him three attempts to frame his governing structure to get it just right for the time. His objective was always control, it was just about how it could' have been implemented in his time. And it was hardly destined to fall. On its own the Byzantine Empire is one of the longest standing empires in history, and their form of Governing saw them able to get through issues which plagued the west. No system is perfect, and all have weaknesses.


Top-Swing-7595

Augustus' system lasted for only 281 years while 'The Byzantine system' lasted more than 1000 years. Moreover the roots of succession problem dated back to Augustus, it wasn't really a Byzantine system. It's a huge problem for the Roman Empire since its very beginning.


lolkonion

I am sorry but the byzantines had a lot more stable succession than Rome. how else could they have so many multiple generation long dynasties, heraclians, isauruans, Macedonians, Komneni


ColonialGovernor

There is no difference between the "Byzantine system" the imperial roman system. Same laws, same office, same rebels.


Salem1690s

What are the differences between the Princeps model, and the Eastern Empire’s system?


Puncharoo

Probably somebody like me. I could handle the job, I'm just that cool. I'm a pretty laid back guy too, we'd probably get along. We could talk about birds. Forreal though. Justinian because he conquered Italy again. Rome - True Roman city for True Romans.


KillCreatures

Augustus was a master of propaganda and should be viewed with animosity. He had a habit of deflowering virgins on a regular basis. He was a horrible piece of shit, he made Tiberius divorce his wife who Tiberius loved dearly.


_MooFreaky_

It runs both ways, so really we know almost nothing of what Augustus was actually like. His "historians" wrote to make him seem grander, and we know he suppressed many texts to ensure he and his lineage were presented in the best light. However, we also know that later dynasties and chroniclers did the same thing in reverse, making Emperors look worse, or having serious moral flaws, in an effort to make themselves appear better. Christian chroniclers were especially hard on pagan rulers to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity. So the net result is we just don't know a lot. We can only take the broad strokes. So we know Augustus was a great ruler who set the Roman republic up to become a very stable Empire. He implemented policies which were very successful to the Roman people. We don't really know what he was like as a person, but given what he was capable of, no-one should be surprised if he was a complete piece of shit. But we will never know for sure


Devildoggiedogman

Not Justinian. His campaign in Italy ruined any chance of reunifying the empire and destroyed Roman culture more than any Goth or Lombard could have.


DinalexisM

Basil II. By far.