The Shoot of a Palm Tree: The Young Octavius Emerges

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI:
The Shoot of a Palm Tree: The Young Octavius Emerges

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Octavius, the future Augustus, was the son of a certain Octavius (of an equestrian family, of Velitrae/Velletri) and Atia. Atia was the daughter of Marcus Atius Balbus of Aricia, who had married Caesar's sister, Julia, and perhaps because of this he had forged ahead in his public career, attaining the praetorship. The kinship, then, between Octavius and Caesar was not close. Sources like Dio Cassius who describe Octavius as the son of a sister of Caesar simplify too much, or are lying in order to bring Octavius and Caesar closer together. Sextus Caesar was a much closer blood-relation to the dictator. He was a son of the Julian family, Octavius was not. Octavius was adopted into the Julian family, becoming Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. Whether a simple coincidence, a matter of pure chance, or a farseeing calculation, the fact is that, with the death of Sextus Caesar, the young Octavius emerges. He hurries to Spain, not without some difficulty, to join Caesar in the field at any cost.

Keywords: Octavius; Augustus; Julius Caesar; Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus; kin; Sextus Caesar; Spain

Chapter.  4565 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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