Dio Cassius, Roman History

LCL 66: 408-409

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Dio’s Roman History

ὅτι ἡ Ἀττία δεινῶς ἰσχυρίζετο ἐκ τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος αὐτὸν κεκυηκέναι, ὅτι καταδαρθοῦσά ποτε ἐν ναῷ αὐτοῦ δράκοντί τινι μίγνυσθαι ἐνόμισε καὶ διὰ 3τοῦτο τῷ ἱκνουμένῳ χρόνῳ ἔτεκε. πρίν τε ἢ ἐς τὸ φῶς ἐξιέναι, ἔδοξεν ὄναρ τὰ σπλάγχνα ἑαυτῆς ἐς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀναφέρεσθαι καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐπεκτείνεσθαι· καὶ τῇ αὐτῇ νυκτὶ καὶ ὁ Ὀκτάουιος ἐκ τοῦ αἰδοίου αὐτῆς τὸν ἥλιον ἀνατέλλειν ἐνόμισεν. ἄρτι τε ὁ παῖς ἐγεγέννητο, καὶ Νιγίδιος Φίγουλος1 βουλευτὴς παραχρῆμα αὐτῷ τὴν 4αὐταρχίαν ἐμαντεύσατο· ἄριστα γὰρ τῶν2 καθ᾿ ἑαυτὸν τήν τε τοῦ πόλου διακόσμησιν καὶ τὰς τῶν ἀστέρων διαφοράς, ὅσα τε καθ᾿ ἑαυτοὺς γιγνόμενοι καὶ ὅσα συμμιγνύντες ἀλλήλοις ἔν τε ταῖς ὁμιλίαις καὶ ἐν ταῖς διατάσεσιν ἀποτελοῦσι, διέγνω, καὶ κατὰ τοῦτο καὶ αἰτίαν ὥς τινας ἀπορρήτους 5διατριβὰς ποιούμενος ἔσχεν. οὗτος οὖν τότε τὸν Ὀκτάουιον βραδύτερον ἐς τὸ συνέδριον διὰ τὸν τοῦ παιδὸς τόκον (ἔτυχε γὰρ βουλὴ οὖσα) ἀπαντήσαντα ἀνήρετο διὰ τί ἐβράδυνε, καὶ μαθὼν τὴν αἰτίαν ἀνεβόησεν ὅτι “δεσπότην ἡμῖν ἐγέννησας,” καὶ αὐτὸν ἐκταραχθέντα ἐπὶ τούτῳ καὶ διαφθεῖραι τὸ παιδίον ἐθελήσαντα ἐπέσχεν, εἰπὼν ὅτι ἀδύνατόν ἐστι τοιοῦτό τι αὐτὸ παθεῖν. τότε 2μὲν δὴ ταῦτ᾿ ἐλέχθη, τρεφομένου δὲ ἐν ἀγρῷ αὐτοῦ ἀετὸς ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ ἐξαρπάσας ἄρτον ἐμετεωρίσθη καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο καταπτόμενος ἀπέδωκεν αὐτόν. παιδίσκου τε αὐτοῦ ὄντος καὶ 2τὴν διατριβὴν ἐν τῇ Ῥώμῃ ποιουμένου, ἔδοξέ ποτε ὁ Κικέρων ὄναρ ἁλύσεσί τε αὐτὸν χρυσαῖς


Book XLV

influenced largely by Attia’s emphatic declaration b.c. 44 that the youth had been engendered by Apollo; for while sleeping once in his temple, she said, she thought she had intercourse with a serpent, and it was this that caused her at the end of the allotted time to bear a son. Before he came to the light of day she saw in a dream her entrails lifted to the heavens and spreading out over all the earth; and the same night Octavius thought that the sun rose from her womb. Hardly had the child been born when Nigidius Figulus, a senator, straightway prophesied for him absolute power. This man could distinguish most accurately of his contemporaries the order of the firmament and the differences between the stars, what they accomplish when by themselves and when together, by their conjunctions and by their intervals, and for this reason had incurred the charge of practising some forbidden art. He, then, on this occasion met Octavius, who, on account of the birth of the child, was somewhat late in reaching the senate-house (for there happened to be a meeting of the senate that day), and upon asking him why he was late and learning the cause, he cried out, “You have begotten a master over us.” At this Octavius was alarmed and wished to destroy the infant, but Nigidius restrained him, saying that it was impossible for it to suffer any such fate. These things were reported at that time; and while the child was being brought up in the country, an eagle snatched from his hands a loaf of bread and after soaring aloft flew down and gave it back to him. When he was now a lad and was staying in Rome, Cicero dreamed that the boy had been let

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.dio_cassius-roman_history.1914