Originally called Octavian, his name is today known simply as Augustus which was the title given him by the Senate in the year 27 B.C. He was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar and was following an illustrious military career when Caesar was murdered. On hearing of this he set in motion a series of alliances meant to avenge his great-uncle's assassins. He recruited Lepidus and Marc Antony for the task, defeated Brutus and his co-conspirators and then carved up the Roman world among the three. Lepidus was thus left in control of the African provinces, Marc Antony with Egypt and the eastern provinces and Octavian the rest including Rome itself.
The Triumvirate as it was called was unstable and they each began to plot against the other. Within a few years however Lepidus would be stripped of his powers and Marc Antony would be defeated in a major battle. Antony and his wife Cleopatra then committed suicide leaving Octavian as sole emperor. Octavian then became known and referred to by his title and went on to rule the Roman Empire for another 40 years. He did this while cooperating with the Senate and to him Romans owed much of the grandeur and influence that this empire became known for.