History vs. Augustus - Peta Greenfield & Alex Gendler

  • Published on Jul 17, 2018
  • Check out our Patreon page: www.patreon.com/teded
    View full lesson: ed.ted.com/lessons/history-vs-augustus-alex-gendler-and-peta-greenfield
    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.
    Lesson by Peta Greenfield & Alex Gendler, animation by Brett Underhill.
    Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible! Stephanie Perozo, Marc Bilodeau, Ruby Solorzano, Ivan Tsenov, Claudia Mayfield, Pavel Zalevskiy, Yankai Liu, Duo Xu, Ghassan Alhazzaa, Miloš Stevanović, Joy Love Om, Gi Nam Lee, Shawn Quichocho, Simone Kidner, Anika Westburg, Barun Padhy, Brandy Jones, Devin Harris, Tony Trapuzzano, Stephen Michael Alvarez, Tom Lee, Juliana, Jason Weinstein, Kris Siverhus, Alexander Walls, Annamaria Szilagyi, Morgan Williams, Abhijit Kiran Valluri, Mandeep Singh, Sama aafghani, سلطان الخليفي, Marylise CHAUFFETON, Marvin Vizuett, Jayant Sahewal, Quinn Shen, Caleb ross, Elizabeth Cruz, Elnathan Joshua Bangayan, Gaurav Rana, Mullaiarasu Sundaramurthy, Jose Henrique Leopoldo e Silva, Dan Paterniti, Jerome Froelich, Tyler Yoshizumi, and Martin Stephen.

Comments • 1 672

  • TED-Ed
    TED-Ed  10 months ago +293

    For more episodes of our "History vs." series, check out this playlist: bit.ly/2utVYGk

    • matija sevaljevic
      matija sevaljevic 7 hours ago

      could you make history vs josip broz tito(if you know for him)?

    • evansdrad
      evansdrad 16 days ago

      DO HISTORY VS JULIUS CAESAR it's time someone reveals his crimes against celtic peoples you SHOULD do history vs julius caesar

    • DNM Interests
      DNM Interests 17 days ago

      Adultery is bad and should be punished

    • Melda Ergi
      Melda Ergi 3 months ago

      History vs. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

  • Robert Kotal
    Robert Kotal Hour ago

    Whenever wins is legal and right.

  • Arthur Ruiz Borin
    Arthur Ruiz Borin 2 days ago

    Subjectivity and anachronistic analysis.

  • christian Saldaña
    christian Saldaña 4 days ago

    2:45 That's the weirdest thing anybody would do at a court.

  • Jexter
    Jexter 5 days ago

    This is actually very biased and awful short take on that time period in Roman history.

  • joseph degros
    joseph degros 5 days ago

    Put Ivan the terrible on trial

  • 28Decimo
    28Decimo 6 days ago

    Should do a short on the story of Marius and his reforms. Or Rex Regnum

  • N0TiS
    N0TiS 6 days ago

    History vs Alexander the great

  • Max Farley
    Max Farley 6 days ago

    Do History vs. Julius Caesar

  • Crusader Of the internet

    Can;t wait for history vs trump

  • Playtime Nightmare
    Playtime Nightmare 7 days ago

    I love these ones continue to make these

  • alejandro PR
    alejandro PR 8 days ago

    Long life the Roman empire

  • KaiserAfini
    KaiserAfini 10 days ago

    "The people had overthrown their king, establishing a senate to serve the people"
    *looks at the rampant corruption during Caesar's time*
    You sure about that ? Plus every time Caesar had power, he reformed a nearly crumbling republic. And the legacy of Augustus wasn't a conquest crazy civilization, the romans were already doing that since the Republic, it was deeply engraved into their culture.

  • Rotneybot
    Rotneybot 13 days ago

    >claiming that illegalizing adultery is a bad thing

  • Sherbet
    Sherbet 15 days ago

    Mmm how punishing adultery is bad?

  • AnTi-Series I
    AnTi-Series I 15 days ago

    There appears to be a problem with the frame rate here.

  • Dylan Holzberger
    Dylan Holzberger 15 days ago

    Cleopatra wasn’t Egyptian she was of Greek heritage

  • Light Gaming Boy
    Light Gaming Boy 16 days ago

    what part of rome did Augustus keep?

  • sledquite a
    sledquite a 16 days ago

    Why don't you make history vs Alexander the great??

  • Genderqueer Gorehound
    Genderqueer Gorehound 17 days ago

    I would love an episode on Nestor Makhno. He's begging for it.

  • DNM Interests
    DNM Interests 17 days ago

    He says punished adultery as if it is bad thing to punish such crime

  • Nicktrains 22
    Nicktrains 22 18 days ago +1

    Augustus was not an emperor! or at least, not an emperor as we would understand it today. he held the title imperator, but that simply meant military commander and can be applied to every roman general in history. In constitutional terms he was the leader of a principate, which is not the same thing as an empire.

  • Nicktrains 22
    Nicktrains 22 18 days ago +1

    Ovid deserved to be exiled.

  • Tony Corin
    Tony Corin 18 days ago

    MeRe OpTiCs

  • Yabsra Yigezu
    Yabsra Yigezu 18 days ago +1

    Augustus made it his duty to avenge Julius Ceaser, fought to bring Rome more power, fed the hungry, greatly improved their military, and justified wrongs. Suurrrrreeeeeeeee he did this to make himself a kng😒. Yeah, no. He was a blessing to Rome.

  • Ryde Mk
    Ryde Mk 20 days ago

    *not true*

  • Thomas takes a toll for the dark

    Didn’t Augustus put the senate back in charge when there was no war? Or am I thinking of another?

  • Humble Roots
    Humble Roots 20 days ago

    I hate that the Ben Shapiro sounding guy is correct in this one and sometimes makes good points. 4:23 - so socialism and communism are terms dictators hide behind to establish regimes that are not socialist/communist, according to Benny Boi here, since it's all just an emulation of Augustus caesar lol. What other choice is Ben Shapiro giving us than a people's revolution, huh?

  • Freedom Always
    Freedom Always 20 days ago

    If a leader banished a poet, A POET, you know there isn't need for a discussion if he was a tyrant or not.

  • Delta Squad
    Delta Squad 21 day ago +2

    Anyone that fights for the Republic is a hero to that Republic.

  • David Idiart
    David Idiart 22 days ago

    1) The Roman Republic wasn't really a democracy in any way we'd recognize today.
    2) It was horrendously corrupt.
    3) Both Julius and Octavian were populists, supporting the common people at a time they were losing their livelihoods to big farms run by the wealthy elite.
    4) The Romans were conquerors WAY before Augustus.

  • Sean Doc
    Sean Doc 26 days ago

    @mrdeangenie has got some fantastic material on RUclip!

  • Montes88r
    Montes88r 26 days ago

    He was never named Gaius Julius Caesar smh

    • The_Scribe_Yehoshua
      The_Scribe_Yehoshua 10 days ago

      yes he was you dimwit, when he, Gaius Octavius (now Octavianus cause he was adopted out of his family) Thurins, was posthumously adopted by his great uncle, Gaius Julius Caesar, he gained his name, Gaius Julius Caesar and was hence forth known as Gaius Julius Caesar, Gaius to his friends and Octavian to us.

  • Vuvf Chhfh
    Vuvf Chhfh 27 days ago +1

    Wait...which one is the right version of Augustus?

  • Miguel Perez
    Miguel Perez Month ago

    Let do other than leaders how about
    History vs Rockefeller
    History vs Thomas Edison
    History vs Walt Disney

  • God Himself
    God Himself Month ago

    Augustus Julius Caesar, one of the mightiest men in history, but at what cost? The death of hundreds of skilled orators, historians and philosophers through betrayal.

  • JAKphoenixify
    JAKphoenixify Month ago +1

    I'd rather have an ambitious tyrant who seeks to improve Roman life, than a thousand corrupt senators.

  • Noah Chelednik
    Noah Chelednik Month ago

    Augustus was exemplary.

  • Nan Salem
    Nan Salem Month ago

    Okay ugh I can't watch this right after watching History vs Cleopatra because the guys had exchanged exact opposite opinions on either video and it's confusing

  • Kian Docherty
    Kian Docherty Month ago

    "Oh no"- Rome, circa 476 AD.

  • the beast is a god
    the beast is a god Month ago

    What wrong with their heads

  • Keith Dean
    Keith Dean Month ago

    I'm really enjoying this series. Unlike so many others I've watched this one seems, for the most part, to be giving both sides an equal hearing. If nothing else, this series shows that while no one is perfect we should not diminish their accomplishments.

  • Matthew Pliska
    Matthew Pliska Month ago

    this an overly-moralistic set of lectures, most historic figures arent perfect. Augustus did not overstretch the empire in fact he wanted to establish effective borders. Augustus learned from the mistakes of his Uncle, who embraced clemency to the point of allowing his future assasins to live amongst him. of course Augustus couldnt do what Julius had done, but he never went as far as Sulla, he exiled many and executed some but he kept all of this on the down low unlike sulla. the republic no longer served the public, it was no longer viable. a dictator was going to establish a monarchy, luckily for the Romans Augustus was the first. that most artful of princes, as Gibbon says, was the most cunning, clever and polished politician in world history. His ability to rule as a tyrant while simultaneously being worshipped by the populous as another Cincinatus and simply the first citizen is a far more interesting topic than examining historic figures for their moral behavior. Only Jesus and Buddha coud pass such a test.

  • Rovi Betina
    Rovi Betina Month ago


  • beefjerkythesecond
    beefjerkythesecond Month ago

    Say BC not BCE. It's incredibly insulting!

  • Thales pro999
    Thales pro999 Month ago

    “Mere optics”

  • Destiny Rigo
    Destiny Rigo Month ago

    Hi peeps

  • Altair 21
    Altair 21 Month ago

    Rome was already an empire. He just put an end 2 the shenanigans.

  • Iraq Fuckin CountryBall

    History vs Salah Al-deen

  • Iraq Fuckin CountryBall

    History vs SADDAM HUSSAIN

  • Gabbi Verducci
    Gabbi Verducci Month ago

    History vs. Caligula per favore

  • doctorwhofan 1000
    doctorwhofan 1000 Month ago


  • Kevlar
    Kevlar Month ago

    "The Roman Republic, a government meant to serve the people not the privilege of a ruling family."

  • Aaron O'Neil
    Aaron O'Neil Month ago

    I don't understand this History vs. thing, history is history, it's not good nor bad, it's just history and every historical figure is just a product of his/her time. You can't judge wether they were good or bad, only schizophrenic people do that...

  • optsw smith
    optsw smith Month ago

    power move: history vs Ted Ed

  • Steven Grant
    Steven Grant Month ago

    But he had Cicero killed 😥

    • The_Scribe_Yehoshua
      The_Scribe_Yehoshua 10 days ago

      Antony did cause Cicero basically persuaded the Senate to make him an enemy of the state. I'm not saying it was justified but you know... he had reasons

  • Han Solo
    Han Solo Month ago +1

    Isn’t punishing adultery a good thing?

  • Super Mario Player
    Super Mario Player Month ago

    I'm pretty sure this has been requested already, but History vs. Stalin would be cool

  • Vraska Scheming
    Vraska Scheming 2 months ago

    1:35 Pardon me!.. WHAT?!

  • Tamur Khawaja
    Tamur Khawaja 2 months ago

    This is fantastic material for anyone who is looking to write an essay.

  • Bo No
    Bo No 2 months ago

    They need to put Stalin on trial

  • ratsonsaturn
    ratsonsaturn 2 months ago


  • CuddyTG
    CuddyTG 2 months ago

    This series is so soothing for me

  • Sir Nils Olav
    Sir Nils Olav 2 months ago

    You should do Marie Antionette next

  • Samuel Reed
    Samuel Reed 2 months ago

    Do history vs Mussolini.

  • Eevee the Flareon
    Eevee the Flareon 2 months ago

    MeRe OpTiCs

  • Kaiser Wilhelm the second

    Augustus killed the Phoenix that Caesar had mortally wounded and proceeded to nurture the reborn state

  • kukumarro
    kukumarro 2 months ago

    "A republic, a government meant to serve the people, not the privileged of a ruling family."
    It is important to note that "meant" stays there, because the republic was not a democracy, but an oligarchy. A government of the privileged that serves the privileges of the oligarchs and their families. The greed of these oligarchs fuelled roman expansion and impoverished the masses, which provided ambitious characters with both the military might and the public support to destroy the republic. The republic fell by its own weight, as the result of its historical process, not by the design of a particular person.

    • kukumarro
      kukumarro 15 days ago

      +Damiano 117 That doesn't turn Rome into a democracy. The factual relationship of power was all in favour of rich oligarchs. If you ignore that, then you could also say that Rome of the Principate was still the same as Rome before Caesar.

    • Damiano 117
      Damiano 117 15 days ago

      Not at all roman republic was a mixed constitution based on aristocracy (senate) , monarchy (consuls ) , and democracy (popular assembly) .

  • Syabil Mohar
    Syabil Mohar 2 months ago

    Ohh No

  • Simon Gillam
    Simon Gillam 2 months ago

    What a great video, thank you Ted

  • Julius Caesar
    Julius Caesar 2 months ago

    That’s my boy

  • Joel Strong
    Joel Strong 2 months ago

    History vs Julius Caesar
    Vs Lincoln
    Vs Washington
    Vs Saladin
    Vs Marie Stopes
    Vs Ramses II
    Vs Peter the Great
    Vs Catherine the Great
    Vs Charles XII of Sweden

  • christosvoskresye
    christosvoskresye 2 months ago

    Either call BC BC or don't use it at all. If you want to pretend to be academic, you could at least date the birth of Octavian using the AUC system.

  • Playboy Salih
    Playboy Salih 3 months ago

    History vs churchill

  • Mike P
    Mike P 3 months ago

    History vs Malcolm X

  • Rikoni 0
    Rikoni 0 3 months ago

    This is one of the most factually incorrect and biased history videos I have ever seen.

  • Alex Harty Harty
    Alex Harty Harty 3 months ago

    Do History vs Josip Broz Tito

  • Anmol Madaan
    Anmol Madaan 3 months ago

    History vs. Ashoka would be interesting.

  • prinz martin
    prinz martin 3 months ago

    History vs The Big Brother

  • Yeet Savage
    Yeet Savage 3 months ago

    I like how they use B.C.E in these videos

  • LORD SIMON!!!!!!! Bismarck

    Could u pls do one on otto von bismarck?

  • RockSmith1988
    RockSmith1988 3 months ago

    I'll go be Tony Soprano when talking about Augustus saying all his people loved him

  • Dominic Guye
    Dominic Guye 3 months ago

    All of these people need to be done:
    History vs. Toyotomi Hideyoshi
    History vs. Maximilien Robespierre
    History vs. Oliver Cromwell
    History vs. Robert Walpole
    History vs. Indira Gandhi
    History vs. the Gracchi Brothers
    History vs. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
    History vs. Simon Bolivar
    History vs. John D. Rockefeller
    History vs. Alexander the Great
    History vs. Pope Alexander VI
    History vs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
    History vs. Ulysses S. Grant
    History vs. Kwame Nkrumah
    History vs. King Karl XII
    History vs. Justinian

  • Dominic Guye
    Dominic Guye 3 months ago

    😀 I love this series

  • shit poster
    shit poster 3 months ago

    *stabbs little Cesars box*
    Only 70's b.c. kids will get this

    • The_Scribe_Yehoshua
      The_Scribe_Yehoshua 10 days ago

      mate wtf caesar was stabbed in 44 BC , also if its little caesar shouldn't it be about Ptolemy XV?

  • Alonso Esparza
    Alonso Esparza 3 months ago

    Romans were power hungry who thought them self to be like gods who later fell do to many issues but one I know of was using lead made water pipes that later doomed them to fall as the Greeks.

    • The_Scribe_Yehoshua
      The_Scribe_Yehoshua 10 days ago

      nothing says doomed to fall like living up to 1453. Power hungry? I think the word you're looking for is successful.

  • Steven Amoah
    Steven Amoah 3 months ago +1

    Really interesting person

  • Hello Diyan
    Hello Diyan 3 months ago

    Can you do History vs. Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines? Thank you.

  • Dannie Vlogs
    Dannie Vlogs 3 months ago

    History vs the 7th Earl of Cardigan

  • Carlos Naranjo
    Carlos Naranjo 3 months ago

    Please do more of these

  • xVS 31
    xVS 31 3 months ago


  • Jeremy April
    Jeremy April 3 months ago

    History vs. Alexander the Great?

  • Not Filthy Frank
    Not Filthy Frank 3 months ago

    He don't attacc
    He don't protecc
    But most importantly, HE DON'T GIVE MY LEGIONS BACC!!!
    -Augustus when he learnt that Varus lost 3 legions.

  • Lone Wolf
    Lone Wolf 3 months ago

    That cracked me up.

  • Abdulhamid Adan
    Abdulhamid Adan 3 months ago

    history vs timur

  • Alex Harty
    Alex Harty 3 months ago +2

    Do history Vs Paul l (Romanov) of Russia

  • Ruth Nash Horne
    Ruth Nash Horne 3 months ago

    He was born in 63 BCE but started his reign 27 BCE lol (before he was born)???

    • The_Scribe_Yehoshua
      The_Scribe_Yehoshua 10 days ago

      you're joking, right? you know how the BC system works don't you

  • Bob Bob
    Bob Bob 4 months ago

    The republic was just ruled by the nobility anyway, for the lower classes things just remained the same

    • The_Scribe_Yehoshua
      The_Scribe_Yehoshua 10 days ago

      no it didn't because under the republic;
      rich people stole their land
      rich people gave slaves their jobs
      rich people didn't want to give them free food
      rich people wouldn't even sell their un-used land so poor people could use it.
      Augustus fixed these problems.

  • 353535336373373
    353535336373373 4 months ago

    History v Bismarck

  • Malik Tanveer
    Malik Tanveer 4 months ago

    history vs Alexander the great