Augutus Octavius

Octavius began a new organization of the Roman Empire, creating two kinds of provinces: provinces under the administration of the Senate (they were calm provinces) and others under the personal administration of the Emperor, represented by strategic provinces such as Egypt, Spain, Syria and the Gauls.

Realizing the strategic situation of Egypt, Augustus recognized that any ambitious general or Senate member, who would take the control of Egypt, would think of separating the country and defending it easily or would cause famine to Rome just by preventing wheat from being sent to the Romans. So he issued a decree banning members of the Senate from entering Egypt without his permission. To eliminate any temptation of separation, Augustus divided Egypt into three administrative regions: The Delta, Central Egypt and El Fayoum and Thebes, each headed by an Epistrategos, without any military power.

The Greek spirit continued to influence many aspects of the Egyptians' life: Augustus maintained the Greek monetary system represented by the Alexandrian Coinage and the Tetradrachma appeared in this era.

Augustus concentrated power in the hands of a Roman governor in Egypt (known as the Praefectus). The Praefectus was the supreme leader of the Roman troops, the head of the administrative apparatus and the supervisor of senior officials.

Realizing the strategic importance of Egypt together with the danger of Egyptians' riots, Augustus left agreat number of Roman Soldiers in Alexandria, Babylon (Near Memphis), and Thebes. He also left several garrisons at strategic sites like Aswan, Philadelphia (Al-Fayoum) and Magna Hermopolis (Alashmonein). Not only was the Roman army assigned military tasks, but it also undertook security operations, taxes collection, public services, as well as canal paving and cleaning.

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