Res Gestae Divi Augusti

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A surviving copy of the Res Gestae

Res Gestae Divi Augusti (literally 'The achievements of the divine Augustus'), also known as Res Gestae and RGDA, was an autobiography and epitath written by Emperor Augustus following the tradition of writing about a dead person's achievements and life but Augustus' is the biggest by far. It was about his achievements in his life in politics (his early career), the positions he held and various other parts like the money he spent on Public Games and on rebuilding temples around the empire. Various copies of the Res Gestae have been found throughout the Roman Empire. All the surviving copies come from modern-day Turkey - the best preserved one comes from Ancyra. Most historians feel that Augustus wrote several versions during his life and kept updating them until the final version which is usually dated to the same year as Augustus' death in 14 AD.

As a source, the Res Gestae is not fully accurate. Whilst not lying, he doesn't mention some things that he did like the proscriptions of his enemies and refers to his rival Marc Antony as 'a faction'. Through the inscription, Augustus makes a big deal of his money he spends on the people, Rome and the empire. He also says frequently that he has 'restored the republic' and only gains his titles because of the universal support from the people and, most importantly, the senate.

Sections[change | change source]

The Res Gestae Divi Augusti is grouped into four sections:

  • Political career (jobs held)
  • Gifts to the People

Other websites[change | change source]