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Augustus, Chapter 4: His descent.
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After quitting Macedonia, before he [Note 1] could declare himself a candidate for the consulship, he died suddenly, leaving behind him a daughter, the Elder Octavia, by Ancharia; and another daughter, Octavia the Younger, and Augustus, by Atia, who was the daughter of Marcus Atius Balbus and of Julia, sister to Gaius Julius Caesar. Balbus was, by the father's side, of a family who were natives of Aricia, and many of whom had been in the senate. By the mother's side he was nearly related to Pompey the Great; and after he had borne the office of praetor, was one of the twenty commissioners appointed by the Julian law to divide the land in Campania among the people. But Mark Antony, treating with contempt Augustus's descent even by the mother's side, says that his great-grandfather was of African descent, and at one time kept a perfumer's shop, and at another, a bake-house, in Aricia. And Cassius of Parma, in a letter, taxes Augustus with being the son not only of a baker, but a usurer. These are his words: Thou art a lump of thy mother's meal, which a money-changer of Nerulum taking she newest bake-house of Aricia, kneaded into some shape, with his hands all discoloured by the fingering of money. |
Note 1: he = Gaius Octavius
|Decedens Macedonia, prius quam profiteri se candidatum consulatus posset, mortem obiit repentinam, superstitibus liberis Octavia maiore, quam ex Ancharia, et Octavia minore item Augusto, quos ex Atia tulerat. Atia M. Atio Balbo et Iulia, sorore C. Caesaris, genita est. Balbus, paterna stirpe Aricinus, multis in familia senatoriis imaginibus, a matre Magnum Pompeium artissimo contingebat gradu functusque honore praeturae inter vigintiviros agrum Campanum plebi Iulia lege divisit. Verum idem Antonius, despiciens etiam maternam Augusti originem, proavum eius Afri generis fuisse et modo unguentariam tabernam modo pistrinum Ariciae exercuisse obicit. Cassius quidem Parmensis quadam epistola non tantum ut pistoris, sed etiam ut nummulair nepotem sic taxat Augustum: Materna tibi farinast ex crudissimo Ariciae pistrino: hanc finxit manibus collybo decoloratis Nerulonensis mensarius.|