In January of 27 BC, Octavian went through a strangely orchestrated ceremony in which he ‘surrendered’ all his power to the Roman Senate – thus ostensibly restoring the Republic – but then received all his powers right back again. ┬áThis was called the “First Settlement” of the Roman Constitution, and is taken by historians to be the point where the Roman Republic ceased to exist and Rome effectively became a monarchy in all but name.