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# In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his

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In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Sep 2019, 04:09
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In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his life called Deeds of the Divine Augustus. It consists of thirty-five numbered sections, each of which records his achievements in a particular field. The first two sections, for instance, describe his role in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar’s death, while section twenty-eight enumerates the colonies he founded for his soldiers. Augustus left instructions that the Deeds be inscribed on two bronze pillars in Rome, as well as on monuments and temples throughout the empire. Clearly, Augustus intended the Deeds to mold his image for posterity.

A number of details in the Deeds suggest that Augustus wanted to be remembered as a patriot in the tradition of Cincinnatus. Augustus would have us believe that his political career was driven not by personal ambition, but by a selfless desire to serve Rome and to uphold its ancient liberties and customs. He tells us that his seizure of power was a “liberation from the tyranny of a faction.” After he came to power “by universal consent,” he returned control of the state to the hands of the Roman senate and people. Emphasizing his humility, he lists numerous occasions on which he declined titles, ovations, and triumphs offered him by the senate.

Few historians accept Augustus’s account of his political motivation. Mark Antony’s faction was not particularly tyrannical, and Augustus’s seizure of power appears to have been motivated mainly by opportunism. In Gibbon’s persuasive analysis, Augustus’s subsequent restoration of the outward forms of republican government was designed to lend political legitimacy to what was essentially a dictatorship. Augustus’s refusal of numerous honors appears to have been part of this same political stagecraft. According to Suetonius, the senate felt obliged to offer Augustus a steady stream of honors. Augustus accepted a great many of these, including the titles of “First Citizen” and “Father of the Country,” but refused enough to maintain the appearance of humility.
1) The main purpose of the third paragraph of the passage is to

A) explain that most of what Augustus wrote in the Deeds was untrue
B) undermine a key aspect of Augustus's attempt to mold his image in the Deeds
C) argue that calling oneself "Father of the Country" is contrary to a ruler's duty of humility
D) highlight Gibbon's contribution to the scholarly analysis of Roman civic life
E) contrast Augustus's political motivation with those of Suetonius and Mark Antony

2) The passage mentions "monuments and temples" (lines 13-14) primarily in order to make the point that Augustus

A) built imposing edifices throughout the empire
B) recognized that religion was important to the senate and people of Rome
C) wanted to shape future perceptions by inscribing his version of events in multiple important sites
D) cared about the whole empire, not just its capital city
E) wanted to serve Rome and uphold its ancient liberties and customs

3) It can be inferred from the passage that in Augustus's day Cincinnatus was remembered as

A) someone unlikely to put his own interests before those of the state
B) a notably patriotic emperor
C) an intensely ambitious man
D) the founder of the libertarian faction in Roman politics
E) the bravest defender of Rome's ancient liberties and customs

4) According to the passage, which of the following is an assertion made in the Deeds?

A) Augustus was victorious in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar's death.
B) The example of Cincinnatus was an inspiration to Augustus in times of conflict.
C) Augustus's restoration of republican forms gave political legitimacy to his regime.
D) Augustus brought freedom to Rome.
E) Augustus accepted the title of "First Citizen" in a spirit of humility.

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Originally posted by souvonik2k on 19 Aug 2018, 04:55.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 10 Sep 2019, 04:09, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (499).
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Re: In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2018, 04:03
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1
Official Explanation from Manhattan GMAT

1) When you are asked to find the main purpose of a paragraph, it is a good idea to look for a topic sentence. This paragraph begins with the topic sentence "Few historians accept Augustus’s account of his political motivation," which suggests that the purpose of the paragraph is to undermine Augustus's account of his political motivation.
If you cannot find a topic sentence, and are unsure whether idea A or idea B is the main point of a paragraph, ask yourself this question: "Does idea A support idea B, or does idea B support idea A?". If A supports B, then B is likely to be the main point. If B supports A, then A is likely to be the main point.

(A) This answer choice is too extreme. While the paragraph does dispute part of the Deeds, it does not claim that most of it is untrue. We know from paragraphs 1 and 2 that the Deeds cover many aspects of Augustus's career, and that the portion being disputed consists only of "a number of details ."

(B) CORRECT. The paragraph tries to undermine one key aspect of the Deeds: Augustus's account of his political motivation.

(C) The paragraph mentions the title "Father of the Country,", but only as a piece of evidence undermining Augustus's claim to being humble.

(D) The paragraph says very little about Gibbon's "contribution to the scholarly analysis of Roman civic life." Roman civic life is a broad topic, spanning many people and many centuries, whereas the paragraph only cites Gibbon's views on one man's actions. Another problem with this answer choice is that Gibbon's views are hardly the focus of the paragraph; his analysis is just one piece of evidence supporting the paragraph's main point.

(E) The paragraph says nothing about Suetonius's motivation; we only hear his opinion about how the senators felt. Similarly, we are told little or nothing about Mark Antony's motives. It is therefore not correct to say that this paragraph contrasts Augustus's motivation with those of Suetonius and Mark Antony.

2) The question asks why the passage mentions "monuments and temples." In order to answer this question, we need to look at the sentence in which "monuments and temples" are mentioned, and at any nearby sentences which reveal what the author wants to convey. The phrase “monuments and temples” occurs in this sentence from paragraph 1: "Augustus left instructions that the Deeds be inscribed on two bronze pillars in Rome, as well as on monuments and temples throughout the empire." The very next sentence indicates why the author mentions monuments and temples: "Clearly, Augustus intended the Deeds to mold his image for posterity."

The word "clearly" is a signal that the second sentence provides the author's interpretation of the information contained in the first sentence. Thus, we know that the information about monuments and temples is provided as evidence for the author's view that "Augustus intended the Deeds to mold his image for posterity."

(A) It is not clear whether Augustus built the monuments and temples discussed in lines 13-14.

(B) The passage does not express any thesis on Augustus's attitude towards religion. The passage's mention of "monuments and temples" cannot be intended to support a thesis that is not in the passage.

(C) CORRECT. The purpose of mentioning the monuments and temples is to make the point that Augustus wanted to "mold his image for posterity." The phrase "shape future perceptions" means the same thing as "mold his image for posterity."

(D) Given that Augustus took the trouble to have the Deeds inscribed at sites throughout the empire, you might be tempted to infer that he cared about the whole empire. However, you are not being asked to make your own inference. Instead, you are being asked what conclusion the author of the passage draws from Augustus's instructions regarding monuments and temples. The author's interpretation is, as noted above, contained in the statement "Augustus intended the Deeds to mold his image for posterity."

(E) The author of the passage is not trying to convince us that Augustus truly wanted "to serve Rome and uphold its ancient liberties and customs" (lines 22-23); rather, he says that this is a claim that "Augustus would have us believe."

3) The name of Cincinnatus occurs only once, when the passage tells us that "A number of details in the Deeds suggest that Augustus wanted to be remembered as a patriot in the tradition of Cincinnatus." This tells us explicitly that (1) Cincinnatus was a patriot, (2) Cincinnatus was part of a tradition, and (3) Augustus wanted to be remembered as someone like Cincinnatus. More information can be inferred from the next sentence, which tells us that "Augustus would have us believe that his political career was driven not by personal ambition, but by a selfless desire to serve Rome and to uphold its ancient liberties and customs." Since the first sentence tells us that Augustus wanted to remembered as being like Cincinnatus, and the second sentence spells out in more detail how Augustus wished to be remembered, we can infer that Cincinnatus was seen as conforming broadly to this description: someone whose "political career was driven not by personal ambition, but by a selfless desire to serve Rome and to uphold its ancient liberties and customs."

(A) CORRECT. As noted above, we can infer that Cincinnatus was remembered as someone whose "political career was driven not by personal ambition, but by a selfless desire to serve Rome...". In other words, he was remembered as a man who would be unlikely to put his own interests ahead of the national interest.

(B) The passage does indicate that Cincinnatus was a patriot, but not that he was an emperor. It is possible to serve one's county without being an emperor.

(C) We can infer that Cincinnatus's career was not motivated by personal ambition; this answer choice says the opposite.

(D) The passage tells us about Cincinnatus's selfless and patriotic motivation, but says hardly anything about what he actually did. There is no basis for inferring that he founded a political faction.

(E) It may be reasonable to infer from the passage that Cincinnatus was a defender of Roman liberties and customs. It is not clear that he was brave, however, since the concept of bravery is not mentioned. And there is no basis at all for saying that he was the bravest (i.e. braver than anybody else) defender of those liberties and customs. Always be wary of superlatives (words like bravest, best, largest, worst, etc.) in Reading Comprehension answer choices, because they tend to make the answer too extreme.

4) The right answer to this question will be an assertion that the passage attributes to the Deeds. To justify an answer choice, you need to be able to point to 1-2 sentences in the passage that explicity indicate that the assertion in question does indeed appear in the Deeds.
Many of the wrong answer choices are superficially attractive, because they sound like statements that could have appeared in the Deeds, or because they repeat key words from the passage.

(A) We are told that the Deeds describes Augustus’s “role in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar’s death,” but we are not told whether the Deeds claims that Augustus was victorious in that war. It may seem reasonable to infer that Augustus described himself as the victor in that conflict, but the question is not asking you to make an inference.

(B) In commenting on Augustus's motivation for writing the Deeds, the passage does suggest that Augustus wanted to seem like Cincinnatus (line 20). However, the passage does not tell tell us whether Cincinnatus is ever mentioned in the Deeds.

(C) The passage tells us in paragraph 3 that, according to Gibbon, Augustus's restoration of “the outward forms of republican government” was designed to give legitimacy to Augustus’s regime. The passage does not, however, tell us whether a similar assertion is made in the Deeds. For all we know, the Deeds may not mention the concept of political legitimacy.

(D) CORRECT. The passage tells us that, according to the Deeds, Augustus's "seizure of power was 'a liberation from...tyranny'" (lines 24-25). The phrase "liberation...from tyranny" is quoted directly from the Deeds, so we know that the Deeds claims that Augustus brought freedom to Rome.

(E) Commenting on Augustus's apparent humility, the passage mentions his acceptance of the title of “First Citizen” (line 49). However, at no point in the passage are we told that the Deeds mentions this title.
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Re: In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2018, 08:52
2
Interesting passage!
Here is my take:

Question 1

1) The main purpose of the third paragraph of the passage is to

A) explain that most of what Augustus wrote in the Deeds was untrue.
Nowhere in the passage is it mentioned that what Augustus wrote in the deeds was untrue.

B) undermine a key aspect of Augustus's attempt to mold his image in the Deeds
Hits home with what the third paragraph intends to imply. This answer choice summarises the third para in one line.

C) argue that calling oneself "Father of the Country" is contrary to a ruler's duty of humility.
Not the main point of the third paragraph. Touches upon it to prove a point.

D) highlight Gibbon's contribution to the scholarly analysis of Roman civic life.
Other people's contributions are also mentioned, so this clearly cannot be the correct answer.

E) contrast Augustus's political motivation with those of Suetonius and Mark Antony
This is not what the third para implies.

Question 2

2) The passage mentions "monuments and temples" (lines 13-14) primarily in order to make the point that Augustus

A) built imposing edifices throughout the empire
This is not what was intended by "monuments and temples"

B) recognized that religion was important to the senate and people of Rome
This perhaps is true, but this was not what the author intended to imply.

C) wanted to shape future perceptions by inscribing his version of events in multiple important sites
Perfectly aligns itself with the tone of the passage, especially what we know after reading paragraph 3.

D) cared about the whole empire, not just its capital city
Is it mentioned anywhere in the passage? I can't pick this as my answer choice.

E) wanted to serve Rome and uphold its ancient liberties and customs
Do we know what were Rome's ancient liberties and customs? Moreover, we don't even know whether Augustus wanted to serve or not.

Question 3

3) It can be inferred from the passage that in Augustus's day Cincinnatus was remembered as

A) someone unlikely to put his own interests before those of the state.
Since there was a contrast demonstrated on Augustus's and Cincinnatus's respective behaviours, this fits the bill perfectly!

B) a notably patriotic emperor
Not a contrasting behaviour.

C) an intensely ambitious man
Not a contrasting behaviour.

D) the founder of the libertarian faction in Roman politics
Not mentioned in the passage in this context.

E) the bravest defender of Rome's ancient liberties and customs
Not a contrasting behaviour.

Question 4

4) According to the passage, which of the following is an assertion made in the Deeds?

A) Augustus was victorious in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar's death.
This is not what the passage mentions, Julius Caesar's death is mentioned as a fact in the passage, that is it.

B) The example of Cincinnatus was an inspiration to Augustus in times of conflict.
The opposite of what actually intended, according to the passage.

C) Augustus's restoration of republican forms gave political legitimacy to his regime.
Not correct factually, according to the passage.

D) Augustus brought freedom to Rome.
Deeds were intented to put Augustus in a 'good light', this answer choice certainly points that out.

E) Augustus accepted the title of "First Citizen" in a spirit of humility
Not correct factually, according to the passage.

Throw me some Kudos!
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Re: In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2018, 12:45
abhinav770 wrote:
Interesting passage!
Here is my take:

Question 1

1) The main purpose of the third paragraph of the passage is to

A) explain that most of what Augustus wrote in the Deeds was untrue.
Nowhere in the passage is it mentioned that what Augustus wrote in the deeds was untrue.

B) undermine a key aspect of Augustus's attempt to mold his image in the Deeds
Hits home with what the third paragraph intends to imply. This answer choice summarises the third para in one line.

C) argue that calling oneself "Father of the Country" is contrary to a ruler's duty of humility.
Not the main point of the third paragraph. Touches upon it to prove a point.

D) highlight Gibbon's contribution to the scholarly analysis of Roman civic life.
Other people's contributions are also mentioned, so this clearly cannot be the correct answer.

E) contrast Augustus's political motivation with those of Suetonius and Mark Antony
This is not what the third para implies.

Question 2

2) The passage mentions "monuments and temples" (lines 13-14) primarily in order to make the point that Augustus

A) built imposing edifices throughout the empire
This is not what was intended by "monuments and temples"

B) recognized that religion was important to the senate and people of Rome
This perhaps is true, but this was not what the author intended to imply.

C) wanted to shape future perceptions by inscribing his version of events in multiple important sites
Perfectly aligns itself with the tone of the passage, especially what we know after reading paragraph 3.

D) cared about the whole empire, not just its capital city
Is it mentioned anywhere in the passage? I can't pick this as my answer choice.

E) wanted to serve Rome and uphold its ancient liberties and customs
Do we know what were Rome's ancient liberties and customs? Moreover, we don't even know whether Augustus wanted to serve or not.

Question 3

3) It can be inferred from the passage that in Augustus's day Cincinnatus was remembered as

A) someone unlikely to put his own interests before those of the state.
Since there was a contrast demonstrated on Augustus's and Cincinnatus's respective behaviours, this fits the bill perfectly!

B) a notably patriotic emperor
Not a contrasting behaviour.

C) an intensely ambitious man
Not a contrasting behaviour.

D) the founder of the libertarian faction in Roman politics
Not mentioned in the passage in this context.

E) the bravest defender of Rome's ancient liberties and customs
Not a contrasting behaviour.

Question 4

4) According to the passage, which of the following is an assertion made in the Deeds?

A) Augustus was victorious in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar's death.
This is not what the passage mentions, Julius Caesar's death is mentioned as a fact in the passage, that is it.

B) The example of Cincinnatus was an inspiration to Augustus in times of conflict.
The opposite of what actually intended, according to the passage.

C) Augustus's restoration of republican forms gave political legitimacy to his regime.
Not correct factually, according to the passage.

D) Augustus brought freedom to Rome.
Deeds were intented to put Augustus in a 'good light', this answer choice certainly points that out.

E) Augustus accepted the title of "First Citizen" in a spirit of humility
Not correct factually, according to the passage.

Throw me some Kudos!

Still confused with Option C in Question 4. The passage mentions that " he returned control of the state to the hands of the Roman senate and people" and also that the came to the power "By Universal Consent". Shouldn't it imply that he had Political legitimacy( at least in his version in the deeds) . Also He returned control to the state of the hands.
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Re: In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his  [#permalink]

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29 Aug 2018, 01:42
souvonik2k wrote:
In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his life called Deeds of the Divine Augustus. It consists of thirty-five numbered sections, each of which records his achievements in a particular field. The first two sections, for instance, describe his role in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar’s death, while section twenty-eight enumerates the colonies he founded for his soldiers. Augustus left instructions that the Deeds be inscribed on two bronze pillars in Rome, as well as on monuments and temples throughout the empire. Clearly, Augustus intended the Deeds to mold his image for posterity.

A number of details in the Deeds suggest that Augustus wanted to be remembered as a patriot in the tradition of Cincinnatus. Augustus would have us believe that his political career was driven not by personal ambition, but by a selfless desire to serve Rome and to uphold its ancient liberties and customs. He tells us that his seizure of power was a “liberation from the tyranny of a faction.” After he came to power “by universal consent,” he returned control of the state to the hands of the Roman senate and people. Emphasizing his humility, he lists numerous occasions on which he declined titles, ovations, and triumphs offered him by the senate.

Few historians accept Augustus’s account of his political motivation. Mark Antony’s faction was not particularly tyrannical, and Augustus’s seizure of power appears to have been motivated mainly by opportunism. In Gibbon’s persuasive analysis, Augustus’s subsequent restoration of the outward forms of republican government was designed to lend political legitimacy to what was essentially a dictatorship. Augustus’s refusal of numerous honors appears to have been part of this same political stagecraft. According to Suetonius, the senate felt obliged to offer Augustus a steady stream of honors. Augustus accepted a great many of these, including the titles of “First Citizen” and “Father of the Country,” but refused enough to maintain the appearance of humility.
1) The main purpose of the third paragraph of the passage is to

A) explain that most of what Augustus wrote in the Deeds was untrue
B) undermine a key aspect of Augustus's attempt to mold his image in the Deeds
C) argue that calling oneself "Father of the Country" is contrary to a ruler's duty of humility
D) highlight Gibbon's contribution to the scholarly analysis of Roman civic life
E) contrast Augustus's political motivation with those of Suetonius and Mark Antony

2) The passage mentions "monuments and temples" (lines 13-14) primarily in order to make the point that Augustus

A) built imposing edifices throughout the empire
B) recognized that religion was important to the senate and people of Rome
C) wanted to shape future perceptions by inscribing his version of events in multiple important sites
D) cared about the whole empire, not just its capital city
E) wanted to serve Rome and uphold its ancient liberties and customs

3) It can be inferred from the passage that in Augustus's day Cincinnatus was remembered as

A) someone unlikely to put his own interests before those of the state
B) a notably patriotic emperor
C) an intensely ambitious man
D) the founder of the libertarian faction in Roman politics
E) the bravest defender of Rome's ancient liberties and customs

4) According to the passage, which of the following is an assertion made in the Deeds?

A) Augustus was victorious in the civil war that followed Julius Caesar's death.
B) The example of Cincinnatus was an inspiration to Augustus in times of conflict.
C) Augustus's restoration of republican forms gave political legitimacy to his regime.
D) Augustus brought freedom to Rome.
E) Augustus accepted the title of "First Citizen" in a spirit of humility.

Got one of them wrong out of 4 . I got the 4th one incorrect, how could we infer that he brought freedom to rome ???
I thought of this but later I thought out of context or too much thinking. Any explanation ?
Re: In the year of his death, Augustus Caesar completed an account of his   [#permalink] 29 Aug 2018, 01:42
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