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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