Augustus

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Do not speak of your happiness to one less fortunate than yourself.
Plutarch
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Portrait drawing of Augustus: a detail of the famous statue found at Prima Porta

Imperator Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus (23 September, 63 BC - 19 August, 14), born Gaius Octavius, was the adopted son of Julius Caesar and the first Roman Emperor and a religious leader.

Octavius first became a pontiff and later high priest of the polytheistic Roman religion whereupon he enacted strict marriage laws and legal measures governing the sexual conduct of the populace.

Sourced

  • If we could survive without a wife, citizens of Rome, all of us would do without that nuisance; but since nature has so decreed that we cannot manage comfortably with them, nor live in any way without them, we must plan for our lasting preservation rather than for our temporary pleasure.
  • I inherited it brick and left it marble.
    • (Of Rome) Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 28

Unsourced

  • Young men, hear an old man to whom old men hearkened when he was young.
  • Practice, the master of all things.
  • Hasten deliberately.
    • Variant: Make haste slowly.
  • You cheer my heart, who build as if Rome would be eternal.
  • Two Caesars is one too many.
  • If Agrippa and Maecenas had been alive, they never would have allowed it.
    • Said after having lost his temper during a meeting of the Senate
  • The birds will soon settle that question
    • Said after a request was made by a father and son to have an honorable burial
  • May it be my privilege to have the happiness of establishing the commonwealth on a firm and secure basis and thus enjoy the reward which I desire, but only if I may be called the author of the best possible government; and bear with me the hope when I die that the foundations which I have laid for its future government, will stand firm and stable.
  • To seek to keep the established constitution unchanged argues a good citizen and a good man.
  • If we could survive without a wife, citizens of Rome, all of us would do without that nuisance, but since nature has so decreed that we cannot manage comfortably with them nor live in any way without them, we must plan for our lasting preservation rather than for our temporary pleasure.
    • Said when proposing his social legislation on preserving the values of the Roman family
    • Possible basis for "Can't live with them, can't live without them."
  • Livia, keep our marriage alive, and farewell.
    • Said to Livia on his deathbed
  • If I have played my part well, clap your hands, and dismiss me with applause from the stage.
    • Said on his deathbed

About Augustus

  • "He [Julius Caesar] learned that Alexander, having completed nearly all his conquests by the time he was thirty-two years old, was at an utter loss to know what he should do during the rest of his life, whereat Augustus expressed his surprise that Alexander did not regard it as a greater task to set in order the empire which he had won than to win it. " ~ Plutarch

External links

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