On returning to Rome following his victory in Egypt, Augustus assuaged the Roman senators’ deep-rooted suspicion of autocracy by renouncing all his powers and territories and handing them back to the Roman people. The grateful Senate granted him a province that embraced Gaul, Syria, Egypt and Cyprus. Because these territories bordered the frontiers of the Empire the majority of the Roman army legions were stationed there. The events of the civil war had proved that true power lay in an individual’s right to command territories and armies. The Senate had effectively empowered Augustus. He then hand-picked an advisory body of consuls and senators who met in the Imperial Palace, creating an inner circle to help him administer the ever-growing empire. Augustus now nationalized the army: citizens were offered a professional career; wages were paid; promotions were regularized. The new professional Roman army maintained peace within the empire and, increasingly, Augustus was revered for the ‘Pax Romana’.
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