In this paper, I investigate the different strategies by different communities and individuals of using the person of the living Augustus for the creation of power relations and meanings. The examples refer to smaller poleis in the province of Macedonia. Citizens of the Roman colonies of Buthrotum and Philippi had their special ways of using Augustus, which differ from the Italian merchants in Stobi and Acanthus and from the mixed Thraco-Macedonian community of Kalindoia. In the latter case, the cult of Augustus had to fit into the patterns of the 'polis religion', while the dedications of Italians display a more 'private' character. The article emphasises the wide range of meanings of what we call the 'imperial cult' in the age of Augustus.