Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suetonius, Life of Augustus

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus [Suetonius]
69-130 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)


[1] Gentem Octaviam Velitris praecipuam olim fuisse, multa declarant.
[People say many things about the Octavian clan, most of all that they were from Velitrae,]

Nam et vicus celeberrima parte oppidi iam pridem Octavius vocabatur
[You see, for a long time already, there was a street in one area of this town named Octavius]

 et ostendebatur ara Octavio consecrata,
[and an altar was revealed to dedicated publicly to Octavius,]

 qui bello dux finitimo, cum forte Marti rem divinam faceret,
[who, as a general in a neighboring military campaign, while he was a performing a religious ceremony to Mars, by chance,]

 nuntiata repente hostis incursione,
[when an incursion of the enemy was suddenly announced,]

 semicruda exta rapta foco prosecuit,
[he cut off the half-burned entrails he seized from the fire,]

 atque ita proelium ingressus victor redit.
[and he thusly, after he entered the fight, he returned as victor.]

Decretum etiam publicum extabat,
[Also there survived a public decree,]

 quo cavebatur ut in posterum quoque simili modo exta Marti redderentur,
[whereby it was forbidden to later posterity too for entrails to be given back to Mars in the same fashion,]

 reliquiaeque ad Octavios referrentur.
[and that the remainders had to be brought back to Octavian family.]

[2] Ea gens a Tarquinio Prisco rege inter minores gentis adlecta in senatum,
[This very tribe was favored personally by King Tarquinius Priscus from among the lesser nations,]

 mox a Servio Tullio in patricias traducta,
[and soon it was drafted into the ranks of the patrician class by Servius Tullius,]

 procedente tempore ad plebem se contulit,
[and over the passing years, it transferred itself to the plebeian class,]

 ac rursus magno intervallo per Divum Iulium in patriciatum redit.
[and again, after a great interval of time, it returned to patrician status through Julius Caesar, now deified.]

 Primus ex hac magistratum populi suffragio cepti C. Rufus.
[Gaius Rufus was the first from the family to be appointed a public office by the vote of the people.]

 Is quaestorius CN. et C. procreavit,
[He, as quaestor, fathered Gnaeus and then Gaius,]

a quibus duplex Octaviorum familia defluxit conditione diversa.
[from whom, two branches of the Octavian clan separated onto a different path.]

 Siquidem Gnaeus et deinceps ab eo reliqui omnes functi sunt honoribus summis. 
[And indeed, Gnaeus, and all the others to follow after him, were endowed with the very highest positions of state.]

At Gaius eiusque posteri, seu fortuna seu voluntate, in equestri ordine constiterunt usque ad Augusti patrem. 
[But Gaius, and his descendants, whether by the fall of their luck or by their own volition, decided to their lineage would stay in the equestrian order, that is until Augustus.]

Proavus Augusti secundo Punico bello stipendia in Sicilia tribunus militum fecit Aemilio Papo imperatore.
[Augustus' great-grandfather served as a military tribune in Sicily during our second war against Carthage, when Aemilius Papus was the head commander.]

 Avus municipalibus magisteriis contentus abundante patrimonio tranquillissime senuit. 
[His grandfather, satisfied with the offices of his local town, lived his life out off his ample estate, in the greatest peace and quiet possible.]

Sed haec alii;
[But other men concern these things;]

 ipse Augustus nihil amplius quam equestri familia ortum se scribit vetere ac locuplete, 
[Augustus himself wrote nothing more about his origins except that he was born from an long-standing and rich family of equestrian stock,]

et in qua primus senator pater suus fuerit.
[and in which, his father was the very first senator.]

 M. Antonius libertinum ei proavum exprobrat, 
[Mark Antony mocks the fact that his ancestor was a lowly freedman,]

restionem e pago Thurino, avum argentarium. 
[a ropemaker from the region of Thurii, on top of accusing his grandfather of being a moneymaker.]

Nec quicquam ultra de paternis Augusti maioribus repperi.
[There is nothing that beyong this that can be verified concerning Augustus' ancestry.]

[3] C. Octavius pater a principio aetatis et re et existimatione magna fuit, 
[His father Gaius Octavius, from the very beginning of his lifetime, enjoyed great standing and esteem,]

ut equidem mirer hunc quoque a nonnullis argentarium
 atque etiam inter divisores operasqe compestris proditum;
[that, in fact, I wonder how this man was handed over by some money-dealer, ever among the administrators and their operation;]

 amplis enim innutritus opibus, 
[you see, he was not raised up from ample wealth,]

honores et adeptus est facile
[but he easily attained positions of power]

 et egregie administravit.
[and he governed with distinction.]

 Ex praetura Macedoniam sortitus, fugitivos, residuam Spartaci et Catilinae manum, Thurinum agrum tenentis, in itinere delevit,
[As soon as he left from his prefecture in Macedonia, he, along his journey, wiped out fugitives, the remaining cohort belong to Spartacus and Cataline, who was occupying the Thurian countryside,]

 negotio sibi in senatu extra ordinem dato.
[after the matter was granted to his control, in an emergency measure in the Senate.]

 Provinciae praefuit non minore iustitia quam fortitudine; 
[He did his province good no less through his sense of justice than from his strength;]

namque Bessis ac Thracibus magno proelio fusis, ita socios tractavit, 
[on that account, when Bessi and Thracians rushed upon each other in a large-scale battle, he took upon allies in such a way]

ut epistolae M. Ciceronis exstent
[that there are still letters written by Marcus Cicero]

 quibus Quintum fratrem eodem tempore parum secunda fama proconsulatum Asiae administrantem, hortatur  
[in which he urges his brother Quintus, who at that time was running his proconsulate in Asia, and with little luck]

et monet, imitetur in promerendis sociis vicinum suum Octavium.
[and warns him to follow the example of his neighbor Octavius in gaining the service of allies.]

[4] Decedens Macedonia, prius quam profiteri se candidatum consulatus posset, 
[Leaving Macedonia permanently, before he could run as a candidate for the consulship,]

mortem obiit repentinam,
[he fell ill from a sudden ailment,]

 superstitibus liberis Octavia maiore,
[the last among the freeborn descendents from Octavia the Elder,]

 quam ex Ancharia, et Octavia minore item Augusto, quos ex Atia tulerat.
[that is from Acharia, and Octavia the Younger, as well as Augustus, both of whom took their lineage from Atia.]

 Atia M. Atio Balbo et Iulia, sorore C. Caesaris, genita est.
[Atia was descended from Marcus Atius Balbus and Julia, the sister of Gaius Caesar.]

 Balbus, paterna stirpe Aricinus, multis in familia senatoriis imaginibus, a matre Magnum Pompeium artissimo contingebat gradu 
[Balbus, a resident from Aricinum by his paternal lineage, in accompaniment with the many senatorial statues in his family, gained Pompey the Great from most artful promotion by his mother]

functusque honore praeturae inter vigintiviros agrum Campanum plebi Iulia lege divisit.
[and he, commissioned with the office of the praetor, divided the farmland of Campania for the common folk in the company of the Commission of 20, in accordance to the Julian Law.]

 Verum idem Antonius, despiciens etiam maternam Augusti originem, proavum eius Afri generis fuisse et modo unguentariam tabernam modo pistrinum Ariciae exercuisse obicit.
[But in fact, Antony, at the very same time, since he looked down even on Augustus' maternal lineage, claimed that his great-grandfather was born from an African lineage and, at one time, had operated a perfume shop, and at another, a miller in Aricia.]

 Cassius quidem Parmensis quadam epistola non tantum ut pistoris,
sed etiam ut nummulair nepotem sic taxat Augustum:
[In truth, Cassius of Parma, in some letter or another, not only assigns Augustus to be the grandson of miller, but also a money-changer as well:]

 Materna tibi farinast ex crudissimo Ariciae pistrino:
["Here's your maternal family's grain, from the crudest baker Aricia's ever seen:]

 hanc finxit manibus collybo decoloratis Nerulonensis mensarius.
["He fashioned this to his interest rates, now the Nerulonian money-changer with hands like a discolored ghoul."]

[5] Natus est Augustus M. Tullio Cicerone C. Antonio conss. XIIII. Kal. Octob., paulo ante solis exortum, regione Palati, ad Capita bubulo,
[Augustus was born during the consul years of Marcus Tullius Cicero and Gaius Antonius on the 13 Kalends of October, a little while before sunrise, in the region of Palatus, near the cattle-bearing Capita,]

 ubi nunc sacrarium habet,
[where a shrine now stands,]

aliquanto post quam excessit constitutum.
[only after which time it stood out, after its construction.]

 Nam ut senatus actis continetur,
[You see, as the Senate lies within his power,]