(awyoo guhss' tuhss) A title meaning, “reverend” the Roman Senate gave to Emperor Octavian (31 B.C.-A.D. 14) in 27 B.C. He ruled the Roman Empire, including Palestine, when Jesus was born and ordered the taxation that brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1). He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar. Born in 63 B.C. he first gained power with Antony and Lepidus at Julius Caesar's death in 44 B.C. He gained sole control at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., where he defeated Antony and Cleopatra, who both committed suicide. This brought Egypt into the system of Roman provinces. He thus founded the Roman Empire and ruled with popular acclaim. At his death the Senate declared him a god. Herod the Great ruled as appointed by Augustus, even though Herod originally supported Antony. Herod built temples to Augustus as a god in Caesaria and Samaria. The title Augustus passed on to Octavian's successors as emperors of Rome. Thus it is applied to Nero in
Acts 25:21,Acts 25:25, when Paul appealed to Caesar. Note the various translations: the Emperor (NIV, NAS), his Imperial Majesty (NRSV).