The Senate Loved Augustus for His Virtue, Clemency, Justice and Piety. Truly.

Yesterday we posted a bit from Ovid’s Tristia where he appears to be a little less than sincere in his lament from exile. Today, here’s a bit from the man who allegedly exiled him–Augustus Caesar–which I do wish were a little more ironic. The full Greek and Latin texts are drawn from the Loeb and made available online by Lacus Curtius.

“In my sixth and seventh consulships [28-27 BCE], after I had ended the civil wars and had achieved power over everything by universal consensus, I returned the state from my control to the guidance of the senate and Roman people. For this, the senate decreed that I would be named Augustus: the door posts of my house were decorated with laurel; a public crown was put up over my doorway, and a golden shield was dedicated in the Curia Julia, whose inscription declared that the senate and people of Rome gave it to me to recognize my virtue, clemency, justice and piety. After that moment, I stood apart from all other men in authority, but I had no more power than those who were my associates in any magistracy.”

In consulatu sexto et septimo, postquam bella civilia exstinxeram, per consensum universorum potitus rerum omnium, rem publicam ex mea potestate in senatus populique Romani arbitrium transtuli. Quo pro merito meo senatus consulto Augustus appellatus sum et laureis postes aedium mearum vestiti publice coronaque civica super ianuam meam fixa est et clupeus aureus in curia Iulia positus, quem mihi senatum populumque Romanum dare virtutis clementiaeque et iustitiae et pietatis caussa testatum est per eius clupei inscriptionem. Post id tempus auctoritate omnibus praestiti, potestatis autem nihilo amplius habui quam ceteri qui mihi quoque in magistratu conlegae fuerunt.

34 Ἑν ὑπατείαι ἔκτηι καὶ ἑβδόμηι μετὰ τὸ τοὺς ἐνφυλίους ζβέσαι με πολέμους κατὰ τὰς εὐχὰς τῶν ἐμῶν πολειτῶν ἐνκρατὴς γενόμενος πάντων τῶν πραγμάτων, ἐκ τῆς ἐμῆς ἐξουσίας εἰς τὴν τῆς συν κλήτου καὶ τοῦ δήμου τῶν Ῥωμαίων μετήνεγκα κυριήαν. Ἐξ ἧς αἰτίας δόγματι συνκλήτου Σεβαστὸς προσηγορεύθην καὶ δάφναις δημοσίαι τὰ πρόπυλά μου ἐστέφθη, ὅ τε δρύινος στέφανος ὁ διδόμενος ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ τῶν πολειτῶν ὑπεράνω τοῦ πυλῶ2 νος τῆς ἐμῆς οἰκίας ἀνετέθη, ὅπλον τε χρυσοῦν ἐν τῶι βουλευτηρίωι ἀνατεθὲν ὑπό τε τῆς συνκλήτου καὶ τοῦ δήμου τῶν Ῥωμαίων διὰ τῆς ἐπιγραφῆς ἀρετὴν καὶ ἐπείκειαν καὶ δικαιοσύνην καὶ εὐσέβειαν ἐμοὶ μαρτυρεῖ. Ἀξιώμὰτι πάντων διήνεγκα, § ἐξουσίας δὲ οὐδέν τι πλεῖον ἔσχον τῶν συναρξάντων μοι.

“I’m Kind of a Big Deal”: Augusuts’ Res Gestae on Pirates, Slaves, Consuls and Priests

Res Gestae 25 (Column V)

“I cleared the sea of pirates. The nearly thirty thousand slaves who fled their masters in the war and carried arms against the Republic, I captured and handed over to their masters to be punished. All of Italy willingly swore an oath to me and requested me as leader in the war at Actium in which I prevailed. They swore the same oath to me in the provinces of Gaul, Hispania, Africa, Sicily and Sardinia. More than seven hundred senators were among those who marched under my banners at the time and among those eighty-three served as consul and 170 have been priests either before or after as of the day on which this is written.”

Mare pacavi a praedonibus. Eo bello servorum qui fugerant a dominis suis et arma contra rem publicam ceperant triginta fere millia capta dominis ad supplicium sumendum tradidi. Iuravit in mea verba tota Italia sponte sua, et me belli quo vici ad Actium ducem depoposcit; iuraverunt in eadem verba provinciae Galliae, Hispaniae, Africa, Sicilia, Sardinia. Qui sub signis meis tum militaverint fuerunt senatores plures quam DCC, in iis qui vel antea vel postea consules facti sunt ad eum diem quo scripta sunt haec LXXXIII, sacerdotes circiter CLXX

Θάλασσαν πειρατευομένην ὑπὸ ἀποστατῶν δούλων εἰρήνευσα· ἐξ ὧν τρεῖς που μυριάδας τοῖς  δεσπόταις εἰς κόλασιν παρέδωκα. § Ὤμοσεν εἰς τοὺς ἐμοὺς λόγους ἅπασα ἡ Ἰταλία ἑκοῦσα κἀ18 μὲ πολέμου, ὧι ἐπ᾽ Ἀκτίωι ἐνείκησα, ἡγεμόνα ἐξῃτήσατο. Ὤμοσαν εἰς τοὺς αὐτοὺς λόγους ἐπαρ20 χεῖαι Γαλατία Ἱσπανία Λιβύη Σικελία Σαρδῶ. Οἱ ὑπ᾽ ἐ21 μαῖς σημέαις τότε στρατευσάμενοι ἦσαν συνκλητικοὶ πλείους ἑπτακοσίων· ἐν αὐτοῖς οἳ ἢ πρότερον ἢ  μετέπειτα ἐγένοντο ὑπατοι εἰς ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν, ἐν ἧι ταῦτα γέγραπται, ὀγδοήκοντα τρεἲς, ἱερεἲς 1 πρόσπου ἑκατὸν ἑβδομήκοντα

As always, the full text has been made available by the indefatigable Lacus Curtius.