Summary of Augustus's Powers


36: granted inviolability of a tribune

43, 33, 31-23, 5, and 2 BC: consulships, giving him consular imperium or the right to command an army in Rome and Italy

28-23: proconsul of several important provinces, which gave him imperium outside of Rome and Italy. After 23 he returns some of these province

33: oath of allegiance sworn by all citizens (RG 25) which bound them to him for life

23- AD 14: tribunicia potestas for life. This not only confirmed the 'inviolability' granted to him in 36, but also gave him the following rights:

right to submit legislation

summon senate

put motions before the senate

to put first motion at a meeting (not usually granted tribunes, who typically had low seniority)

right to veto

right to compel people to obey his orders and impose sanctions

right to extend auxilium, the power to help those being oppressed by other magistrates. Under this right Aug. could institute investigations

23 -AD 14: as compensation for laying down consulship, given maius imperium ('greater power) which gave him the right to override provincial powers and enter their provinces at will as well as right to exercise his imperium within the pomerium (the city boundary of Rome)

22: given charge corn supply

19, 18 and 11 BC: curator legum et morum (RG 6)

27 BC - AD 14: princeps senatus, or 'leader of the senate' (RG 7)

28 BC and AD 14: censor (censoria potestas), given right to conduct census (RG 8)

Note also the following:

--all new provinces were to come under this authority

--by the end of his life only one legion was not under the control of Augustan appointees

--from 27 BC on Augustus had a personal bodyguard in the form of the praetorian guard, a force of some 9000 soldiers stationed in Rome