Caesar or Augustus? The game of the name in Ovid's Fasti.
'Augustus' is the honorific cognomen granted by the senate in 27 BC to Imperator Caesar, divi filius, to advertise his new persona and superhuman status vis-a-vis the Roman world. This name, which bore an implication of 'increase' with its root aug, and so related to augeo, augur, augurium, auctoritas, evoked authority and sanctity, veneration and power, as well as augury and auspices, which associated it with the foundation of Rome. 'Augustus' presented an ideal opportunity for the little man who enhanced his physical stature by wearing high heels (Suet. Aug. 73, 79.2), to project his human nature into the superhuman stratosphere as well.
The name Romulus had been considered, but it bore too many embarrassing associations, such as king, fratricide, catamite, inciter of gangbangs, and an apotheosis triggered by senators tearing him to pieces. (2) But as Romulus had founded Rome augusto augurio according to Ennius, so the name 'Augustus' streamlined the connection with the conditor urbis to his venerable aspect only. 'Augustus' implied a second, but less humanly fallible, founder of Rome. And as a name, 'Augustus' was unprecedented. It was a clean slate in Roman history. (3)
'Romulus' was not the only name with tricky associations. The year 27 BC was the second time that the former Gaius Octavius had assumed a new identity. In 44 he had manipulated his great-uncle Julius Caesar's will so that he inherited the great tria nomina, and, dropping his own patronymic, advertised himself as Caesar's son. (4) From about 38 BC he assumed the title imperator as his praenomen and dropped the gentilicium Julius. (5) In the fifteen years following Octavius' appropriation of Caesar's name, Rome and Italy suffered a civil-war carnage unprecedented in history. (6) The victor's nomenclature was 'Imperator Caesar, Divi filius'. (7)
After the defeat of Antony in 31 BC, 'Caesar' was a name which resonated across all strata of Roman society, either heroically with partisans, his veterans, and those yearning for peace at any price, or unheroically, not only with Ciceronians, Pompeians and Antonians, but also with the proscribed, the vanquished, and the bereaved, including countless innocent bystanders now displaced from home and deprived of livelihood by the victor's determination to reward his veterans with their land. 'Caesar' was a name to conjure up emotions ranging from triumphalism, gratitude or grudging respect, to fear, loathing and lust for revenge, according to one's political ideology, philosophy or personal experience. No wonder Caesar, with the task of nation building before him, needed an additional name as a means of distancing himself from, or of making himself bigger than 'Caesar', the civil-war victor, in order to help dissipate the conflicting emotions the name might evoke. 'Augustus' is a name which implies that he did what he did with the blessing of the gods. It was a name that signalled a new beginning.
'Augustus' in Vergil, Horace and Propertius (8)
The first three great poets of the age all suffered in some way from Caesar's wars. All were writing concurrently during the aftermath. Vergil, Horace and Propertius, while not shy of invoking 'Augustus' after 27, still addressed or referred to him more often as 'Caesar' in their work. A possible explanation for this is that Vergil (b. 70 BC) and Horace (b. 65 BC) belonged to the civil-war generation, had known of the new Caesar since 44 BC, and later became acquainted with him personally. They had inscribed his name into the poetical canon long before he became Augustus. Yet it was they, as survivors and mature poets, along with the relative novice Propertius (birth date uncertain, but no older than ten years by 44), who were the first to insert his honorific cognomen into Roman poetry.
Vergil, who had already committed himself to sing of Caesar's name at Georg. 3.16.47-48, found himself unexpectedly confronted with a new name to deal with. 'Augustus' appears just twice in the Aeneid, although the individual is mentioned four times in all. In Book 1 (possibly begun before 27), (9) we have: ... Troianus ... Caesar ... Iulius, a magno demissum nomen Iulo (1.286-88), but by Book 6, he has assumed an additional name: hic Caesar ... hic vir, hic est ... Augustus Caesar, divi genus ... who will again found the golden age in Latium (6.789-92). In Book 8 we find the cognomina repeated in the centre of Vulcan's shield: Augustus ... Caesar, leading Rome and Italy into the battle of Actium (8.675-81). But the denouement of the epic depiction ends surprisingly with a free-standing 'Caesar' entering the walls of Rome in triple triumph (714), culminating with ipse viewing the spectacle from the threshold of the temple of Apollo.
In the Aeneid, Caesar is separable from Augustus, but Augustus is inseparable from Caesar. The reversal of what became the normal order of nomen and cognomen in prose and coinage legends, (10) perhaps emphasised the Caesarean aspect of the conqueror of Actium. Is this so because of the more martial theme of Books 7-12? Why did Vergil backdate 'Augustus' to Actium? Or did he? Was a lower-case augustus intended here as an epithet, to adumbrate the senatorial decree of 27? Whatever the intention, Vergil's 'Augustus Caesar' is likely to have transmitted mixed signals to contemporary listeners or readers of his epic.
Horace, too, twice links nomen and cognomen, just as Vergil was doing. The first, at Odes 2.9.19-20, in the similar reverse order favoured by Vergil, is in a consolatio to the elegist (C.) Valgius (Rufus). The second is in Epistle 2.2.48 to Florus, whom Horace identifies as a faithful friend of (Tiberius Claudius) Nero. Here we find the more official 'Caesar Augustus' in the poet's biographical anecdote: the civil wars had ejected Horace from the Athenian academy and thrust him, a novice in war, amid weapons that were no match for Caesar Augustus. Horace rearranges facts and links 'Augustus' inextricably with the victor of civil war at Philippi, the battle in which Horace himself had fought in support of Julius Caesar's assassins. The anachronism is greater even than Vergil's 'Augustus' at Actium, and more hard-hitting with the personal touch. Horace seems to know what the little man was up to in acquiring a new cognomen, and has decided to hold it up to scrutiny.
Elsewhere, Horace allows 'Augustus' to stand alone nine times, but in many instances the ruler is also named 'Caesar' in the same poem. (11) Unlike the Aeneid, Horace's poetry allows 'Caesar' and 'Augustus' to be interchangeable. In the sense of identifying the same individual, they are. But what aspects of the individual does each name imply? As in the Aeneid, 'Augustus' predates 27 BC, to present him as civil war victor. Yet Horace continues to prefer 'Caesar' long after 27 BC. Without an exposition and context of each poem, it is impossible to generalise from a corpus so varied in genre, style, theme, metre, tone and subject, (12) as to why he would use 'Augustus' in one instance, 'Caesar' in another, or why he continues to prefer 'Caesar'. (13) However, for a poet of this calibre, the reason is unlikely to be something as prosaic as a metrical consideration or a purely literary decision with no political undertones intended. In the immediate aftermath of civil war, 'Caesar' was politically charged, as Augustus well knew.
It is easy to find irony and subversion in the treatment of 'Augustus' from a poet who was also a war veteran from the defeated side. Yet Suetonius (Vita Horati), quoting Augustus verbatim, shows that Augustus bore no resentment against Horace for rebuffing his offers of personal friendship, and regarded his poetry so highly that he was piqued at not being mentioned more often. This is the most important contemporary response we have to Horace's name game, issuing from the man himself. Augustus was not impervious to the tones and nuances of poetry, especially where his own name was concerned. His reaction might therefore come as a surprise. But perhaps we should remember that the greater rebuff would have been for Horace not to name him at all (like Tibullus). Was this what Augustus feared most: a poetic damnatio memoriae? He himself dishonoured his Roman opponents in true Roman style by not naming names in his Res Gestae. (14) In poetry such as Horace's, there was no such thing as bad publicity. Augustus puts it to Horace directly: 'Are you afraid that your reputation with posterity will suffer because it appears that you were an intimate of mine?' (an vereris ne apud posteros infame tibi sit, quod videaris familiaris nobis esse?).
Horace's answer seems to be, in a nutshell, yes. He also had his eye on posterity (Ode 3.30). In response, he wrote an epistle c. 13 BC, (15) which amounts to an elaborate refusal to relinquish his independence. This is the letter which modern editors conventionally call the Epistle to Augustus (2.1). This is a misnomer, as are the so-called Odes to Augustus (1.2, 12; 4.15). These poems are addressed to Caesar, not Augustus. 'Caesar' is the name persistently preferred by Horace across his entire heterogeneous corpus. This is what he wanted left to posterity. Augustus could take it or leave it.
Propertius wrote elegiac love poetry, a genre which Horace disdained (Epist. 2.2.9ff.). Ovid claimed that the sole theme of Propertius' poetry was Cynthia (RA 764-65), in which case we might be surprised to find imperial names mentioned at all. 'Augustus' in particular, might seem too big for the genre. Yet like Horace, the elegist invokes both Caesar and Augustus, with a distinct preference for the former over the latter: Caesar nineteen times, Augustus seven. Like Horace's poetry too, Propertius' discrete elegies, arranged into four books, do not sustain an overarching structure or narrative theme, so no clear pattern emerges as to why he would prefer one cognomen over another. Furthermore, we do not know how contemporary readers first heard/read his poems, as the sequence of elegies in modern editions is far from secure. What does come across, however, is a self-conscious poetic identity and a persistent recusatio theme which denies his ability to treat epic subjects in small strains. One of those subjects is the importance of a name.
Propertius is aware of the power of a name in poetry, for he tells Maecenas that he has not the stomach (praecordia) to treat holders of Caesaris ... nomen back to his Phrygian ancestors (2.1.41-42). 'Caesar' had previously appeared in the penultimate poem of the first book as opponent in the Perusine war, who left the dead unburied and wrought such grief and dishonour to a soldier and his family, one of whom seems to have been the poet. The bleak landscape is evoked at 1.22. Propertius' initial association of Caesar with atrocity and disrespect for Roman dead may account for the fact that 'Caesar' reappears repeatedly across his collection of elegies (up to the first poem in Book 4) as a topos to serve his pervasive recusatio theme. Of the nineteen times Caesar appears, the unusual noun-epithet magnus Caesar crops up four times (2.1.25-26; 2.7.5; 2.31.2). As the first time is associated with civilia busta of Mutina and Philippi, the second (the quotation is unknown) and third with military might, the fourth, describing the beauty of the temple of Apollo, might suggest (for readers who had read the poems in this sequence) that the temple was booty from war. And so it was. The temple of Apollo was vowed in 36 after the naval victory at Naulochus over Sextus Pompey and dedicated on 9 October 28. (16)
This epithet attached to Caesar is unusual because Magnus was the famous cognomen ex virtute of Pompey, father of Sextus Pompeius, and was adopted as a praenomen by his son. (17) Is Propertius implying that Caesar had taken over Pompey's mantle as magnus because he had defeated the son of Magnus? Perhaps he poached the idea from Catullus' Caesaris ... magni (11.10 referring to Julius Caesar's monimenta in Gaul). Or from Vergil's Iulius, a magno demissum nomen Iulo (Aen. 1.288). Or perhaps Propertius was, along with the war-mongering deus Caesar (3.4.1), testing magnus Caesar as a means of limbering up to tackle the great name itself. Moving towards Augustus, in other words.
'Augustus' appears sparsely at first, just once in Book 2, and twice in Book 3. At 2.10.15 Propertius addresses Augustus directly, claiming to be abandoning the lowly love strains of his youth for the mighty theme of war and conquered nations. But the studied attempt at epic deflates quickly, with the great name having to make do in the end with the elegist's vilia tura.
At 3.11 both 'Augustus' and 'Caesar' appear. As one enslaved to Cynthia, Propertius prays in epic strains for a long life for Augustus as the only male 'macho' enough to save Rome and the Senate from the meretrix regina and her disgusting public personal habits. Cleopatra is presented as the most formidable enemy, both moral and military, in Rome's history. It seems it is 'Augustus' who is Rome's moral saviour against Cleopatra (cape, Roma, triumphum | et longum Augusto salva precare diem!), while 'Caesar', comparable to great Republican heroes, is the military saviour who put the enemy to flight at Actium. 'Augustus' and 'Caesar' can be read here as representing the separate aspects of the ruler, while at the same time blurring the boundaries between the moral conquest of the male over the female, and the military victory of West over East.
At 3.12, addressed to Postumus (senator and proconsul, a relative), the poet pits the fidelitas, pudicitia and castitas of a lonely wife pining at home against the avaritia and virtus of her husband who, lured by the promise of spoils, follows Augusti fortia signa to Parthia. With a precautionary si fas est, he curses Postumus and his ilk. Here the irreconcilability between the imperial requirement for female chastity (implicating the leges Iuliae) on the one hand, and male absence from home to ensure military supremacy abroad, on the other,--something which placed a lonely wife's virtue in jeopardy--is highlighted. The absence of 'Caesar' in this elegy serves to emphasise 'Augustus' as the name encapsulating the sharply juxtaposed, incompatible demands of the regime. (At 2.7. Propertius had railed against the marriage laws and it had been magnus Caesar who had separated unmarried lovers).
The Actium elegy (4.6) invokes both 'Caesar' and 'Augustus' again. The contest theme between Augustus and Cleopatra is similar to that at 3.11, but with a difference. The poet declares his subject to be the aition for the temple of Palatine Apollo as a panegyric to the name of Caesar: Caesaris in nomen ducuntur carmina: Caesar | dum canitur, quaeso, Iuppiter ipse vaces ('My songs are being composed in the name of Caesar; while Caesar is sung, please, Jupiter, you too, take a break').
Is an elegist to be believed? No. It emerges that it is 'Augustus' more than 'Caesar' which is the real name sung in this 'panegyric'. Of the seven times in all that Propertius invokes 'Augustus', four are in this elegy. The following battle narrative (37-68) is not the aition of Palatine Apollo; it is set at Actium and ends with Palatine Apollo morphing into Actius ... Phoebus. It comprises parodic treatment of Vergil's anachronistic Augustus . Caesar perched on his proud poop at Actium (8.678ff.). (At 2.34.61-62, Propertius had previously rejected the epic subject of Actium, Phoebus and Caesar's ships, as one belonging to Vergil alone). Here Propertius seems to be gleefully highlighting Vergil's Augustan anachronism by repeating the lofty appellation where it never belonged, first as an epithet, augusta ratis (23), then with a genitive Augusti puppim (29), a vocative Auguste, Hectoreis cognite maior avis (38), then finally the nominative Augustus (81), as if testing how one could play with the great name in elegiac couplets.
Apollo's mock salutation: ... O longa mundi servator ab Alba, in the weighty hexameter, then Auguste, Hectoreis cognite maior avis (37-38) in the lightweight pentameter, is an overblown version of ob civis servatos, the aition for the granting to Caesar of the honorific 'Augustus', stamped on coinage of 19/18 BC. (18) That a martial Apollo (in his guise of divine archer at Troy) should deem Augustus 'maior' than all his Trojan ancestors (38), is certainly a play on the monstrous name and step-up from magnus Caesar who had opened his Palatine temple at 2.31.2 (which features Apollo the poet and had nothing to do with Actium). But this promotion is just flattery to prepare Augustus for the subsequent pep-talk, necessary to shame the mundi servator into waging a sea battle with a mere woman (37-55). The god even has to shoot the first arrow to encourage him. His courage found, Augustus morphs into (a more manly?) 'Caesar' (56) in order to fire his first shot. After Apollo's, the javelin of 'Caesar' flew first. Battle over, the woman was put in her place. This prompts pater ... Caesar to marvel at his namesake's achievement from his Idalian star (60): 'Sum deus; est nostri sanguinis ista fides'--which insinuates that there had not been sufficient proof before. (19) Even so, Julian blood could neither catch the queen nor determine when she would die; she died on the day of her choosing, not her victor's. Her escape deprived him of parading her in his triumph. Propertius puts the boot in by claiming her unworthiness as a Roman foe to be exhibited as such (65-66):
di melius! Quantus mulier foret una triumphus, Ductus erat per quas ante Iugurtha vias! How paltry a triumph would one woman have been, led through the same streets in which Jugurtha was once led.
Propertius has done with singing about war. Apollo was victor (69-70). Victor of what exactly? In this Actium elegy, 'Augustus', as Apollo's protege, more closely resembles Propertius himself in the opening lines of 3.11, where the sex roles are reversed. There, the poet had rejected any charge of cowardice levelled at him for being enslaved to a woman. To prove a point he lists a number of dominant women who subjugated famous men (1-26). The only man manly enough to save Rome and the Patres from the terrifying meretrix regina was Augustus. But in 4.6 'Augustus' is the opposite to that 'macho' male, despite his magnified nomenclature. There is no role reversal here. This Augustus, who is greater than great Caesar and all his Trojan forbears, the saviour of the world, who had Jove on side, presents as a coward (or elegiac lover) when confronted by the woman who is no longer Rome's most formidable enemy, moral or military, but just a woman with weapons more threatening in appearance than fact (49-50). It was only Apollo of Delos, patron of poetry and the Muses, whose statue now adorned his Palatine temple (2.31), while temporarily adopting a martial role for the occasion, who could inspire this timid Augustus to an ersatz victory in this elegiac rendering of an historic battle between the male and the female. Once achieved, Propertius could rightly claim: bella satis cecini, which allowed Apollo to disarm and demand his lyre (69-70). (20)
Apollo helped Caesar win Actium. Propertius' battle of Actium, and the title Actius ... Phoebus (67) was won only with the help of his Apollo Palatinus (Pythius in longa carmina veste sonat, 2.31). It was also Apollo Mousagetes who helped him break the bonds of his recusatio theme and expand the scope of his work to sing of a topic worthy of Calliope (12): 'Augustus' at Actium into Callimachaean strains. The cognomen 'Augustus', anachronistically applied as a means of overpraising Caesar, is an essential element to that accomplishment. Caesar, the programmatic subject of the panegyric, had evolved into an elegiac Augustus.
At the concluding symposium, Propertius exhorts the Muse to stir the ingenium of reclining poets with a Bacchus-inspired Apollo to follow his example and relate recent Roman triumphs over the Sygambri and Ethiopians, as well as the future defeat of the Parthians. But Propertius wants the Parthian defeat delayed as long as possible. He concludes by urging 'Augustus', to postpone revenge long enough to allow 'pueros ... suos' (the grandsons whom Augustus adopted in 18 BC, aged no more than four and two in 16 BC), to win back the standards lost by Crassus. For the sake of peace Propertius wanted the job done by the next generation of Augusti to be sung by the next generation of elegists. Ovid took on the task, but 'Augustus' is conspicuous by its absence in his love elegies.
'Caesar' in Ovid's elegies
Propertius read his poems to Ovid, his elegiac heir (T. 2.465; 4.10.45-46, 51-54). (21) In his personal life, Ovid differs from his friend and the older poets by admitting to no personal deprivations from the civil wars. He prided himself on his ancestral wealth and high rank, and enjoyed the freedom to reject a senatorial career in favour of one devoted to poetry (Am. 3.15.5-6, 55-56). His independence may be accounted for by the fact that in 49, six years before his birth, the citizens of Sulmo, his patria, had done Caesar a good turn by opening their gates to his deputy, Antonius, as he invaded Italy. (22) Caesar's heir had reason to be grateful to this town, (23) and was prepared, no doubt, to indulge its most talented son in the arts, Ovidius Naso. Ovid was nearly fifteen years old and so the youngest of the poets when Caesar grew into Augustus in27 BC. Yet, like them, he invokes 'Caesar' rarely at first, but increasingly so in his later poetry. His reluctance to mention 'Augustus', however, is greater than that of his predecessors.
Ovid probably began writing the Amores in his late teens (T. 4.10.57-60), so around 25 BC. The date of publication, in first or second edition, and the original number of books, is difficult to establish. Some must have been written before Propertius' fourth book and Actium elegy (16 BC), and others sometime afterwards. (24) In some poems it is impossible to say whether Ovid is reacting to Propertius, or vice versa. For instance, which was written first, Amores 1.14 or Propertius 4.6? We saw that Propertius had exhorted his fellow poets to sing in elegiacs of recent Augustan triumphs such as that over the Sygambri (4.6.77). If written first, then Ovid ignores this directive. At Amores 1.14 he finds the Sygambri worth mentioning only insofar as they supplied strong German hair to make up a wig for his girl's bald head (49-50). But perhaps Propertius was moved to instruct his young friend how to treat triumphs in elegiacs only after he had heard this poem?
Ovid declares the importance of poetry in preserving the names of the great, including his own (Am. 1.15). The power of poetry in naming names is again highlighted at Am. 3.12. Yet in the fifty extant poems of the collection, 'Caesar' appears just four times, once referring to Julius (3.8.51-52), once collectively to include Gaius and Lucius (2.14.13-18), and twice referring to the princeps alone (1.2.51-52; 3.12.15). In general terms, Caesar's name is invoked in the interests of love elegy and rejection of epic. The Propertian model at 4.6 is nowhere apparent.
'Caesar' appears four times in the Ars Amatoria, three of which refer to the Princeps (171, 177, 203), and once as a collective to indicate dynasty (184). The long passage, largely a propemptikon to a nineteen-year-old Gaius upon his departure to the East in 1 BC to take a delayed revenge on the Parthians (1.171-228), bears a distinct echo of the Propertian model at 4.6.79-84. (25) And indeed, the praeceptor amoris (as he is now), gives the impression that he is at last (c. 1 BC) (26) seeing his older friend's wish about to come true now that Augustus' son is officially an adult. Like Propertius, he, too, is making a prediction of a great triumph for the young heir--only this time that triumph is at hand. He also imitates (and exaggerates) Propertius (3.4.111-18) in associating the anticipated Parthian triumph with an erotic experience.
Yet a leitmotiv runs through these lines which signals Ovid's independence from Propertius with regard to The Name. Two persons called Caesar are the subject of this panegyric, yet only one is so named. Gaius, who, having no other cognomen, could only be addressed or referred to by name as 'Caesar' (cf. Rem. Amoris 156), is never so called, but is only subsumed under Caesaribus virtus contigit ante diem (184). To avoid confusion between father and son, Ovid invokes the young commander as Ultor, dux (181, 202), puer (182, 191), nunc iuvenum princeps, deinde future senum (194), and incipient god (204). Yet he could have avoided confusion quite simply with 'Augustus' and 'Caesar'. We have noted above that 'Augustus' evoked connotations of moral and religious authority in related words such as augur, augurium, auspices, auctoritas. Ovid seems to be exploiting these connotations where he draws attention to pater Caesar's augural authority, twice within one couplet (191-92):
Auspiciis animisque patris, puer, arma movebis, et vinces animis auspiciisque patris
The repetition of auspicia both points to 'Augustus' and accentuates its very absence. The next line clinches it: tale rudimentum tanto sub nomine debes ('such will be your first campaign which you owe to your great name'). The great name, then, is not Augustus, but Caesar. The extended emphasis upon Gaius' youth, which includes comparisons with apotheosised predecessors (187-90), is perhaps designed to elicit from the reader a subliminal comparison with pater Caesar who, as a nineteen-yearold, had raised an army on his own initiative and at his own expense, to liberate the res publica from a despotic faction (RG 1.1). (27) Thus a justification for his son, who, Ovid had earlier reminded us, was much too young for the job at hand: bellaque non puero tractat agenda puer (182). It is possible that, if a comparison was intended, the name 'Caesar' has been chosen over 'Augustus' for that purpose.
Ovid's refusal to allow the Princeps his grand cognomen 'Augustus' proves useful as he then inserts himself between Caesar and the youth by appropriating the role of augur and making a votive offering of his own poetry for his safe return: Auguror en, vinces; votivaque carmina reddam (205). It is almost as if the poet has replaced 'Augustus'. He envisages the content of his promised epic, a Bellum Parthicum, (28) and imparts the details of the triumphal procession by answering the questions of a puella amongst the onlookers. Her sudden appearance is, of course, a reminder that an elegist would never write such an epic, and that the elegiac triumph which he augurs is a splendid setting for seduction. The technique of that seduction is a flaunting of one's knowledge of names (219-28). Tell her the names of the kings and races paraded, he exhorts his reader, of the places, mountains and rivers displayed. They will be whatever name you say: et erunt quae nomina dicas (227). Provide the correct ones if you can, but if not, just make them credible (cf. Am. 3.12). With this elegiac manifesto of the game of the name in poetry, we proceed to the Fasti, Ovid's elegiac calendar.
Between the publication of the Ars Amatoria and the Fasti, the two young Caesars had died and four more had taken their place. On June 26 AD 4, Tiberius Claudius Nero, Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, Nero Claudius Drusus, and M. Vipsanius Agrippa Postumus, all assumed the cognomen adopted by C. Octavius in 44 BC. (29) This sudden proliferation of Caesars (five now if we count Caesar Augustus) might prove a greater challenge for a poet in identifying one from the other now without ambiguity. The one name that did have exclusive application was Augustus. (Tiberius, apparently, was sometimes referred to as Germanicus, Dio 57.8.2).
The calendar versified by Ovid was that which Julius Caesar, as Dictator and Pontifex Maximus, had given the Roman people in 45 BC. (The Republican calendar had been controlled and manipulated by the Senate). In 12 BC, upon the death of the long-exiled Lepidus, Augustus had been elected Pontifex Maximus. He was now officially in charge of keeping Roman time. In 8 BC, the month of Sextilis was renamed Augustus. 'Augustus' and the Julian calendar were now inseparable. Ovid's Fasti, for the first time, provides a discernible strategy behind a poet's presentation of the names 'Caesar' or 'Augustus'.
First, Ovid avoids all mention of the post-AD 4 crop of Caesars in the pre-exilic edition (Books 2-6). This has given rise to the view that he began his poem before AD 4, and abandoned it with the adoptions of June of that year. (30) But there is no mention of Gaius and Lucius either, which also challenges an earlier date. It is unlikely that Ovid would have later removed their names out of sensitivity to the feelings of Augustus. The memory of Gaius and Lucius was honoured by the lex Valeria Cornelia of AD 5, (31) and by Augustus himself (RG 14). Leaving their names in his poem would have done honour to them, and have been deemed quite acceptable.
Yet, working through the Fasti we discover that the theme is 'Caesar', not 'Augustus', which is only invoked three times. (32) In the proem to Book 2, the vates of the Roman year (as he now is: 3.177), dedicates his elegiac militia (33) to Caesar, his nomina and his titles (2.17-18; cf. T. 2.551). What are Caesar's nomina? Mostly Caesar, as it turns out, shared alike by the deified senior and the living junior, sometimes separately, sometimes together. In the absence of a second cognomen, Caesar can only be 'Caesar'. Why, then, is his heir most often invoked as 'Caesar' too? Among other things, the problem of ambiguity would surely arise.
Ovid's skill in allowing for no such ambiguity is evident in the Pater Patriae celebration on 5 February (2.119-48). The father figure is naturally a central theme. There are four fathers represented: Jupiter and Mars, and two Caesars, senior and junior. Romulus alone is not a father and so is not the founder of a dynasty. He had to be deified by his father, Mars.
Of the two Caesars, only one is so named. Julius remains nameless. In this eulogy, which Ovid claims to be the highest honour to crown his calendar (2.122), he addresses Caesar directly while pointedly avoiding 'Augustus', even though as the honorand he is invoked as one bearing a name equivalent to Jupiter: pater ... deum in heaven 131-32. He is sanctus Pater Patriae, pater orbis, hominum ... pater, dux, princeps, he is Caesar, not once, but twice (138, 141). He raised his pater (Caesar) to heaven who is surpassed by his 'pater' son (because he had performed a feat equal to Romulus' pater), yet, inexplicably, the pater/son bears only his father's name: Caesar.
In this synkrisis, pitting Rome's primitive first founder against the second, who bears a name equivalent to Jove and is superior to his own father, Ovid points to why Caesar had needed a new cognomen in 27, why he had not taken Romulus' name, and (the reader would fill in the gap), why he had chosen instead a semi-divine appellation like 'Augustus'. Ovid's refusal to enunciate 'Augustus' in this context can be seen as mirroring the programmatic statement for his choice of 'Caesar' in the proem. Like the passage honouring Gaius at AA 171ff., Ovid makes 'Augustus' hover over his words without allowing him to appear on the page. It is followed through on 22 February, where he is toasted at the Caristia: bene vos, bene te, patriae pater, optime Caesar1. (2.637). Caesar is the name of the game. (34)
A development of the 'Caesar' theme occurs in the proem to March with a lengthy excursus on the history of the calendar (3.75-166). Ovid includes the mistakes made by Romulus in instituting a ten-month year, with elaborate justifications as to why he made them. Even after Numa added the missing two months, the tempora (cf. F. 1.1) remained erratic until Caesar included them among his many cares (3.155-65).
The short, sharp coda on Caesar is illuminating. For the first time, Julius is named. He is credited with the Julian calendar, and he is deus and auctor of a mighty lineage (157). This is the highest praise accorded him in the entire poem, and is notable, too, as one which does not compare him unfavourably with his heir. (35) The aition given for his calendar--that he wanted a preview of the heaven promised him (by the astrologers from 1.297-98?)--might imply that the Julian calendar was how he merited apotheosis. This idea is enhanced as we watch Ovid's image-building over time.
The title of Pontifex Maximus is celebrated on 6 March (3.415-28). The Caesarian motif is developed. We have two Caesars again, but now both are named. Ambiguity in identity is skilfully avoided in the fourteen lines: the living Caesar occupies first place in the hexameter (19), the deified Caesar in the pentameter (422). To Caesar's countless titles (innumeris ... titulis--harking back to the programmatic statement at 2.15-16), was added the honour of the pontificate. Over the eternal fire (Vesta), the eternal numen of Caesar presides; both are pignora imperii, pledges of empire. This priesthood is hereditary, exclusive to the lineage and penates of Trojan Aeneas. The genealogy also embraces Vesta, goddess of the Roman hearth, now collateral relative of the Caesars (425-26). Only her cognatus could tend her hearth, could be her priest. Only a Caesar could be Pontifex Maximus. The sacred, dynastic nature of the pontifical office, and of the Caesarian name, are inextricable. (36) 'Augustus' is permitted no place in this scheme. Caesar's divinity is again associated with his identity of Pontifex Maximus, that is, with the Roman calendar, as in the proem to the month.
On the Ides of March, following the festival of Anna Perenna, goddess of the (old, Romulean) new year (3.545-696), the two Caesars are named again, associated with Vesta again, are her priest again (3.695-710). We learn that Caesar did not really die. Vesta did not allow it, but carried him away from the sacrilegious hands which attacked him, and only left his shadow behind (701-2). This is the 'Caesar' who is very much alive in Ovid's calendar. The connections Ovid forges between Caesar, his identity as Pontifex Maximus, his transfer to Iovis atria (703) on the Ides of March, serve to enhance the picture of the dynastic auctor and calendar founder and incipient god, first conceived in the proem to the month and remembered on 6 March. Caesar, his calendar, and his deification are all being causally linked, and we learn now that it was for the attack on him as Pontifex Maximus (implying the calendrical reforms he undertook in that role), that his son Caesar demonstrated pietas and exacted revenge (705-10). 'Augustus' had nothing to do with it.
In the proem to April, Ovid declares to Caesar that he had a special interest in Venus' month, as she was his ancestress through his adopted nobility (4.19-22). Romulus, when writing down the Roman calendar, noticed this himself and thus commemorated auctores ... tuos (4.19-24). In his genealogical research he unearthed the lucky name of Iulus, eponymous ancestor of the domus Iulia (4.39-40), and the (missing) link between the more recent Romans, descended from Mars, and more ancient Trojan Julians descended from Venus. This accounts for his naming March and April after both his parentes (4.57-60; cf. 1.39-40). Venus was the mother of Aeneas, so that in time to come magnus Iuleos Caesar haberet avos (123-24), great Caesar might have Julian forebears (cf. 5.564: Iuleae nobilitatis avos).
Julius Caesar is not mentioned here, but his presence is large. His is the nobility in question. Caesar had raised the plebeian Octavii into the patriciate through the lex Cassia in 45 BC, (37) but had he not (posthumously) adopted C. Octavius into the gens Iulia, C. Octavius would not bear the name Caesar, would not be a descendant of Venus, and would have no connection with the Roman calendar. Magnus Caesar here perhaps echoes Vergil's magno ... Iulo (Aen. 1.286-88). I suggested above that magnus Caesar in Propertius could have signalled his eventual 'Move towards Augustus'. It may be sheer coincidence, but that is indeed what we find next in Ovid.
It is at the festival of the Megalensia, celebrated in honour of the Idaean Great Mother of the Gods (Mater Deum Magna Idaea) that 'Augustus' appears in the Ovidian corpus for the first time. It was not designed to be the first, of course, as that would have been allocated to the original Book 1 of Fasti, containing the anniversary of Imperator Caesar's growing into 'Augustus' in 27 BC. It is no longer extant. We don't know what it looked like, but it would have been different from that in the extant post-exilic Book 1 dedicated to Germanicus Caesar and which is more reflective of the early principate of Tiberius (see below).
The patrician cult of the Idaean Mother dated its Roman origins from 204 BC when the senate brought her from Phrygia to Rome to defeat Hannibal. In recognition of her grant of victory, her temple on the Palatine was dedicated in 191. (38) In the Augustan age the foreign goddess was transformed by Vergil into a tutelary Trojan/Julian goddess, granter of victory to Aeneas, (39) thus implicitly transforming her into a deity with Julian connections and with the origins of Rome. Thus did the essentially Claudian cult of the goddess become annexed into the Julian/Augustan pantheon. (40)
By that time plebeians as well as patricians were represented within the senatorial nobility. But the history of separation between the classes was preserved ritually, which effectively commemorated patricians (originally hereditary) as an elite within the aristocracy. Cybele's cult on the Palatine was reserved for patricians. Augustus increased the number of patricians in 29 BC (RG 8.1), presumably because of serious depletion of their numbers following the civil wars. (41) Tradition dictated that other cults could be presided over by plebeians only, such as Flora, Ceres, Liber and Libera, on the Aventine.
In AD 3 a fire destroyed the Great Mother's temple. (42) Augustus (re)built it (RG 19.2). Verrius Flaccus, his freedman, was inscribing his giant calendar in Praeneste in the years AD 6-10. From him we learn that the Roman aristocracy celebrated the memory of her arrival from Phrygia to Rome by giving dinner parties for each other. (43)
Although organised by the nobility, the six-day Ludi in her honour were attended by all classes. They began on 4 April and ended on the 10th, the anniversary of the temple's dedication. (44) Ovid is less interested in the temple than in the aitia for her cult. Let's look now at his elegiac take on the Augustan Magna Mater. Following 168 lines of florid description of the eviration of Attis, the epic journey of Cybele from Phrygia to Rome, and the tale of the chaste Claudia Quinta, there is a sudden shift in narrative pace at the end (347-49):
Nasica accepit. Templi noon perstitit auctor: Augustus nunc est, ante Metellus erat.
This couplet is arresting. Erato, the narrator, meant it to be: substitit hic Erato. mora fit (349). As Fantham (1998 ad loc.) noticed, the senate's hero (vir optimus P. Cornelius Scipio) Nasica, who received the Idaean Mother into Rome, is 'dismissed in a half line, and the temple foundation likewise'. The same might be said about Augustus. We don't know which Metellus he means. (45) What is important is that Erato pauses after his name, and that his name is the only one repeated subsequently (351). Unlike Nasica and Augustus, the Caecilii Metelli were of plebeian stock.
Why is Caesar suddenly invoked as 'Augustus' now, as restorer of the temple of the Great Mother? Why is he given such short shrift? Why does Ovid pretend not to know the name of the original dedicator of the temple? Livy (36.36) tells us it was one M. Iunius Brutus. This is a name to evoke powerful associations. His namesake was the praetor of 44, initially a protege, then assassin, of Julius Caesar. Some would remember this M. Iunius Brutus as a tyrannicide and liberator, others as a traitor and murderer. Because of the Roman custom of damnatio memoriae, one must suspect that Ovid's obliteration of his name puts him into the latter camp.
Much fine work has been devoted to analysing the literary and political traditions behind Ovid's celebration of the Great Mother (179-372). (46) Here I will focus on the Roman quest for her from Mount Ida, and the Claudia Quinta section, to extract information as to the nature of the cult which might give some clue as to why Ovid has chosen to name 'Augustus' here instead of his habitual 'Caesar' in his poetry thus far.
First, Erato is the Muse selected to tell the story. She volunteered to speak for Cybele in Venus' month because her name is derived from tender love (195-96; AA 2.16). Through her, Ovid gives notice that what follows is to be an elegiac remodelling of a familiar story. (47) Erato relates the terrible revenge wrought by Cybele on the handsome youth Attis for breaking his vow of chastity as the aition for her attendants' self-castration (220-46). Next, as dux operis (247), she gives the origins of, and the reason for, the Phrygian mother's presence in Rome. The Great Mother nearly came with Aeneas from Troy but felt the time was not yet ripe. After five centuries a sacerdos consulted the Sibylline books which read: Mater abest: Matrem iubeo, Romane, requires | cum veniet, casta est accipienda manu (259-60). The senate was uncomprehending as to who was meant and where she was. (48) The Delphic Apollo had to spell it out for them (26364). Nobles (proceres) (49) were sent to fetch her at Mount Ida, but King Attalus refused them. A miracle occurred (mira canam): the Goddess herself was forced to speak for herself and override him. Attalus concedes: in Phrygios Roma refertur avos (272; cf. 119-24). Thus the Mother is released and begins her epic journey to Rome.
By now it is clear that the Roman aristocracy is not coming out well in Erato's fabulous story. The Muse continues: the Great Mother arrived at Ostia where omnis equites mistaque gravis plebe senatus ('all the equites mixed up with the plebs and grave senators') greeted her (293). In the era that Erato's tale is supposed to have taken place, the equites were not a recognised civilian ordo, (50) so Ovid, as eques, is retrospectively giving his own class publicity here. The traditional phrase denoting the orders was senatus populusque (as in the Fasti Praenestini: a senatu populoque Romano paterpatriae appellatus). (51) Augustus included the equites at RG 35.1: senatus et equester ordo populusque Romanus universus (cf. 2.127-28). However, the Princeps sometimes reversed the word-order to emphasise the role of the people, as at RG 5.1: a populo et a senatu, and at RG 8.1: iussi populi et senatus. (52)
This, then, is what Ovid/Erato is doing at line 293: emphasising the presence of the plebs in the Roman welcoming party for the Great Mother. But not all of the female population is represented. The party included matres nataeque nurusque ('mothers and daughters and brides', 295). We first met this class of women on 1 April (4.133): they wore the headband and long gown, signifying their respectability; the second class of women, who did not, i.e. the showgirls/prostitutes (4.134) are absent. (53) Presumably their lack of chastity would condemn them in the eyes of the Idaean Mother.
Now Erato introduces Claudia Quinta. Her impeccable Claudian nobility, matched by her beauty, was unquestionable. Her chastity, however, was questionable. Her sophisticated lifestyle and fashion awareness told against her, as did her ready tongue for erect old men (305-10). Erato's description cultus et ornatis varie prodisse capillis is similar to Propertius' advice to Cynthia to moderate her appearance (1.2.1), advice moreover, repeated verbatim by the lena Acanthis to a courtesan (Cynthia?) about avoiding the words of penniless poets in order to gain the greatest material reward for her favours (4.5.55-56). Erato's Claudia differs markedly from Propertius' Claudia, on the other hand, who is invoked as guarantor of the noble Cornelia's lifelong fidelity to her husband (4.11.51-52).
By echoing Propertius, Erato is stoking the rumor iniquus (307) about her protagonist's sexual status. She adds: nos in vitium credula turba sumus (312). No wonder Claudia must step forward (313) and supplicate the Great Mother to prove her innocence. With the story of Attis and ira deae still fresh (230), we know the risk she takes. But the Great Mother vindicates her. Claudia effortlessly dislodges her bogged down ship which had stubbornly resisted the strength of men, and Cybele follows her as she tows it. Erato proclaims: mira, sed et scaena testificata loquar (326). We now know where Ovid's Muse got her information. Claudia leads the procession amid rejoicing and festivity and delivers the Great Mother to Nasica. (54)
Barchiesi aptly describes Erato's account as a 'series of signals of uncertainty', which keep doubts about Claudia's chastity well to the fore. (55) He reminds us we are not listening to an impartial voice but to the Muse of erotic poetry: Erato's personal interest is in 'defending a puella who is being persecuted on account of her "elegiac" lifestyle'. But he interprets Erato's claim that the story came from the stage as meaning that it is 'a tall story', one that is not close to the truth.
The miraculous story can't be true, but the sexual status of Erato's ambiguous Claudia with her 'elegiac' lifestyle, might be close to the truth. Claudia's miracle, performed on the stage, means that it must have been part of the annual celebration of the Megalesia, probably a mime, a dramatic form which overlapped with the genres of literature. (56) The similarity between Claudia and the elegiac domina in Propertius drawn by Erato (57) bears this out. It seems to me that the role of Erato's Claudia is played by a mima/meretrix at the ludi scaenici. (Prostitutes had a holiday in the Julian calendar on 24 April. Their pimps' holiday was on the day after). (58) Like Epicharis, the young freedwoman who starred in 'the games of the nobles' at fourteen, (59) she belongs to that class of woman not permitted in the welcoming party. Her triumph is that she stars as Claudia herself. It is this dual aspect of the stage character that Ovid brings to the fore. It is a jocular antidote to Cicero's Claudia (matronarum castissima) and the Ludi Megalenses, performed in ipso matris magnae conspectu ... qui sunt ... maxime casti, sollemnes, religiosi ... (60) The Idaean Mother may be fooled, but the theatre audience is not. (61)
In the closing sequence (349-72), Erato provides supplementary aitia, three of which highlight the more popular Roman rituals attached to the cult, which possibly originated with Metellus. There is no mention that the exchange of private house invitations was an aristocratic custom as there is in the Praenestine calendar. The anti-aristocratic elements which emerge from Erato's history of the Great Mother's cult echo similar anti-senatorial themes in Ovid's plebeian festival of Anna Perenna on the Ides of March, and the Floralia, celebrated in April/May. (62) When associated with the plebeian cults, or with Julius Caesar, Augustus is 'Caesar'. In this aristocratic cult, the first in the calendar, Caesar is 'Augustus'. Why?
It is likely that Ovid is sticking elegiac pins into the cult of the Claudii at a time when the adoptions of AD 4 had catapulted the ancient gens into new dynastic prominence. (63) Ovid's Claudia, a descendant of Clausus of old (305; Verg. Aen. 7.707), is ancestress of Augustus' wife Livia, and his new heir, the Claudian and Optimate politician, Tiberius. When the Great Mother's temple was destroyed in AD 3, Augustus immediately rebuilt it, as Ovid's abrupt Augustus nunc est suggests. Meanwhile, the ruins of the ancient plebeian temples of Flora, Ceres, Liber and Libera languished on the Aventine. They had burned down in 31 but had not been included in his temple restoration program of 28 BC. (64) They still had not been restored as Ovid was composing his calendar, as he mentions neither of them in his celebration of their ludi. (65) The popularis sympathies of the poet, which pervade the Fasti and his poetic corpus in general, lurk behind this elegiac rendition of the swiftly restored temple cult of the Magna Mater. Does 'Augustus' here mean that Ovid refuses to associate the name 'Caesar' with this, or any other, aristocratic cult? A signal of social protest, perhaps?
Augustus reverts to Caesar again on 14 April, the anniversary of his victory at Mutina (43 BC). At that time he had been Caesar for just one year, so the appellation is chronologically accurate. The stormy weather notice is followed by a bald statement (4.627-28):
sit licet (66) et fuerit, tamen hac Mutinensia Caesar grandine militia perculit arma sua. Although that is so, Caesar--in this day's hail,--smashed the arms of Mutina with his troops. (67)
But in the connecting notice, on 15 April, 'Augustus' suddenly reappears. Following the Fordicidia, we find Cytherea commanding the day to end faster (4.675-76):
ut titulum imperii cum primum luce sequenti augusto iuveni prospera bella darent. so that the next day the young Augustus might sooner receive the title 'imperator'.
It is possible to read 'the young Augustus' or the 'august young man' at 676. Had 'Augustus' not been invoked once before, in relation to the Magna Mater, the epithet would have been the more likely choice. The ambiguity serves to absolve Ovid of the charge of anachronism. If read as 'Augustus', the irony is that the bearer of that name would look forward to the title imperator, when it was precisely the reverse situation that had occurred in 27 BC. The question is, why does Ovid invoke the great name here, when the context does not require it at all?
The battle of Mutina was part of the civil wars following Caesar's assassination. The mention of Mutina cannot disguise the fact, despite the absence of Antony's name. Propertius had associated 'magnus Caesar' with the civilia busta of Mutina (2.1.25-27). The terseness of Ovid's notice makes for an interesting comparison with another notice of civil war on 6 April, the battle of Thapsus, won by Julius Caesar (4.377-82).
Ovid depicts it as a foreign war. Ovid omits two other civil wars of Caesar's: the battle of Munda on 17 March 45 BC, probably because no foreigner was involved; and the battle of Alexandria on 27 March 47 BC, probably because Caesar's liaison with Cleopatra was to prove a liability to his heir, who needed the foreign queen as a pretext for the war against Antony. She is represented by periculum in the reconstructed Fasti Praenestini for 1 August. (68)
In his notice of the victory against 'armies of Mutina' (627), on the other hand, Ovid cannot name a foreign foe but registers the anniversary anyway. In this war against the Caesarian pro-consul Antonius, Caesar's heir had collaborated with D. Iunius Brutus Albinus, a former favourite, then assassin, of Caesar. (69) The dead Caesar's loyalists, bent on avenging his death, must have despaired at witnessing such treachery in their hero's heir, the more so that he was rewarded with the title of Imperator as a result. Is this what Ovid means by prospera bella (676)? We remember that, in 49 BC, Ovid's home town Sulmo had tipped the scales in Caesar's favour by welcoming Antonius. Is the appearance of 'Augustus' on this occasion the second hint of reproach of Caesar's heir?
On 21 April, the name of Caesar evolves into one of dynasty (4.859-62):
cuncta regas et sis magno sub Caesare semper, saepe etiam plures nominis huius habe; et, quotiens steteris domito sublimis in orbe, omnia sint humeris inferiora tuis. Rule the universe, O Rome and may you ever be subject to (a) great Caesar, and may you often have several of that name; and whenever you stand sublime in a conquered world may all else reach not up to your shoulders. (70)
Ovid's exhortation to Rome on her birthday follows the story exonerating Romulus of fratricide at the urbis origo (4.807-58). (71) This Romulus is very different from the archaic brute whom Remus accuses at 2.133ff. (At 3.69-70 the killer is not named, but Celer is the culprit again at 5.469). For the first time he is invoked as rex, even before Remus is killed, implying that his monarchy was predestined (4.827, 845). He prays for the gods' auspices, and, rejoicing in the augurio, the citizens lay the city's foundations (830, 835). The killing of Remus by Celer reveals Romulus to be an emotional, elegiac king, who, sounding like Catullus (68.19-20, 9192; 101.6, 10), grieves and weeps copiously at the death of his brother (4.849-52).
As in the Pater Patriae passage at 2.119ff., any expectation of finding the name Augustus as Rome's second founder on 21 April is again thwarted. Instead, or even predictably now, we find Caesar again, i.e. magnus ... Caesar--which was, as we saw before (4.123-24: magnus Iuleos Caesar haberet avos), invoked by Romulus as a dynastic link to his Julian past. Now, the focus is on the future of the dynasty. Whether we read magno sub Caesare as definite or indefinite, it is the name of Caesar that Ovid prays for. The plural plures nominis huius probably refers to the recent influx of Caesares following the adoptions of AD 4, (72) but events revealed that Augustus was merely garnering several 'spares' as a guarantee for a single, not plural succession. It is unlikely, too, that Ovid envisaged a dual succession: elegiac Romulus was a monarch, and so, too, each of his successors will be, a 'magnus Caesar'. We remember that the auctor of this mighty lineage is the god, (Gaius Julius) Caesar (3.156-57). 'Augustus' finds no place in this elegiac scheme.
'Augustus' reappears on 12 May, devoted to his Forum and the Temple of Mars Ultor. Ovid tells us what Mars Ultor saw as he descended from on high:
Ultor ad ipse suos caelo descendit honores templaque in Augusto conspicienda foro. Et deus est ingens et opus: debebat in urbe non aliter nati Mars habitare sui. (5. 551-54) ... spectat et Augusto praetextum nomine templum, et visum lecto Caesare maius opus. (5.567-68) The Avenger himself descends from heaven to his own honours, and his conspicuous temple in the Augustan Forum: the god is huge and so is the monument; in no other way should Mars live in his son's city. ... He also sees the temple striped with the name Augustus, and the monument seems even greater when he has read Caesar's name.
The first 'Augustus' is adjectival, identifying the Forum. The second might be also ('an august name'), but as Caesar's name was never 'august', either in fact or in Ovid's writing, 'the name Augustus' with its shock comparatio effect, has the greater impact. Mars' survey of Roman history from Aeneas and Romulus (559-68), through to the name of the current ruler, subverts the topos of panegyric. The process of growth and expansion culminates, not in the climactic name 'Augustus', itself meaning increase, but in 'Caesar'. (73) Mars Ultor's maius opus is Caesar. As Caesar is contained in the same syntactical case as Augustus, it is clear that both names refer to the same individual. Why then, does the huge god claim his huge temple is maius for seeing the ruler's inherited cognomen, rather than his honorific cognomen?
The temple of Mars Ultor in the Forum of Augustus, designed to glorify Augustus and his family, was an aristocratic cult. Opened in 2 BC, it was later described by Pliny as the most beautiful building in the world. (74) It was built on Augustus' private property out of war booty. (75) A massive stone firewall separated the building from the Subura, a notorious lowclass area where Julius Caesar had once lived before he became Pontifex Maximus. (76) The firewall thus symbolised a class division between this cult and Caesar's power base. Ovid records that the temple in the Augustan forum was a focus for Rome's ongoing military campaign against assailants from east or west, was a centre for military ceremonial, and a showcase of arms and armoury from conquered lands (5.555-66). Suetonius (29.2) and Dio (55.10.2-8) concur. Dio (55.10.5) includes the detail that senators were, among other duties, responsible for the temple's guardianship.
The epic tone of the passage, conveying Mars' massive size and warlike nature, complements the aristocratic ideal. (77) It marks a contrast with Ovid's earlier depictions of Mars, in which the god bears elegiac characteristics (e.g. 3.171-72, 677-96; 5.255-60). Now in his Julian guise as Ultor, Mars is an epic god. Mars venit et veniens bellica signa dedit (550), he is Gradivus who waged fera ... bella (556), he is armipotens (559). Ovid highlights the elite nature of this cult in other ways. Newlands (78) notes that the verb praetextum 'may hint at Augustus' predominance as the supreme magistrate of the Roman state by playing off the resonance of the verb with the toga praetexta, the mark of senatorial authority.' Barchiesi, too, (79) suggests that Mars views the inscription 'like the purple stripe of the toga praetexta the official garment that was the generic marker of the scenic celebrations of victory and communal salvation (fabulae praetextae or praetextatae).' The serious dramatic nature of a 'performance sanctioning a victory' indeed ties in with Ovid's final reference to Mars' solemn games held in the circus: the stage did not seem appropriate for the mighty god (597-98).
The two aitia Ovid provides for the Ultor cult are: first, the young Caesar's vow at Philippi (569-78), and secondly, the recovery of Roman legionary standards from Parthia (579-95). This latter cause was commonly known as its raison d'etre, but the vow was not. It makes its first historical appearance in Ovid's entry for 12 May. (80) The climactic 'Caesar' at line 568 points to the name of the subject iuvenis of the next and subsequent lines as we hear him quote it verbatim. Ovid makes the young Caesar declaim in epic tones, (81) invoking, as justification for civil war, the authority of his father Caesar as Pontifex Maximus, author and divinity (Vestaeque sacerdos | auctor ... numen, 573-74). This is the dutiful divi filius speaking. We had been introduced to these aspects of his father Caesar before, on 5 February, the proem to March, 6 March, and the Ides of March. We hear again that pater Caesar was the son's inspiration for taking up pia arma (cf. his iusta arma at 3.710), and learn now that the son needed to start this way as Princeps (569-70). We have already heard what he had done to the murderers of the Pontifex Maximus at 3.705-10.
Ovid's epic on the Mars-backed civil war revenge for Caesar's death so late in the first Principate is intriguing, (82) even ominous. From the available epigraphy and iconography of the partially excavated ruins, there is nothing to indicate that the temple was a monument to civil war victory. It is the title of Pater Patriae, inscribed by senatorial decree under the quadriga at the centre of the precinct, which is, in Augustus' estimation, the climactic title of the complex (RG 35). The projection of this moralistic, paternal role possibly served to disarm or neutralise the overtly militaristic character of the cult. Ovid ignores it in this context entirely, possibly for the opposite reason: he thought it might have distracted from, or compromised, his warlike theme.
However, the very presence of Mars inside the pomerium was reminder enough of civil war. Vitruvius (1.7.1) records that Mars had traditionally been kept outside the city wall to fend off foreign foes rather than to stir dissent among the Roman citizenry. Before Augustus installed him in the city as Ultor, Vergil had described the war god as impius (Georg. 1.511). Ovid deflects this characteristic from Mars now by attaching it to Rome's foreign aggressors (557). It could be Mars' presence within the city itself that inspired Ovid's literary credo on the significance of the revenge of Caesar's heir for the assassination of his father, and the part it played in launching his career as Princeps.
On the anniversary of Mars Ultor, Ovid is reminding Caesar's heir of his long-forgotten debt to Julius Caesar. It seems he thought Augustus was not quite mindful of it enough in the post-AD 4 years. He was not wrong. Reading his Res Gestae, one never reads of Augustus' debt to Caesar or his name. The war of revenge for his murder is relegated to a brief notice in Chapter Two, as if it were tangential to his rise to power, which is attributed to senatorial endorsement as detailed in Chapter One. The names of the republican consuls, Hirtius and Pansa, are there. Caesar's name is missing.
'Augustus' appears no more in Ovid's pre-exilic books. He reverts to 'Caesar' again as exemplary judge and censor (6.645-48), as conqueror (6.764) and as kinsman of Marcia (6.809).
'Augustus' from Tomis
The Fasti as a whole was originally composed and dedicated sub nomine, Caesar (T. 2.551-52), but Book 1 was largely revised after the death of Augustus in AD 14. The poet's circumstances had changed radically since the composition of Books 2-6; now he was an outcast and suppliant, desperate to return to Rome. The new emperor and Pontifex Maximus was Tiberius. Ovid overlooked him and rededicated his calendar to his heir, the popularis prince, Germanicus, because he invested his hopes of recall in him (Pont. 4.8.31ff.). Germanicus was an augur, not a pontifex. (83) He had no official interest in the Roman calendar, although he would be expected to do so in future, when he succeeded Tiberius. (84) Perhaps that's why Ovid adopts a didactic stance to acquaint the young prince with the intricacies of the calendar from the outset (7-8.145-62).
Book 1, representing January, contains the anniversary of the day on which the senate had granted Imperator Caesar the honorific cognomen which elevated him above the rest of Roman society. A study of 'Caesar' and 'Augustus' in this book will be a useful comparison to make with Ovid's treatment in the pre-exilic books to gauge whether this is a shift in the poet's perception of the imperial domus.
The first name to appear in the proem is Caesar--attached now to the cognomen Germanicus (3). Ovid tells Caesar Germanicus that he will find in the poem his festa domestica and often read of his pater and avus. Their prizes (praemia), which adorn the painted calendars, he will win along with Drusus, his frater (9-12). A double dose of Caesar (Caesaris arma canant alii: nos Caesaris aras, 13) rounds off the composition of the imperial domus as Ovid describes it after AD 14.
'Augustus' is missing, but he is present as avus. Specifying the senior family connections to Germanicus avoids confusion between the names of the first and second princeps, but only if the poet prefers 'Caesar' over 'Augustus' as he and Mars Ultor had done in his earlier books. This must be the case, for 'Augustus' would have avoided any ambiguity. Ovid has invoked the name Drusus to distinguish him from Germanicus' blood-brother Claudius, who had not been included in the adoptions of AD 4, and so was not a Caesar. The laudes tuorum Ovid promises (15) are of Caesars. The imperial family in this proem comprise the house of Caesar, not Augustus. This is consistent with Ovid's prayer for a dynasty of Caesars at 4.859-60.
The glaring omission from the family is the man who gave this house its name, great-grandfather Julius. His absence, plus Ovid's promise to praise Caesar's ara rather than arma, suggests a programmatic exclusion of the first Caesar over whom wars of divine retribution and succession had been waged by his heir in the earlier books. This promise would not have worked in the proem to Book 2, containing Ovid's poetics couched in military terms to serve a militaristic Caesar given little respite from pacifying enemies (2.9-18). The deified pater and auctor of the domus Iulia, the Pontifex Vestae and author of the Julian calendar, has disappeared. He is even erased from the history of the calendar explained to his great-grandson at 1.27-44 (cf. 3.55-58). The name 'Caesar' has been converted into a gentilicium. (85) The divi filius of the domus Iulia has now morphed into the ancestor of the Caesarian dynasty. The ille at line 14, therefore, can only refer to the days he, not Julius Caesar, added to the sacred rites. In a calendrical context, Ovid continues to prefer the name Caesar bequeathed to his heir in 44, rather than the monstrous name granted to him by the senate in 27 BC.
The name of the dynasty changes dramatically on 11 January, the feast of the Carmentalia (1.461ff.). Arriving up the Tiber with Evander to the future site of Rome, the Arcadian Carmentis foretells the coming of Aeneas, his sacred father and the sacred emblems to Latium and predicts that one day, a god himself will tend Vesta's rites (519-30). She concludes her prophecy, culminating in the apotheosis of Julia Augusta (531-36):
Et penes Augustos patriae tutela manebit: hanc fas imperii frena tenere domum. Inde nepos natusque dei, licet ipse recuset, pondera caelesti mente paterna feret. Utque ego perpetuis olim sacrabor in aris, sic Augusta novum Iulia numen erit. And with the house of the Augusti the guardianship of the fatherland shall remain: it is ordained that this house should hold the reins of empire. From there the grandson and son of a god, though he himself refuse it, shall bear with heavenly mind the burden which his father bore. And as I shall one day be consecrated in perpetual altars, so shall Augusta Iulia be a new divinity.
January 13 is the first we hear of the domus Augusta in the Fasti. The imperial house, framed by 'Caesar' in the proem, is now framed with the plural 'Augusti' and the name/epithet 'Augusta'. Which individual is identifiable as Augustus himself is not immediately apparent, as it is hanc domum (532) which is the focus. The individuals representing its generational continuity are identified by nepos natusque dei (533). The question of their identities has triggered some controversy amongst modern readers, much of it based on little more than guesswork. (86) Some regard the god as happily ambiguous (Caesar or Augustus), and that the son and grandson can be read as either singular (Tiberius only) or plural (with Germanicus) interchangeably, without affecting the meaning of the text. The distinctions are important, however, because they provide a thematic link and sense of continuity between the proem, this passage and 13 January, as well as highlighting a shift in concept of the imperial domus from the earlier books of the Fasti.
The deus in question is unlikely to be divus Iulius as he is not even avus of the Caesars in the proem. And now Carmentis excludes him from her dynastic prophecy by omitting Aeneas' son and the felix nomen Iuli and the domus Iulia descended from Teucrian ancestors (cf. 4.35-40). Carmentis orders Vesta to receive Ilium's gods, and anticipates a time when a god himself will perform Vesta's rites. Had we taken our cue from 6 and 15 March, we might have expected this to signify a conflation of two gods, Caesar senior and junior, but Carmentis again excludes Divus Julius with her prediction that it is with the Augusti that the safety of the fatherland will reside. Furthermore, Livia, the subject of this panegyric, has no connection with Caesar, even though she became a Julian by adoption. She is Augusta, and as Caesar never was 'Augustus' he cannot belong to this house. It is as if Ovid is just as reluctant to associate the name of Caesar with his heir's new name 'Augustus' as he had been in the earlier books. (87)
With Caesar eliminated, the god can only be Livia's late husband, divus Augustus, upon whose death she became Julia Augusta. (88) As in the proem, Ovid declines to name him, but he belongs to the same inter-generational trio. Just as importantly, his grandson and son at 1.533 are also the grandson and son of Julia Augusta, the subject of this panegyric. It was through Augustus' adoption of Tiberius and Germanicus in AD 4 that Livia finally acquired the succession for her own line and the security of dynastic entitlement over two generations. Their existence was essential to her elevation as Augusta. Drusus, Germanicus' frater in the proem and also her grandson, has now disappeared. He is not destined to inherit the great name. Only past, present and future Augusti (nepos natusque dei) belong to this house. (89) Julia Augusta is the matriarch. She is honoured above all by Carmentis, in that she alone is identified by name.
In this panegyric, the Augusti point the way to Augusta. The former chaste, subservient wife of Books 5 and 6 (5.148-58; 6.637-48) has now grown into the head of the dynastic nexus and incipient goddess. The matriarchal theme Ovid has elicited from the ancient myth of Carmentis, a mere nymph in the Aeneid (8.333-41) but now deemed genetrix (479) and dea (586), anticipates the growth in status of her present-day counterpart. (90) It is a status that will make Livia comparable to Venus genetrix and Juno on 16 January (1.649-50). Ovid's Carmentalia on 11 January is a panegyric to one whom he hoped would help secure his recall. The 'Augusti' who serve that purpose also anticipate the anniversary of the name 'Augustus'.
Ovid selects the Ides of January, the day sacred to Jupiter, as the anniversary of the great name, although 16 January was the day on which Imperator Caesar became Augustus (1.587-616). Ovid addresses Germanicus directly for the second time in the poem, informing him that, because every province was restored to 'our people' (91) his grandfather was named Augustus (590). The generational continuity is thus signalled again, anticipating and recalling the trio in the proem (1.10) and on 11 January (5.533). The panegyrical preamble comprises a roll-call of cognomina ex virtute in Roman history, many hereditary, including that of Drusus, who bequeathed to his son the name Germanicus (597). These names (among which 'Caesar' is included, but does not naturally belong) (92) are all human honours, and distinguishable from the great name which ranks with Jove, with its divine and augural connotations (611-12). 'Augustus' is unprecedented, in other words. The panegyric culminates in a prayer for good auspices for the present-day heir of the cognomen of the ruler of the world.
Like the panegyric to the Augusti and Julia Augusta, it is not immediately clear which individuals of the domus are meant here, as the focus is on the name itself, its etymology and its hereditary power. 'Augustus' is invoked just once in the eulogy--as Germanicus' grandfather (590). Had the name been repeated at 608, one would assume that his grandfather was intended again. Instead, it is substituted by the anonymous hic which leaves room for the possibility that it is Germanicus' father who now bears the name. The following couplet (609-10),
sancta vocant augusta patres, augusta vocantur templa sacerdotum rite dicata manu Holy things are called august by the senate, august is what temples are called when they have been dedicated by priestly hands.
must allude to the senate's decreeing of the name to Caesar in 27 BC, but being couched in abstract terms, as it is here, suggests it was not conferred upon this particular individual. (93) This individual's priestly hands, which dedicate august temples and who is invoked as dux at 613, point along a linguistic trail which leads straight to Tiberius, the dux who manifests 'Augustan' qualities in dedicating the temple of Concord on 16 January (640, 646, 648). His sacred hands at 610 and 640 are the sacred hands of a dux and pontifex maximus, just like those of his predecessor, Caesar's heir, at 3.427-28. As Tiberius is the current 'Augustus', it follows that vestras at 614 is a joint address to Tiberius and Germanicus, and that the heres to the great surname at the end is Germanicus.
The imperial house has undergone a name change in the revised Book 1. It began with Caesar Germanicus and the house of Caesar. (This may be to connect it with Books 2-6, where the domus Iulia ruled). It ends with Germanicus, not named, but subsumed into the domus Augusta on 11 and 13 January, where he is hailed as the heir to the great cognomen. The two passages invoking the Augustan name are structured for the purpose of incorporating and eulogising two members of the house, neither of whom belonged in the calendar in their own right at that time. Ovid must look beyond the current regime for that purpose. Ovid's domus Augusta is much more narrowly defined than the house praised in the senatus consultum de Cn. Pisone patre (20 BC), (94) which embraces as many names as possible. Instead, the poet focuses his attention upon those whom he supplicates as mediators with the Princeps from exile.
Neither 'Caesar', nor 'Augustus', nor Germanicus, is invoked again, and the domus is not named again. It is only alluded to (701 and 721), both in connection with the theme of peace which permeates the reworking of Book 1. (95) Ovid's post-exilic 'Augustus' had served its purpose.
A study of 'Caesar' and 'Augustus' in the Fasti indicates that there was an interpretive strategy behind Ovid's choice of name. This strategy was not influenced by Propertius or his older predecessors, all of whom, in relative terms, invoked 'Augustus' more frequently than he did.
In Books 2-6, the Princeps is consistently identified as Caesar, firmly grounded in his Julian ancestry, and most often portrayed in comparatio with Julius Caesar, his model as god, father, Pontifex Maximus, auctor of the calendar and of the dynasty. The post-AD 4 crop of Caesars is ignored as superfluous to this purpose.
'Augustus', invoked just three times, is twice associated with elite cults (to which the Princeps gave precedence over the ancient plebeian cults on the Aventine), and once with the war at Mutina, (in which Caesar's avenger betrayed his cause by fighting against Antony). If Ovid researched Sulmo's partisanship of Caesar's deputy, he might have had Antony's words in mind as he was creating his protagonist: et te, o puer, qui omnia nomini debes. (96) Ovid's 'Augustus' in the earlier books is a signal that he believed Caesar's heir has betrayed his Caesarian legacy. The absence of Caesar's name in the Res Gestae confirms that he had a good case.
In the post-exilic Book 1, Ovid emphasises the godlike aspect and unprecedented nature of 'Augustus' in Roman history. The focus is not on the individual bearing the name, but on the house and its hereditary character. The poet's personal circumstances dictated his need to supplicate two members of the house whom he thought might facilitate his return to Rome.
A study of 'Caesar' and 'Augustus' in the Metamorphoses and the exilic corpus remains to be done. Among other things, it should reveal whether Ovid remained true to his Caesarian popularis politics to the end. There is plenty of scope for such a study. At Tristia, Book Two, Ovid tells a mitissimus Caesar (27) that his name was in his poetry in a thousand places, including the Metamorphoses (61-62, 65). His exaggeration serves to highlight the significance of being named by a great poet in the age of Augustus.
Barchiesi, A. 1997. The Poet and the Prince: Ovid and Augustan Discourse. Berkeley.
Barchiesi, A. 2002. 'Mars Ultor in the Forum Augustum.' In Herbert Brown 2002:1-22.
Bomer, F. 1957/1958. P. Ovidius Naso: Die Fasten, 2 vols. Heidelberg.
Boyle, AJ. & Woodard, R.D. 2000. Ovid: Fasti. Penguin Classics. London.
Cooley, A.E. 2009. Res Gestae Divi Augusti: Text Translation and Commentary. Cambridge.
Degrassi, A. 1963. Inscriptiones Italiae 13.2. Rome.
Eck, W., Caballos, A. & Fernandez, F. (edd.) 1996. Das senatus consultum de Cn. Pisone patre. Vestigia 48. Munich.
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Harrison, S.J. 1996. 'Vergil Aeneid 1.286: Julius Caesar or Augustus?' PLLS 9:127-133.
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Herbert-Brown, G. (ed.) 2002. Ovid's Fasti: Historical Readings at its Bimillennium. Oxford.
Herbert-Brown, G. 2009. 'The poet, the prince and the plebs! In P.E. Knox (ed.), A Companion to Ovid, 120-139. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Chichester.
Hollis, A.S. (ed.) 1977. Ovid Ars Amatoria Book I. Oxford.
Knox, P.E. 2002. 'Representing the Great Mother to Augustus.' In Herbert-Brown 2002:155-174.
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Levick, B. 1975. 'Julians and Claudians.' G&R 22.1:29-38.
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Littlewood, R.J. 1981. 'Poetic artistry and dynastic politics: Ovid at the ludi Megalenses.' CQ 31:381-395.
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Rubincam, C. 1992. 'The nomenclature of Julius Caesar and the later Augustus in the triumviral period.' Historia 41:88-103.
Simpson, C.J. 1994. 'Reddita omnis provincia. Ratification by the people in January, 27 B.C.' In C. Deroux (ed.), Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History 7:299-309. Brussels.
Simpson, C.J. 1998. 'Imp. Caesar Divi filius: his second imperatorial acclamation and the evolution of an allegedly "exorbitant" name.' Athenaeum 86:419-437.
Simpson, C.J. 2007. 'Why March? The hereditary Julian Pontifices Maximi and the date of Julius Caesar's assassination.' Latomus 66:327-335.
Syme, R. 1939. The Roman Revolution. Oxford.
Syme, R. 1958. 'Imperator Caesar Augustus. A study in nomenclature.' Historia 7:172-188. Repr. in E. Badian (ed.), Roman Papers (Oxford 1979) 1.361-377.
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Wiseman, T.P. 1984. 'Cybele, Virgil and Augustus.' In A.J. Woodman & D. West (edd.), Poetry, Politics and the Age of Augustus, 117-128. Cambridge.
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* For Jo-Marie, a great Ovidian, generous scholar, and witty e-mailer.
(1) See Syme 1939:113: 'The use of that name ... is dubious and misleading.'
(2) For Romulus in tradition, see Herbert-Brown 1994:49-55.
(3) On the name Augustus and its religious and political implications, see Levick 2010:72-74; Todisco 2007.
(4) Cooley 2009:115.
(5) Syme 1958:176 = 1979:365; Simpson 1998; Cooley 2009:105, 115, 123.
(6) Levick 2010:24.
(7) Denarius of 38 BC: Syme 1958:179 = 1979:368; Aureus of 28 BC: Cooley 2009:259.
(8) There is only the space to focus on the poets in this essay. The way the Augustan prose writers confronted the naming game has been discussed in short compass by Rubincam (1992), and invites fuller treatment in comparison with the poets.
(9) Harrison 1996.
(10) 'Imperator' "redolent of the age of despots" was disappearing; cf. Syme 1958:185 = 1979:373.
(11) Odes 3.3.11; 3.5.3; 4.2; 4.4.27; 4.14.3; Epistle 1.3; Epistle 1.13.2; Epistle 1.16;
(12) On which, see Nisbet & Hubbard 1970:xi-xxxviii (Introduction).
(13) As Fantham points out, 'Augustus' is a molossus, admissible in Horatian lyric unless it is nominative before an initial vowel, or vocative, while 'Caesar' is an easy spondee, and dactylic in ablative or genitive before a vowel (Caesaris aras).
(14) This removed their humanity and eliminated past relations. 'Mentioning them by name brings them vividly before the eye of the reader' (Levick 2010:232-33).
(15) For the date, see Nisbet & Hubbard 1970, with discussion in Syme 1978:173.
(16) References in Cooley 2009:183.
(17) Syme 1958:174, 182 = 1979:363-64, 371.
(18) See Cooley 2009:262. The granting of 'Augustus' was celebrated on coinage minted in 19/18 BC depicting the civic crown around the text OB CIVIS SERVATOS on the reverse, and the legend CAESAR AVGVSTVS between two laurels on the obverse.
(19) Every Roman contemporary would have known that the Queen of Egypt had been Caesar's lover, had borne him a son, had lived in Rome, had been a friend of Rome. The real Caesar and victor of Pompeius Magnus would hardly have admired his heir's triumph over Cleopatra, let alone any woman, as a means of earning his Trojan/Julian stripes. But this Caesar is an elegiac Caesar, who endorses a war between the sexes and approves the conquest of man over woman. Augustus in this poem has earned his elegiac credentials with the approval of an elegiac Caesar.
(20) A denarius minted at Rome in 16 depicts on its reverse Apollo as a lyre player standing on a platform decorated with three foruli (cases for preserving the Sibylline books) between two anchors, and bearing the inscription Apollini Actio. Apollo's role at Actium fitted in with the way in which Caesar had long claimed a special relationship with the god. See Cooley 2009:184.
(21) In invoking his friend's name Ovid was fulfilling his prophecy that it would be praised after his death (Prop. 3.1.24, 35-38).
(22) Caes. BC 1.18; Cic. Ad Att. 8.4.12a.
(23) Syme 1939:363; Green 1982:16.
(24) Syme 1978:4-6.
(25) Hollis 1977:179-82 points out that Propertius' line 83 is a remarkable anticipation as Gaius and Lucius had been adopted as infants in 17 BC.
(26) The AA was written c. 1 BC; Syme 1978:19-20.
(27) Suggested by Green 1982:181ff.
(28) Hollis 1977 ad loc.
(29) Suet. Tib. 15.1; on the changes in family nomenclature see Levick 1966:227-44; 310975:29-38; 1999:49.
(30) Syme 1978:34. For a post-AD 4 proposition, see Herbert-Brown 1994:230-33.
(31) Levick 1999:116.
(32) I am not including unambiguous adjectival uses of 'Augustus' which were official names, such as augustus mensis or augusto ... foro (5.147, 552).
(33) Prompted by Hor. Epist. 2.1.124-25?
(34) The Fasti Praenestini, meanwhile (AD 6-10), and coinage commemorating the ruler as Pater Patriae, did not fail to name him 'Augustus' (sources in Cooley 2009:273-34). Even Horace, when comparing the Princeps to Jupiter in the 20s, had named him 'Augustus' (Odes 3.5.3).
(35) For which see Herbert-Brown 1994, Chapter 3.
(36) In this way Ovid transforms the Republican institution of Pontifex Maximus into an hereditary institution of monarchy: see Herbert-Brown 1994:63-80; Simpson 2007.
(37) Tac. Ann. 11.25; Suet. Aug. 2.1.
(38) Wiseman 1979:94-99 traces the historical tradition and the patrician Claudii associated with the cult.
(39) Aen. 2.693-97; 3.111-14; 6.781-87; 7.135-40; 9.77-122; 10.156-59, 252-57.
(40) Wiseman 1984:117-28; Littlewood 1981:385.
(41) Cooley 2009 ad loc.
(42) Val. Max. 1.8.11; Tac. Ann. 4.64.
(43) Fasti Praenestini, Degrassi 1963:126-27, 435.
(44) As recorded in the calendars: Degrassi 1963:438.
(45) It could have been one of four: Fantham 1998 ad loc.
(46) Wiseman 1979:94-99; Littlewood 1981; Knox 2002, with commentaries by Bomer 1957-58; Fantham 1998; Boyle 2000.
(47) Prop. 4.11.52; for comparison with Livy's version, see Fantham 1998:255-349.
(48) Fantham 1998:259-60 suggests that Ovid allows his readers a feeling of superiority to the baffled senators.
(49) See Fantham 1998 ad loc for their names.
(50) Fantham 1998 ad loc.
(51) Degrassi 1963:119, 407.
(52) Noted by Cooley 2009 ad loc.
(53) For the distinction between the two classes of women ad loc, see Herbert-Brown 2009:125-26, 128-30.
(54) See Wiseman 2002:275-76.
(55) Barchiesi 1997:196-97.
(56) Littlewood 1981:387; Wiseman 2002:281-82; Fantham 1998.
(57) Noted by Littlewood 1981:394.
(58) Degrassi 1963:131, 448. April was a busy month for them and they had to prepare for the Floralia in May.
(59) Wiseman 2002:281.
(60) Cic. Har. Resp. 27, 24.
(61) The bawdy side of the Great Mother's cult is brought out at Fasti 6.320ff. where she invites gods to her feast, but also satyrs and nymphs.
(62) Herbert-Brown 2009:131-34.
(63) Knox 2002:172 and Littlewood 1981:385 read post-AD 4 politics in Ovid's Megalesia.
(64) Dio 50.10.3; RG 20.4; Suet. Aug. 30.2.
(65) It is given priority on 28 April by the Praenestine calendar, composed in the latter half of the decade when Augustus belatedly began restoration on the Aventine temples; cf. Herbert-Brown 2009:137-38.
(66) sit licet Z. I am following Fantham ad loc.
(67) Translation Boyle 2000 ad loc.
(68) On the omission of Caesar's civil wars in the Fasti, see Herbert-Brown 1994:117-18.
(69) Levick 2010:27-28; Syme 1939:176.
(70) Adapted from Frazer's translation ad loc.
(71) Other versions are listed in Boyle 2000:xli.
(72) Fantham 1998 ad loc.
(73) Prop. 4.6.38: Augustus was maior than his Trojan forebears.
(74) H.N. 36.24.102.
(75) RG 21.1; Suet. Aug. 56.2 (probably from Egypt, given the extraordinary expense involved).
(76) Suet. Iul. 46.
(77) Maius opus is alsoVergil's label for a militarised second half of Aeneid (7.45).
(78) Newlands 1995:101.
(79) Barchiesi 2002:8-11.
(80) Herbert-Brown 1994:98ff., where it is proposed that the vow was invented post AD 4. The second is from Suetonius (Aug. 29.2), who might have got it from Ovid.
(81) Barchiesi 1997:127 shows that the vow echoes solemn vendettas in the epic poetry of Ennius (Ann. 95 Sk.) and Vergil (Aen. 12.949).
(82) Syme 1978:190-91 sees the high profile of Caesar in Ovid's poetry at this time as 'noteworthy'.
(84) Tac. Ann. 1.62, 83; ILS 107.
(84) Although as the author of a learned poem on the astrological year, Germanicus might have been regarded by Ovid as an appropriate substitute dedicatee.
(85) Imperator Caesar had discarded the gentilicium of the Julii decades earlier: Syme 1958:176 = 1979:365.
(86) For various readings see Green 2004 ad loc.
(87) That Ovid culminates the panegyric with Iulia, not Augusta, however, is striking, perhaps reminiscent of Mars' preference for Caesar over Augustus on 12 May. The gens Iulia is otherwise not mentioned in Book 1. There is not the space to investigate further here.
(88) Tac. Ann. 1.8.
(89) Tiberius inherited the name 'Augustus' in his father's will (Suet. Tib. 26.2); Ovid refers to Tiberius as Augustus at Ex Pont. 4.9.70.
(90) See Herbert-Brown 1994:159-62.
(91) Ignoring the senate (RG 34), and the fact that he subsequently took back control of some provinces: see Cooley 2009 ad loc. For commemoration of the senatorial stage and not the popular ratification, see Simpson 1994.
(92) It was not an honorific cognomen. The identity of this Caesar is controversial (Green 2004:599-600), but I still tend to believe it is Julius, as unlike his heir he was unique in refusing to emulate others in adopting an ostentatious cognomen.
(93) Contrast 4.949-50, where a direct connection between a senatorial decree and the installation of Vesta on the Palatine is made.
(94) In Eck, Caballos & Fernandez 1996.
(95) Fantham 1985:258ff.
(96) Quoted by Cic. Phil. 13.24.
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