He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis ("First Citizen of the State").The resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire.Upon his adoption, Octavius assumed his great-uncle's name Gaius Julius Caesar.Roman citizens adopted into a new family usually retained their old nomen in cognomen form (e.g., Octavianus for one who had been an Octavius, Aemilianus for one who had been an Aemilius, etc.).His paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War.
A later senatorial investigation into the disappearance of the public funds took no action against Octavian, since he subsequently used that money to raise troops against the Senate's arch enemy Mark Antony.He was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum.He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves.When he had recovered, he sailed to the front, but was shipwrecked; after coming ashore with a handful of companions, he crossed hostile territory to Caesar's camp, which impressed his great-uncle considerably. On 15 March 44 BC, Octavius's adoptive father Julius Caesar was assassinated by a conspiracy led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Octavius was studying and undergoing military training in Apollonia, Illyria, when Julius Caesar was killed on the Ides of March (15 March) 44 BC.He rejected the advice of some army officers to take refuge with the troops in Macedonia and sailed to Italy to ascertain whether he had any potential political fortunes or security.