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Lives of the Caesars, I

Liber I

Divus Iulius

…I. Annum agens sextum decimum patrem amisit; sequentibusque consulibus flamen Dialis destinatus dimissa Cossutia, quae familia equestri sed admodum dives praetextato desponsata fuerat, Corneliam Cinnae quater consulis filiam duxit uxorem, ex qua illi mox Iulia nata est; neque ut repudiaret compelli a dictatore Sulla ullo modo 2 potuit. Quare et sacerdotio et uxoris dote et gentilicis hereditatibus multatus diversarum partium habebatur, ut etiam discedere e medio et quamquam morbo quartanae adgravante prope per singulas noctes commutare latebras cogeretur seque ab inquisitoribus pecunia redimeret, donec per virgines Vestales perque Mamercum Aemilium et Aurelium Cottam propinquos et adfines suos veniam impetravit. 3 Satis constat Sullam, cum deprecantibus amicissimis et ornatissimis viris aliquamdiu denegasset atque illi pertinaciter contenderent, expugnatum tandem proclamasse sive divinitus sive aliqua coniectura: vincerent ac sibi

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The Deified Julius

Book I

The Deified Julius

1 I. In the course of his sixteenth year2 he lost his father. In the next consulate, having previously been nominated priest of Jupiter,3 he broke his engagement with Cossutia, a lady of only equestrian rank, but very wealthy, who had been betrothed to him before he assumed the gown of manhood, and married Cornelia, daughter of that Cinna who was four times consul, by whom he afterwards had a daughter Julia; and the dictator Sulla could by no means force him to put away his wife. Therefore besides being punished by the loss of his priesthood, his wife’s dowry, and his family inheritances, Caesar was held to be one of the opposite party. He was accordingly forced to go into hiding, and though suffering from a severe attack of quartan ague, to change from one covert to another almost every night, and save himself from Sulla’s detectives by bribes. But at last, through the good offices of the Vestal virgins and of his near kinsmen, Mamercus Aemilius and Aurelius Cotta, he obtained forgiveness. Everyone knows that when Sulla had long held out against the most devoted and eminent men of his party who interceded for Caesar, and they obstinately persisted, he at last gave way and cried, either by divine inspiration or a shrewd forecast: “Have your way

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.suetonius-lives_caesars_book_i_deified_julius.1914