The Life of Rome’s First Emperor Augustus

The Life of Rome’s First Emperor Augustus

I just finished reading “The Life of Rome’s First Emperor Augustus” by Anthony Everitt. There was one part that I thought I could share of his way of living. His life history started politically after Julius Caesar’s. They were different people with different kinds of leadership. Julius was fast, a military man while Augustus was slower, plotting the future of Rome and its people at all times.


Emperor Augustus lived by a set of traits that gave him the reign of Rome for almost 44 years. Here are a few of his traits. You might want to consider them as a direction for your life.

  1. Every minute of natural daylight was precious. I expand that to every minute of your life counts. Make the most of it.
  2. His breakfast was quick and simple.
  3. He broke his days into specific functions and lived by those. Get the administrative required functions out of the way first in the morning.
  4. Running the empire entailed a huge amount of complicated administrative work. Delegate as much as you can. Not much has changed. This is true for any business now.
  5. A few of his favorite maxims are “More haste, less speed”, “Give me a safe commander, not a bold one”, and “Well done is quickly done”. If you know what to do and why then all actions should go as anticipated. There will always be uncontrollable issues affecting all decisions.
  6. Augustus attended assiduously to his work. That sounds right. If you miss one thing nowadays it could be the end of your business.
  7. He presented himself as being no more important than any other leading member of society. Be humble at a minimum in public.
  8. He was always afraid of saying too much or too little. I am learning to say just what I mean.
  9. He carefully drafted his speeches and read them out loud ahead of time as practice and to make any necessary changes. Words do matter.
  10. He wrote down what he intended to say in advance on important issues he wanted to say to individuals. He did this with “His Eyes Wide Open”.
  11. He ate light meals and preferred plain food over gourmet dishes. That could be because of his constitution. But it does save time.
  12. He saw himself as a performer. His comment was “Have I played my part in this farce of life well enough”. He dreamed of a cohesive Rome. One with lasting potential. Our lives are short and less important than you think. Live life well. Do your part. Life should not be too serious.
  13. Power was for use, not for ornament. Lead with strict convection. You are not Charlie the Tuna. It is really about the soul, not the dress.
  14. Fight apathy. That is an uphill struggle. Everyone should participate.
  15. Restore traditional values. He called it “The Goodwill of the Gods”.
  16. Share the astonishing adventure of your life. You have great qualities as others do. Be a role model for all those around you.
  17. Only the cool professionalism of the Roman legionary saw off the enemy. Be a professional at whatever you do. Protect your realm by your actions, “With Your Eyes Wide Open”.


I hope these thoughts assist you in your life. The comments following Augustus’ thoughts are mine alone and he did not critique these responses. I hope he does not mind.




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