Because of this, Octavius was raised by his grandmother, Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar.

Roman citizens adopted into a new family usually retained their old nomen in cognomen form (e.g., Octavianus for one who had been an Octavius, Aemilianus for one who had been an Aemilius, etc.).

However, though some of his contemporaries did, Historians usually refer to the new Caesar as Octavian during the time between his adoption and his assumption of the name Augustus in 27 BC in order to avoid confusing the dead dictator with his heir.

Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.

The Triumvirate was eventually torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members.

Philippus claimed descent from Alexander the Great, and was elected consul in 56 BC.

Philippus never had much of an interest in young Octavius.

He rejected the advice of some army officers to take refuge with the troops in Macedonia and sailed to Italy to ascertain whether he had any potential political fortunes or security.

Upon his adoption, Octavius assumed his great-uncle's name Gaius Julius Caesar.

In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator.

By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and those of tribune and censor.

The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.