Octavian returned to Rome in 30 BC hugely popular. He wouldremain so for the rest of his reign. He was the Caesarian leader who would prevent oligarchic counter-revolution; the military strongman

who guaranteed an end to war and a new period of peace and prosperity;

and the conqueror able to crush foreign enemies and extend the borders

of empire. But his authority was a constitutional anomaly, his real power-

base the army, and many secret enemies lurked in the dark places of

the Roman state. The fate of his adoptive father was a chilling warning.