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History vs. Augustus - Alex Gendler and Peta Greenfield

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His reign marked the beginning of one of history’s greatest empires … and the end of one of its first republics. Was Rome’s first emperor a visionary leader who guaranteed his civilization’s place in history, or a tyrant who destroyed its core values? Peta Greenfield and Alex Gendler put this controversial figure on trial in History vs. Augustus.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler, Peta Greenfield
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Director Brett Underhill
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott, Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-checker Francisco Diez
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Augustus famously commemorated his achievements in an extensive inscription known as the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, or
“The Achievements of the Divine Augustus.” This document allows us to consider how Augustus wished to be understood.

But criticism is never far behind Augustus—the Roman historian Tacitus is an important early critical source of Augustus.

Our collective fascination with Augustus can be found in Ronald Syme’s major twentieth-century work The Roman Revolution.

You can also learn more about Augustus via The Partial Historians podcast, which Peta Greenfield co-hosts with Fiona Radford.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler, Peta Greenfield
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Director Brett Underhill
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Associate Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott, Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-checker Francisco Diez
  • See more