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C. Octavius later named Augustus was born on September 23, 63 BC. He was the son of a man from Velitrae who had reached the praetorship before dying unexpectedly when Octavius was four. His father Octavius had earned the hand of Atia, daughter of Caesars sister, Julia, and this seemingly remote family link between the young Octavius and Caesar was to play a determinative role in shaping the rest of Octaviuss life. When his grandmother Julia died in 51 BC, Octavius delivered the eulogy at her funeral, which was his first public appearance.
Suetonius presents a more likely series of events. In 48 BC the young Octavius was elected to the pontifical college. When Caesar celebrated his multiple triumphs in September 46 BC, Octavius took part in the procession and was accorded military honors. At some time in this period, Octavius was also elected into the patrician order. He then followed Caesar to Spain when he went to fight the Pompeians at Munda in 45 BC. In 44 BC Caesar nominated the magistrates several years in advance , and the young man was included as his Master of Horse for 43 or 42 BC. Despite these indications of favor, it is fair to say that in the broad scheme of things Octavius was a non-player and a political nobody in March 44 BC, when his great-uncle was killed.
When he heard of Caesars murder, Octavius was in Apollonia in Illyricum, preparing to join Caesar on his Parthian campaign. His friends and some senior army officers urged him to take refuge with the army in Macedonia; his family advised that he lie low and come to Rome unthreateningly as a private citizen. He arrived in southern Italy, south of Brundisium. There he heard more details about Caesars death and of his own adoption. His family, now fearful for his life, urged him to renounce the adoption and inheritance in order to secure his personal safety. Instead he made directly for Brundisium and the large concentration of troops there.
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