Augustus in popular culture
Augustus' most visible impact on everyday culture is the eighth month of the year, which was renamed in Augustus' honor in 8 BC because several of the most significant events in his rise to power, culminating in the fall of Alexandria, occurred during this month.
- Augustus in mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 2:1
- Allan Massie's 1986 novel Augustus purported to be an autobiography of the Roman emperor.
- Augustus was a central character in the DC Comics graphic novel The Sandman installment #30, entitled "August".
- A bust of Augustus has an important role in The Mystery of the Fiery Eye of the The Three Investigators series.
- Augustus is an example in an important speech in Kurt Vonnegut's book God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.
- John Edward Williams wrote a novel titled Augustus which won the 1973 National Book Award.
- Augustus is a notable supporting character (called Octavius) in William Shakespeare's plays Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.
- The historical fiction novel I, Claudius by Robert Graves has Augustus play a central role. Augustus is depicted as being a well-meaning ruler, who genuinely desires to retire from his status as Emperor and restore the Republic, but is driven by Livia into not doing so. Towards the end of Augustus life Augustus recognizes the sins of Livia and attempts to stave her off and declare Postumus Agrippa his heir, leading Livia to poison Augustus. Augustus deals with numerous heartbreaks, the greatest is his banishment of his daughter Julia for her numerous adulteries.
Portrayals of Octavian/Augustus in film:
- Augustus was played by Roland Culver in the 1968 BBC miniseries The Caesars.
- Augustus was portrayed in the celebrated BBC 1976 dramatization of Robert Graves' novel I, Claudius by Brian Blessed. It is implied in the dramatization that he was poisoned to death by Livia.
- Augustus was portrayed in the movie Imperium: Augustus (part of the Imperium movie series) by Peter O'Toole as an old man and Benjamin Sadler as a young man. (2003)
- In the HBO/BBC/RAI television series Rome (2005), Octavian is portrayed as a young man by Max Pirkis and as an adult by Simon Woods. In the first season of the series Octavian is a well-read supporter of Caesar. Octavian becomes the pupil of Titus Pullo and also advises Pullo several times. Octavian shifts to more overtly ambitious and Machiavellian in the second season as his growing hatred with Antony becomes apparent. In contrast to more benign portrayals of Octavian this portrayal depicts him as fairly cruel (many call him a monster) with only brief moments of humanity shown in his relationship to his sister, which grows poor by the end of the series.
- Augustus was portrayed by Santiago Cabrera in an ABC miniseries called Empire (2005), which took place after the assassination of Caesar.
- In Civilization IV, each game concludes with various statistics and a timeline, as well as a scale comparing the player to various historical figures. Augustus Caesar is at the top of the scale. He was also added in the expansion Civilization IV: Warlords as a Roman leader, accompanying Julius Caesar from the original game.
- Also made his way into Civilization V, once again leading the Roman Empire. His special ability is "The Glory of Rome", which grants production bonuses for city improvements.
- Was also a Main Character in the PS2 game, Shadow of Rome