Augustus: Another man-god like Jesus Christ!

The Roman Senate deified Augustus on September 17, 14 CE less than a month after his death. He was now divine not only for his ancestry and adoption but in his own right, for his achievement in unifying Roman Empire internally and its consolidation externally.

When Jesus was crowned with divinity, it was an age, when people liked to do that for their heroes!

Julius Caesar Augustus

Julius Caesar Augustus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in AD 14.[note 1] Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus, he was adopted posthumously by his great-uncle Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 BC via his last will and testament, and between then and 27 BC was officially named Gaius Julius Caesar. In 27 BC the Senate awarded him the honorific Augustus (“the revered one”), and thus consequently he was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus.[note 2] Because of the various names he bore, it is common to call him Octavius when referring to events between 63 and 44 BC, Octavian (or Octavianus) when referring to events between 44 and 27 BC, and Augustus when referring to events after 27 BC. In Greek sources, Augustus is known as Ὀκτάβιος (Octavius), Καῖσαρ (Caesar), Αὔγουστος (Augustus), or Σεβαστός (Sebastos), depending on context.

The young Octavius came into his inheritance after Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC. In 43 BC, Octavian joined forces with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in a military dictatorship known as the Second Triumvirate. As a triumvir, Octavian ruled Rome and many of its provinces.[note 3] The triumvirate was eventually torn apart under the competing ambitions of its rulers: Lepidus was driven into exile, and Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by the fleet of Octavian commanded by Agrippa in 31 BC.

After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Octavian restored the outward facade of the Roman Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, but in practice retained his autocratic power. It took several years to determine the exact framework by which a formally republican state could be led by a sole ruler; the result became known as the Roman Empire. The emperorship was never an office like the Roman dictatorship which Caesar and Sulla had held before him; indeed, he declined it when the Roman populace “entreated him to take on the dictatorship”.[1] By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including those of tribune of the plebs and censor. He was consul until 23 BC.[2] His substantive power stemmed from financial success and resources gained in conquest, the building of patronage relationships throughout the Empire, the loyalty of many military soldiers and veterans, the authority of the many honors granted by the Senate,[3] and the respect of the people. Augustus’ control over the majority of Rome’s legions established an armed threat that could be used against the Senate, allowing him to coerce the Senate’s decisions. With his ability to eliminate senatorial opposition by means of arms, the Senate became docile towards him. His rule through patronage, military power, and accumulation of the offices of the defunct Republic became the model for all later imperial governments.

Categories: CHRISTIANITY, Religion

6 replies

  1. The difference between Caesar Augustus and Jesus Christ is that Augustus was only declared to be a deity after his death. Jesus, on the other hand, blatantly proclaimed himself to be God while he was alive. Jesus was hated for this by the political and religious leaders in Israel because it threatened their authority. In the eyes of a large portion of Israel, Jesus was a nobody from the back-alley part of the country. He didn’t have anywhere near the amount of public honor that Caesar Augustus had. Augustus was seen as a political leader who did a lot of good for his country, and was declared a deity after his death in order to honor him. Jesus was seen as a trouble maker and was hated by so many of his countrymen that he was actually sentenced to death for claiming to be God. So no, crowning people with divinity was not something people just “liked to do for their heroes,” at least not in Israel. Israel believed that there was only one God, and claiming to be God or deifying any human was actually punishable by death–that’s why they crucified Jesus, and why the disciples were so afraid after Jesus was arrested. No one would have called Jesus God if he hadn’t declared himself to be the son of God and performed so many miracles to back up his claim. There is a big difference between Romans declaring Caesar Augustus a deity after his death to honor him (one of many, since the Romans believed in a pantheon and the existence of lesser deities), and Israelites believing that Jesus was the son of God, the only one true God that they believed in and held sacred to the point of punishing people by death for pretending to be God. This makes the testimony of Jesus very strong. Clearly, Jesus really was God, because if he wasn’t, no one in Israel would have followed him. The fact that he did have followers who were convinced enough by his teaching and miracles that it was worth the risk of persecution to follow him shows that there is substantial weight to his claim of being God. Caesar was just a man who was given a prestigious title for doing some good things. Proclaiming Caesar to be a god did not have nearly as many repercussions as calling Jesus the one and only Son of God, and therefore Jesus’s claim to divinity should be taken a lot more seriously than Caesar’s. Caesar is definitely not actually divine. But, judging from the dedicated following he had in the social-political climate of the day, there is a good chance that Jesus really is God.

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