Augustus Bears Disgrace Poorly


“He bore the deaths of his family more readily than their disgraces. For, although he was not wholly broken by the deaths of Gaius and Lucius, he pronounced his judgment on his daughter Julia by having a letter read to the senate by a quaestor, and he long abstained from human interaction from shame, while even contemplating her execution. Indeed, at that same time, he heard that a freedwoman named Phoebe, one of Julia’s associates in debauchery, had ended her life by hanging herself, Augustus said that he wish he had been Phoebe’s father rather than Julia’s.”

Aliquanto autem patientius mortem quam dedecora suorum tulit. Nam C. Lucique casu non adeo fractus, de filia absens ac libello per quaestorem recitato notum senatui fecit abstinuitque congressu hominum diu prae pudore, etiam de necanda deliberavit. Certe cum sub idem tempus una ex consciis liberta Phoebe suspendio vitam finisset, maluisse se ait Phoebes patrem fuisse.

Suetonius, Divus Augustus 65

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