Friday, October 14, 2011

The Twelve Caesars - page 88, Augustus

As a young man [Augustus] was betrothed to the daughter of Publius Servilius Isauricus, but on his reconciliation with Mark Antony, after their first disagreement, the troops insisted that they should become closely allied by marriage; so, although Antony's step-daughter Claudia -- borne by his wife Fulvia to Publius Clodius -- was only just of marriageable age, Augustus married her; however, he quarrelled with Fulvia and divorced Claudia before the union had been consummated. [I wonder what they were waiting around for. A quarrel? --ed.] Soon afterwards he married Scribonia, both of whose previous husbands had been ex-consuls, and by one of whom she had a child. Augustus divorced her, too, 'because,' as he wrote, 'I could not bear the way she nagged at me' -- and immediately took Livia Drusilla away from her husband, Tiberius Nero, though she was pregnant at the time. Livia remained the one woman whom he truly loved until his death.

Well, it took him awhile, but it seemed Augustus found his true love at last.

And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva

These seem like messy marriages for Augustus, but they are no more numerous or scandalous than any you might see with modern-day celebrity relationships, and at least there don't seem to be any murders or mysterious suicides involved. (Even when Augustus became thoroughly disgusted with his daughter, Julia, later in life, he sent her into exile rather than execute her.)

By light of his familial relations alone, Augustus seems to be quite a bit more noble than Caesars to come. Sadly, though, that's not that difficult a goal to achieve.

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