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Lives of the Caesars, II

Liber II

Divus Augustus

I. Gentem Octaviam Velitris praecipuam olim fuisse multa declarant. Nam et vicus celeberrima parte oppidi iam pridem Octavius vocabatur et ostendebatur ara Octavio consecrata, qui bello dux finitimo, cum forte Marti rem divinam faceret, nuntiata repente hostis incursione semicruda exta rapta foco prosecuit atque ita proelium ingressus victor redit. Decretum etiam publicum exstabat, quo cavebatur, ut in posterum quoque simili modo exta Marti redderentur reliquiaeque ad Octavios referentur.

II. Ea gens a Tarquinio Prisco rege inter minores gentis adlecta in senatum, mox a Servio1 Tullio in patricias traducta, procedente tempore ad plebem se contulit ac rursus magno2 intervallo per Divum Iulium in patriciatum redit. Primus ex hac magistratum populi suffragio cepit C. Rufus. 2 Is quaestorius Cn. et C. procreavit, a quibus duplex Oc­taviorum

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The Deified Augustus

Book II

The Deified Augustus

I. There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; for not only was a street in the most frequented part of the town long ago called Octavian, but an altar was shown there besides, consecrated to an Octavius. This man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town, and when news of a sudden onset of the enemy was brought to him just as he chanced to be sacrificing to Mars, he snatched the inwards of the victim from the fire and offered them up half raw; and thus he went forth to battle, and returned victorious. There was, besides, a decree of the people on record, providing that for the future too the inwards should be offered to Mars in the same way, and the rest of the victims be handed over to the Octavii.

II. The family was admitted to the senate by king Tarquinius Priscus among the lesser clans;1 was later enrolled by Servius Tullius among the patricians; in course of time returned to the ranks of the plebeians; and after a long interval was restored to patrician rank by the Deified Julius. The first of the house to be elected by the people to a magistracy was Gaius Rufus, who became quaestor.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.suetonius-lives_caesars_book_ii_deified_augustus.1914