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    Roman Succession

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    What principles of succession were used to choose a Roman Emperor? These areas are emphasized.

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    When answering this question, it is important to remember that the Roman emperors were not all chosen in the same way.

    Most historians agree that the first Roman emperor was Augustus Caesar (Octavian). He came to power along with Marc Antony and Marcus Lepidus, as part of the 2nd Triumvirate, after the murder of his great-uncle, Julius Caesar. Technically, Julius Caesar was not an emperor, but he had held tremendous governmental, military, and economic power. These advantages passed primarily to Octavian (due to inheritance) and Marc Antony (due to his position as Julius Caesar's second in command). Once he had defeated Marc Antony in a civl war, Octavian claimed ultimate power, essentially establishing himself as Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome.

    The first several successors to Augustus (the Julio-Claudian Dynasty) became Emperor in different ways, although each was technically related to the previous emperor. Augustus tried to establish a tradition wherein the emperor chose his successor. In his case, he chose his step-son ...

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