Rome's first emperor, Augustus, the adopted son of Julius Caesar, has probably had the most lasting effect on history of all rulers of the classical world. This book focuses on his rise to power and on the ways in which he then maintained authority throughout his reign. It is often assumed that the close relationship between power and presentation, popularly known as 'spin', is a modern phenomenon. Augustus, however, emerges as consummate master of the political process, using propaganda to fashion his own historical legacy. Clark examines the importance of his chief political advisor Maecenas, the patron of Horace and Virgil; and of his military commander Agrippa. He also considers the contrasting fates of the main poets of Augustus' reign, Virgil and Ovid, and the public monuments that - as much as poetry -- served to shape his reputation.