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He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves.Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised.It took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule.He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State").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.

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.Philippus claimed descent from Alexander the Great, and was elected consul in 56 BC.Philippus never had much of an interest in young Octavius.In 46 BC, she consented for him to join Caesar in Hispania, where he planned to fight the forces of Pompey, Caesar's late enemy, but Octavius fell ill and was unable to travel.When he had recovered, he sailed to the front, but was shipwrecked; after coming ashore with a handful of companions, he crossed hostile territory to Caesar's camp, which impressed his great-uncle considerably. On 15 March 44 BC, Octavius's adoptive father Julius Caesar was assassinated by a conspiracy led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Octavius was studying and undergoing military training in Apollonia, Illyria, when Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC.

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