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Event Summary

History is filled with rich examples of effective leadership that US policymakers should heed while searching for solutions to present crises. On Wednesday, two distinguished panels gathered at AEI to mark the 2,000th anniversary of Caesar Augustus’s death by reflecting on lessons from his reign.

In the first panel, which focused on challenges facing the US, AEI’s Jonah Goldberg argued that the global progress of democracy appears less guaranteed now than at any point in recent memory. Authoritarian governments such as Russia and China continue to challenge the idea of liberal democratic capitalism. Jakub Grygiel of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies added that the Obama administration has granted these nations a permissive international environment to pursue revisionist policies.

During the second panel, noted historians Adrian Goldsworthy and Josiah Osgood discussed Caesar Augustus’s legacy with moderator Michael Auslin. Goldsworthy noted that Augustus focused on administrating his existing empire rather than straining Rome’s resources to seek further conquest. Osgood argued that Augustus’s tireless work ethic and ability to unify political factions made him an effective ruler.
–Eddie Linczer

Event Description

This year marks the 2,000th anniversary of the death of Rome’s first emperor, Caesar Augustus. Having risen from obscurity to become ruler of the greatest empire in world history, Augustus transformed domestic politics to end a century of civil war and ensure Rome’s dominant position throughout the Mediterranean. What lessons can the West draw from the history of the Roman Empire?

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


8:45 AM
Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM
Panel I: A new era of instability at home and abroad?
Thomas Donnelly, AEI
Jonah Goldberg, AEI
Jakub Grygiel, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

9:45 AM
Panel II: From anarchy to order: Lessons from the life of Augustus
Michael Auslin, AEI
Adrian Goldsworthy, Historian and Novelist
Josiah Osgood, Georgetown University

10:30 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Eddie Linczer at [email protected], 202-862-7184.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Michael Auslin is a resident scholar and the director of Japan Studies at AEI, where he studies Asian regional security and political issues. Before joining AEI, he was an associate professor of history at Yale University. A prolific writer, Auslin is a biweekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal Asia and his longer writings include the book “Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of US-Japan Relations” (Harvard University Press, 2011) and the study “Security in the Indo-Pacific Commons: Toward a Regional Strategy” (AEI Press, 2010). He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.

Thomas Donnelly
is a defense and security policy analyst and codirector of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at AEI. He is the coauthor, with Frederick W. Kagan, of “Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields” (AEI Press, 2010). Among his recent books are “Ground Truth: The Future of U.S. Land Power” (AEI Press, 2008), also coauthored with Frederick W. Kagan; “Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources” (AEI Press, 2007), coedited with Gary J. Schmitt; “The Military We Need” (AEI Press, 2005); and “Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment” (AEI Press, 2004). From 1995 to 1999, he was policy group director and a professional staff member for the US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. Donnelly also served as a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a former editor of Armed Forces Journal, Army Times, and Defense News.

Jonah Goldberg
is a fellow at AEI and a bestselling author and columnist. His nationally syndicated column appears regularly in scores of newspapers across the United States. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, a member of the board of contributors to USA Today, a contributor to Fox News, a contributing editor to National Review, and the founding editor of National Review Online. In 2011, he was named the Robert J. Novak Journalist of the Year at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He has written on politics, media, and culture for a wide variety of publications and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. Before joining National Review, he was a founding producer for “Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg” on PBS and wrote and produced several other PBS documentaries. He is the recipient of the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award. He is also the author of two New York Times bestsellers: “The Tyranny of Clichés” (Sentinel HC, 2012) and “Liberal Fascism” (Doubleday, 2008). At AEI, Goldberg writes about political and cultural issues for and the AEIdeas blog.

Adrian Goldsworthy
is a historian and novelist. He was a junior research fellow at Cardiff University for two years, taught part time at King’s College London, and was an assistant professor on the University of Notre Dame’s London program for six years. He has lectured on a range of topics, including both Greek and Roman history, but also taught a course on the military history of World War II at Notre Dame. In the last few years he has given up teaching to write full time.

Jakub Grygiel
is the George H. W. Bush Associate Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. He has previously worked as a consultant for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris) and the World Bank (Washington, DC) and has been an international security commentator for the Swiss newspaper Giornale del Popolo (Lugano, Switzerland). His first book was “Great Powers and Geopolitical Change” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). His writings on international relations and security studies have appeared in The American Interest, Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, Commentary, Joint Forces Quarterly, and Political Science Quarterly and in US, Swiss, Polish, and Italian newspapers. He is currently working on a book on the strategic challenges presented by stateless groups.

Josiah Osgood is a professor of classics at Georgetown University. A Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy of Rome, he has published widely in the field of Roman history. His first book, “Caesar’s Legacy: Civil War and the Emergence of the Roman Empire” (Cambridge University Press, 2006), explores the civil war that followed the assassination of Julius Caesar and the way it was treated in contemporary literature. His more recent “Claudius Caesar: Image and Power in the Early Roman Empire” (Cambridge University Press, 2011) reassesses the development of monarchical rule in Rome during the first century AD and “Turia: a Roman Woman’s Civil War” (Oxford University Press, 2014) is a biographical study that explores Roman civil war on the home front. He is presently preparing a survey of Roman history, “Rome, from Republic to Empire (150 BC–AD 20).”

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