1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Augustus
|←Augustowo||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 2
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AUGUSTUS (a name derived from Lat. augeo, increase, i.e. venerable, majestic, Gr. Σεβαστός), the title given by the senate, on the 17th of January 27 B.C., to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (63 B.C.–A.D. 14), or as he was originally designated, Gaius Octavius, in recognition of his eminent services to the state (Mon. Anc. 34), and borne by him as the first of the Roman emperors. The title was adopted by all the succeeding Caesars or emperors of Rome long after they had ceased to be connected by blood with the first Augustus.
Gaius Octavius was born in Rome on the 23rd of September 63 B.C., the year of Cicero's consulship and of Catiline's conspiracy. He came of a family of good standing, long settled at Velitrae (Velletri), but his father was the first of the family to obtain a curule magistracy at Rome and senatorial dignity. His mother, however, was Atia, daughter of Julia, the wife of M. Atius Balbus, and sister of Julius Caesar, and it was this connexion with the great dictator which determined his career. In his fifth year (58 B.C.) his father died; about a year later his mother remarried, and the young Octavius passed under her care to that of his stepfather, L. Marcius Philippus.
- On the name see Neumann, in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclopädie f. d. alterth., s.v., 2374.