He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, and rebuilt much of the city during his reign. He probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him.He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son (also stepson and former son-in-law) Tiberius.He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia.His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir, then known as Octavianus (Anglicized as Octavian).Philippus never had much of an interest in young Octavius.Because of this, Octavius was raised by his grandmother, Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar.Julia died in 52 or 51 BC, and Octavius delivered the funeral oration for his grandmother.
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After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, and the legislative assemblies.
In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator.
His paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War.
His grandfather had served in several local political offices.