Augustus Caesar was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus in 63 BC to an aristocratic Roman family. His maternal great-uncle was Julius Caesar. When Octavius was four years old, his father died and he was later raised by his grandmother – Julia, the sister of Julius Caesar. Octavius became close to Julius Caesar – the dictator of the Roman Empire, and impressed by his young relative, Julius Caesar named Octavius as the main beneficiary of his will. On becoming the adopted son of Julius Caesar, he took the new name of Gaius Julius Caesar. Known as Octavius (or Octavian) until he was 35, in a divisive civil war, Caesar defeated Mark Anthony to become the undisputed leader of the new Roman Empire and he ruled from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. Caesar was one of the most influential leaders in world history, setting the tone for the Roman Empire and left a profound legacy on Western civilisation.