Promoting himself as the man who would return Rome’s past glory, Augustus claimed that only by restoring the traditional values that had first made Rome great could he hope to make it great again. One writer commented: ‘He renewed many traditions which were fading in our age and restored 82 temples of the gods neglecting none that required repair at the time.’
As ruler of Rome, Augustus had to lead by example. He re-established traditional social rules and religious rituals, sacrificing animals to Rome’s gods. In 12 AD he made himself Pontifex Maximus, the chief priest of Rome and head of the Collegium Pontificum, the highest priests in the land.