Massie's Augustus Chat Transcript
355 lines of discussion for August 4, 2000
20:41 Torrey Philemon enters...
20:41 Torrey Philemon: Chat on Massie's Augustus starting at 9pm eastern time!
21:03 Morgana Flavius enters...
21:05 Torrey Philemon: Hi Morgana. Mara's on her way so it will probably just be the three of us Massie readers.
21:06 Mara Durotriges enters...
21:06 Mara Durotriges: Good evening ladies!
21:07 Morgana Flavius: Hello! I'm bringing the wine! *smile*
21:08 Torrey Philemon: Happy to see you both again.
21:08 Torrey Philemon: Glasguensis Antonius would like to join us but he's in Scotland where it's about 2am now. He's read most of the Massie books and recommends others.
21:09 Mara Durotriges: Thank you, Morgana, I've got my glass right here
21:09 Torrey Philemon: Mm, what lovely sparkling red wine, Morgana! It is truly vintage, must date back to Roman times!
21:11 Mara Durotriges: I read some of his posts on the Fab Bib board and also gnaeus junious
21:11 Mara Durotriges: must be the Falernian that is always mentioned!
21:12 Morgana Flavius: Yes, good Falernian vintage!
21:12 Torrey Philemon: So who has an Augustus topic to talk about? <-:
21:12 Morgana Flavius: I read Glasguensis and Gnaeus' posts at the FabBib and liked them very much.
21:12 Mara Durotriges: Are we focusing on the 1st part with Antony or all of it?
21:13 Torrey Philemon: We can focus on whatever you want. I was most interested in the Antony part but I just today read most the rest so that's fresh in my mind now.
21:14 Torrey Philemon: I will add that I like Augustus even less since he revealed himself as just like my father near the end! Totally controlling in behalf of his own desires but pretending to have his children's welfare and needs foremost. Grr!
21:14 Mara Durotriges: It seems to me that once Augustus got the civil wars over with, he did a good job of running a government, though I hate to say it
21:15 Torrey Philemon: Or at least Augustus as portrayed by Massie......
21:15 Morgana Flavius: I'd like to talk about the issue of a possible book with Aug's "memoirs" besides the Res Gestae.
21:15 Torrey Philemon: Yes, these issues about the memoirs are confusing.
21:16 Mara Durotriges: I'd like to read more of the sources to see how much Massie invented. Augustus doesn't seem so bad to me now. Maybe, in the gaining of power, these things are just the done thing
21:16 flavius Horatius enters...
21:17 Mara Durotriges: I think the memoir part in the Massie is part of his novel, pure fiction; I've read other books with a similar approach,
21:17 Morgana Flavius: Massie's Augustus speaks just like the Augustus I've read about in all the history books and web sites about Rome.
21:17 Torrey Philemon: From what I read, Augustus' Memoirs apart from the Res Gestae only exist as they were used by Appian......
21:18 Morgana Flavius: Welcome Flavius Horatius!!
21:18 Torrey Philemon: Welcome, Flavius......... It's hard for me to believe that the real Augustus was a reflective and introspective as the one Massie portrayed....or as inclined to acknowledge his own weaknesses.
21:18 Lollia Junius enters...
21:19 Torrey Philemon enters...
21:19 Morgana Flavius: Here's the man who can clarify the issue!
21:19 Torrey Philemon: Welcome Lollia!
21:19 flavius Horatius: Good Evening.....I will probably be quiet for a while since I have to do a few other things...but, bear in mind, that I do have some distinct opinions regarding both Augustus, the princeps, and Massie, the Scottish author.
21:19 Morgana Flavius: Welcome Lollia!
21:19 Mara Durotriges: Hello Flavius! Welcome!
21:20 Mara Durotriges: Hi Lollia! Good to see you again
21:20 Lollia Junius: Avete Omnes
21:21 flavius Horatius: Don't forget that it was Augustus who considered and implemented the patronage for boht Q. Horatius Flaccus and P. Vergilus Maro and yet also was able to maintain for most of his life the friendship of two most disparate characters: M. Vispanius Agrippa and G. Cilnius Maecenas: two odd and distinctly different personalities: and still able to handle Livia!
21:21 Torrey Philemon: Do tell us Flavius what you think of Massie in regard to where he is historically accurate and where he resorts entirely to fiction.
21:21 Morgana Flavius: Well, I don't like the Augustus portrayed by Massie any better than the one portrayed by M.George, although both authors have a quite different view about him. But one thing Massie was able to do: he did stick with how I imagine Augustus would have sounded like IF he had written his memoirs at a more personal tone than the Res Gestae.
21:23 Mara Durotriges: Augustus seems to have been a pro at manoeuvering people politically and also at administering a government
21:23 Torrey Philemon: I do like the way he portrayed Augustus as self-aware in some ways but not in others. Like he seemed totally blind in regard to his own domineering qualities and egotism, inclined to believe that whatever he wanted was best for Rome. A master of self-delusion!
21:23 flavius Horatius: I think that the incident in Spain in the tent is where Massie did invent an incident from whole cloth for dramatic purposes and also to provide some sort of reason for the hostility between Antony and Octavian: but such a simple rape scene was not necessary since Antony was far more enamored with women than with men and there was a sizeable age difference.
21:23 Morgana Flavius: I was fascinated by Maecenas after reading Massie. And also by Messala Corvinus. I did some research on both, but am not satisfied yet.
21:24 Mara Durotriges: He mentions in the Massie several times how the day to day business of running the gov't is all important to success. This makes sense to me.
21:24 Lollia Junius enters...
21:24 Lollia Junius enters...
21:24 Torrey Philemon: Interesting Mara that you've come to appreciate Augustus' political genius (i'm not convinced yet, but most historians take your point of view)
21:24 Morgana Flavius: I totally agree with you, Flavius! That rape scene was only a sign of bad taste on the part of Massie (in my humble opinion).
21:24 Mara Durotriges: There was a post in FabBib that Antony was not in Spain at the time the homosexual encounter took place
21:25 Morgana Flavius: Plus, there's no historical evidence that Antony and Octavian ever met in Spain.
21:25 flavius Horatius: You also have to keep in mind the fiction that Massie maintains that his work was written by Augustus for his grandnephews and only written when Augustus was nearing his own end. That fiction is fairly well maintained although Massie does still manage to slip in some "flashbacks" to liven up the plot and make them more vivid or realistic depictions.
21:26 Mara Durotriges: Yeah, I was the one who was so derrogatory about him
21:26 Morgana Flavius: Yes, I read that post too, Mara.
21:26 Torrey Philemon: I'm very much intrigued by the Vestal Virgins episode and Livia's reaction to it, and its effect on his relationship with Livia. I get the impression from Massie that Augustus made masterly use of the burglary bungle in order to get "legal sanction" to read Antony's will. He was a master at making sure he had the Senate's approval for all his autocratic activities.
21:26 Lollia Junius enters...
21:27 Mara Durotriges: I know very little about this period and have a lot more reading to do before I can go completely over to his side.
21:27 Morgana Flavius: But Flavius, was there or was there not a more personal autobiography written by Augustus at some point in his old age (besides the insipid Res Gestae)?
21:27 Torrey Philemon: I missed the rape scene somehow....I just had to skim through the last 25 pages in the last half hour. Where was it - the reference to Antony accosting him sexually? That's hard to believe.
21:28 flavius Horatius: Don't forget that Octavian learned the business of handling wills left in the custodianship of the Vestal Virgins from the previous masters of this intrigue: namely, G. Julius Caesar and M. Antony themselves who also managed to use the repository for their own personal ends as opposed to the supposed religious role of pontifex!
21:28 Morgana Flavius: Is there any historical source on what happened between Livia and Augustus? And the way she reacted to the Vestal Virgins affair?
21:28 Torrey Philemon: According to Pat Southern, Augustus wrote Memoirs separate from the Res Gestae, but they have not been preserved intact, though they were used by Appian......that's the only information I've found on the actual Memoirs.
21:29 Mara Durotriges: all through this book, Augustus is made to seem to be non religious, but still in the back of his mind, not sure enough to totally discount the influence of the gods
21:29 flavius Horatius: The Res Gestae or the Monumentum Ancyranum is so called because the most complete form was found at Ankara in modern Turkey was originally supposed to have been erected as monuments throughout the Roman empire during Augustus' own lifetime and it is rather remarkable that the Monumentum Ancyranum is the only fairly complete one still extant.
21:30 Torrey Philemon: In one source I read that Livia refused to have sex with Augustus for about five years after the Vestal Virgins affair but I don't know what the historical source could be for that! Or at least it was written as she refused him access to her bedroom.
21:31 Torrey Philemon: Yes, Mara, his attitude toward religion was intriguing. I was particularly interested by the segment on the worship of Diana, which was hard to understand. At least it was hard to tell where he was quoting Virgil and referring to his own experience.
21:32 flavius Horatius: Yes, there supposedly were separate memoirs of Augustus that are referenced by other authors and supposedly were available to Suetonius, among others, while they used the various libraries, particularly the one in Rome. It is presumably from this source that we learn such tidbits about Augustus as his favorite motto of "festina lente": and that does suggest that Augustus was not completely a dullard [as does his involvement with the poetry of both Propertius and Horace! Not to mention his intervention with Varus and Tucca to preserve the manuscript of the Aeneid despite Vergils' deathbed wish to have it burned!]
21:33 Torrey Philemon: Augustus was truly adept at not honoring his promises to others and rationalizing his reasons for doing so!
21:33 Torrey Philemon: I like how Massie had a few persons including Livia confront him about playing the role of king while pretending not to.
21:34 Torrey Philemon: Lollia, are you with us?
21:34 Mara Durotriges: the rape scene is on p.264-5
21:34 Lollia Junius: Yep, I havent read this book so I'm just listening
21:35 flavius Horatius: Massie operates in a long tradition of authors who are forced to cobble together from snippets, vignettes, poetry, panegyrics and invectives a fuller picture of what Octavian/Augustus or Caesar or almost anybody else was really like...Some, like Thornton Wilder have elected to leave the tesseare scatterd about and let the reader make his own mosaic or kaleidoscope instead of connecting them into some grotesque fun-house mirror which leaves little to the imagination: I prefer the more elliptical approach since it speaks volumes about not only the state of the extant evidence but also makes the reader add his own interpretation.
21:35 Torrey Philemon: (thanks Mara - gee that wasn't near the end of the book after all, but I completely missed it)
21:38 Torrey Philemon: Flavius, do you know the sources in regard to the Vestal Virgins incident and Livia's reaction to it? And how Augustus got the will? It almost sounds like he arranged the robbery to be bungled so he could get the Senate's permission to grab the will. An Octagate version of Watergate!
21:38 Morgana Flavius: On thing that Massie was good at (and got most of us even angrier at Augustus), is the way he protrays a person writing from his own point of view, rationalizing about his reasons to use power over everyone in order to get things done the way he wants. For ex., the way Massie/Augustus write about why he forced his sister and then his daughter (who he loved so much) to such terrible marriages against their will.
21:38 flavius Horatius: It is all very well to denigrate Augustus for his supposed irreverence or his political wheeling and dealing, but you have to remember that Rome and Italy had been suffering almost one hundred non-stop years of civil war and it was Augustus who finally did manage to provide some stability for the citizens and even those who had at first been hostile to him because of the excesses at Perusia or who had been swayed by some of the Antonian propaganda were finally convinced to join his side in appreciating the accomplishments as being far more important than the sordid incidents such as whether or not Octavian actually managed to be a complicitor in the death of Cleopatra.
21:38 Mara Durotriges: what does the motto 'festina lente' mean? I have forgotten most of my Latin, I'm afraid
21:39 Lollia Junius: Robert Graves was the master of that
21:40 flavius Horatius: Marriages in ancient Rome were not usually based on emotion but on political alliances and all you have to do is look at the various marriages of Antony, Caesar, Pompey, etc. yes, Augustus did use his daughter for political alliances, and yes, she very obviously rebelled against her father and some would even say the hypocrisy of his legislation as compared to the antics of his own daughter which he obviously ignored.
21:40 flavius Horatius: "festina lente" means "make haste, but do it slowly"....
21:40 Mara Durotriges: as far as the marriages, arranged marriages were the standard thing then and were always done with some gain or another in mind, especially in ruling classes
21:40 Torrey Philemon: I agree Morgana that Massie portrayed his forcing of his children/heirs into unhappy marriages very well - how blind he was to the impact of what he was doing........ Also flavius, I have no doubt that you're right about how Augustus unified Rome and Italy and ended Civil Wars; I'm just resistant to appreciating him!
21:43 Morgana Flavius: Why, after all, was it so important to Octavian to eliminate Antony? (not the rape, please, LOL!)
21:43 Torrey Philemon: But Octavia/Augustus on the other hand, married for love! But seemed to have no empathy in regard to Julia, Tiberius etc. giving up those he loved for the sake of what Augustus viewed as the best political marriages.......
21:44 Mara Durotriges: He wanted control! All of it! Greedy!
21:44 flavius Horatius: As for his dealings with his sister and her marriage with Antony: I don't think that the marriage was all that bad at first and that a large part of the blame must be laid at Antony's doorstep for the reasons for its failures: of course, Octavian certainly took advantage of the abandonment of his sister by Antony for the allures of Cleopatra, whether it was an allure of power or sex, or even both, is one we really don't know. The bottom line is that Antony may actually have been contemplating making Alexandria into a city even more powerful than Rome and he certainly had some very deep footsteps left by Julius Caesar to step into in Alexandria! [And some psychologists would certainly see some envy and even a bit of a father figure problem in the relationship of Antony and Julius Caesar!]
21:45 Mara Durotriges: Augustus may have admired and desired Livia and come to love her, but she was of the very powerful Claudian family and I'm sure he took that into consideration
21:45 Torrey Philemon: Good question, Morgana. Acc. to Massie, it seems like Octavian turned against Antony after the Donations and the "Triumph" in Alexandria. At which point he decided that Antony was now an enemy of the state. What I wonder is whether he intended all along to get rid of Antony and reign supreme or whether he had a change of attitude toward Antony.
21:46 flavius Horatius: I don't think that Octavian married for love or even had aspirations of political power when he did marry: in fact, he probably didn't even realize or dream of such things due to his unnaturally poor health which dogged him all of his long, long life: in fact, the one factor that probably contributed more to the concept of the Pax Romana and the creation of the Principate and eventual Roman Empire was the unnaturally long life of Augustus who managed to outlive almost every one of his selected heirs or family.
21:47 Morgana Flavius: Well, I'm not sure now if Octavian wanted to eliminate Antony because he was greedy or because he thought that there could not be peace with two people sharing the "Republic" (as talking about Empire would be an anacronism at this point).
21:47 Mara Durotriges: p. 306 .I must admit that the young student who found himself Caesars heir hardly thought of what he could do for Rome. The city was for him merely a field of opportunity.
21:48 flavius Horatius: There is speculation that the donations was a forgery by those eager to blacken the reputation of Antony although there are also those who think that Antony could easily have fallen prey to customs and mores for such acts that were not as repugnant to Egyptians or Greeks as they were to Romans: But, Octavian certainly did know how to play the "spin" game once the story was publicized!
21:48 Torrey Philemon: Flavius, Massie portrays Augustus as being very much in love with Livia. Is this all fabrications? Or are there sources that refer to the personal nature of their relationship? I read elsewhere - don't remember where - that he really WAS in love with Livia. Granted, as Mara said, he had political reasons too for marrying her.
21:48 Mara Durotriges: The appetite for power, once tasted, tends to grow.
21:49 Morgana Flavius: You're saying Octavian didn't marry Livia for political purposes, Flavius? Could you elaborate on that a bit more?
21:50 Torrey Philemon: You and I, Mara, both are very much aware of Augustus' voracious hunger for power! And yet he was so adept at masking it with "legality"
21:50 flavius Horatius: Suetonius, I think it was, does report that there actually was a genuine affection by Augustus for Livia and that is one of the reasons that I am always leery of the rumors about Livia's handling of the poisoned mushrooms for Augustus... Seems more to me like a retrojection of later evil empresses and seeking a foreshadowing of the Messalinas, for example. Not that I think that Livia was the sort of woman who sat at home and spun her own clothing as was claimed!
21:51 Torrey Philemon: Yes I think Suetonius is one of the sources where I read about Augustus' love for Livia.......but where was this poisoned mushroom story?
21:52 Morgana Flavius: Torrey, maybe (and I say MAYBE) the love Octavian felt for Livia was only another well orchestrated piece of propaganda. But the political reasons seem clear to me: Octavian needed a noble name if he wanted to succeed at getting the Senate approval for what he wanted to do.
21:53 flavius Horatius: I think that the image of Augustus' "voracious hunger for power" is again anachronistic since his hold was not very strong for most of the early years after 44 BC: remember it was not until a dozen years later that there was finally a single triumvir in control! And don't forget the various proscriptions, murders, assassinations, etc. during this period.
21:54 Torrey Philemon enters...
21:54 Morgana Flavius: There's a saying that Livia poisoned (or had someone poison) Augustus' grandsons because she wanted HER sons to inherit the power of Augustus.
21:54 flavius Horatius: I don't think that Augustus needed or had to have the approval of the patres conscripti: they had long ago shown their impotence to all of Rome and Italy and most graphically when most abandoned Italy to Julius Caesar and fled to Greece with Pompey...
21:55 Morgana Flavius: I never heard of Livia wanting to poison Augustus with mushrooms. I read that Claudius' last wife did that (can't remember her name now).
21:56 Torrey Philemon: Flavius, that hunger for power could develop over time, I imagine, as one gets a taste of it and wants more. Hitler for example was not known to be power-hungry early in life either (not to imply that Augustus was a Hitler)
21:56 flavius Horatius: I don't remember where the poisoned mushroom story originates but I do recall that Robert Graves used it as a characteriztion of Livia: and I think that probably says more about Graves' own marital relationships than about the one between Livia and Augustus!
21:56 Mara Durotriges: I think the hunger for power grew with the opportunity, When he was made heir, he took an army to Rome; why would he take an army if he wasn't after something? And then as he became more and more successful, his aspirations grew
21:57 flavius Horatius: The usual story about Augustus' death is that it was due to the failings of his personal physician, Antonius Musa, who did something, if I remember correctly, with excess amounts of cold water....
21:57 Mara Durotriges: I have run into allusions to Livia having poisoned Marcellus and some others, can't think who at the moment
21:58 Mara Durotriges: Augustus was also pretty old for that time when he died and had been sick forever
21:58 Morgana Flavius: Oh Flavius, my head is spinning now... For all I know, Augustus always wanted the legal approval of the Senate for his acts (even if he had to pressure with armed men at the Curia's door).
21:58 flavius Horatius: I don't think that Livia would have poisoned Marcellus! She is supposed to have literally swooned upon hearing Vergils' potent poetry in the sixth book of the Aeneid which alludes to the mournful visage of Marcellus in the underworld and her reward presented to Vergil certainly does not suggest that it was a guilty conscience!
22:00 Morgana Flavius: (Funny story about Graves and his mrital relationship. LOL!)
22:00 flavius Horatius: Augustus DID want the fiction of having restored the republic and that is clearly stated in the Monumentum Ancyranum! A convenient fiction despite the unprecedented honors showered upon Augustus through various political and religious offices: granted by the people as opposed to the Senate! The emphasis was upon the populus and not the senatus but Augustus wanted to link the two elements as providing legal and moral justification for his various actions.
22:00 Mara Durotriges: But the legal approval was a paving of the way for the acceptance of whatever he wanted to do. A justification, so to speak, so that the general population would go along and so that any dissidents with power would hesitate to do him in because of his 'legitimacy'
22:02 Mara Durotriges: I've come across Livia's aspirations for her own sons, Tiberius and Drusus, and that she was jealous of the attention that Augustus payed to Marcellus
22:02 flavius Horatius: We also seem to have a misconception that after Actium, Augustus was not opposed: that there were no great threats to his power and that he was confident in holding the reins of power: in reality, I don't think that there was great confidence on the part of Augustus, Rome, Italy or most citizens of the world as they had been down this road before and only seen it collapse into even bloodier civil wars.
22:02 Morgana Flavius: Livia might have rewarded Virgil AND poisoned Marcellus. One does not exclude the other. As a matter of fact, it seems a very Roman way of doing things: you do your dirty work and then quickly find something that will make people think you would never have done that.
22:03 Torrey Philemon: I can't believe that Livia tried to poison anyone either. She seemed to have a fairly strong sense of morality herself........ Yes, Mara, Augustus was very clever wasnt he? Decide what he wanted to do next, determine it was questionable legally, then make sure a law was made allowing it, then doing it, justifying that it was legal! Brilliant manipulator! .
22:03 Mara Durotriges: I agree with you, Morgana
22:03 flavius Horatius: Sure, it is possible that Livia did poison Marcellus and that those were crocodile tears, but I doubt it. without more evidence we probably will never know....
22:04 Torrey Philemon: Oh goodness, for some reason or other, I keep thinking of Richard Nixon <-:
22:04 Mara Durotriges: And rulers everywhere have learned from this man. Perhaps another lasting legacy of the Age of Augustus
22:05 Morgana Flavius: It seems to me that Augustus was careful to get the Senate approval for his acts because he learned that lesson from J.Caesar. Caesar seemed to lack the patience for that "minor" detail and got many enemies because of that.
22:06 flavius Horatius: But, I still doubt it because I don't think that Livia was that concerned with succession as there was no precedent yet for such things and she probably subscribed more to Alexander the Great's response to the question of succession by saying "To the strongest!" For us to think that she valued her own children as more fit for the "throne" than others seems to be assuming too much: and if she had such strong feelings, what about how she basically ignored the scandal of Julia?
22:06 Torrey Philemon: Flavius, you referred to the fact that Augustus did have some opposition once he took over. Who opposed him? I imagine he was quite adept at squashing the opposition before it got strong. (He sure was good at threatening exile when he didn't get his way, acc. to Massie.)
22:06 Mara Durotriges: that's true, Morgana, and he became dead for ignoring it
22:07 Morgana Flavius: But who was Livia? It seems that the moral aura around her is another result of Augustan propaganda.
22:07 Torrey Philemon: Good point Morgana about Augustus learning not to be as rash as Caesar was. What's the term - he needed to use an iron fist in a velvet glove, and at least appear to be kowtowing before the Senate.
22:08 flavius Horatius: Threats of exile or ostracism are only that and not documentable but make excellent fiction: consider instead his emphasis, like Julius Caesar, upon Clementia or mercy, and using Cicero, his assumption of the motto of Concordia, although not necessarily of the "orders".... [reminds me more of compassionate conservatism than of Nixon!!]
22:08 Torrey Philemon: And what are our sources about Livia? I can't find much original information about her.
22:08 Mara Durotriges: perhaps Livia ignored it in the Victorian sense - 'one doesn't discuss those things' - Romans seem to have had a veneer of morality, hypocritical as it may have been
22:08 Lollia Junius enters...
22:08 Torrey Philemon: But Augustus did indeed send many who crossed his path into exile......
22:09 flavius Horatius: Augustus did not kowtow to the Senate: they kowtowed to him, over and over and over.... they fell over themselves in doing him honors and always trying to give him more titles and privilegs [as though they had finally learned from their errors with Pompey in not granting some of his wishes....]
22:09 Torrey Philemon: Speaking of the veneer of morality.....I read elsewhere that Augustus had many adulterous relationships himself after being married to Livia but we see no reference to these in Massie.
22:10 Morgana Flavius: Livia may not have thought about a "throne" for her sons, but she knew well enough that whoever Augustus would adopt would be the next strong man in Rome. Just like Augusuts became strong as a result of his adoption by Caesar. And I tend to believe that Livia was very conscious of family links. I bet she thought that her sons (Claudian family) were better than Julia's children.
22:10 Torrey Philemon: By kowtowing to the Senate, I mean he usually put the laws he wanted through the Senate which would give him permission to do what he wanted. He kept trying to show he was respecting the Republic and doing things legally.
22:11 flavius Horatius: If Augustus were going to send anyone into exile, he certainly could have exiled Horace or even Vergil for some of their earlier works! We only think of their more panegyric works AFTER Actium and don't look back on the earlier doubts and qualms and even attacks on the youthful Octavian: don't forget that Horace fought AGAINST Octavian at Philippi!
22:12 Lollia Junius: Livia was a member of the Claudii Nerones like her sons and husband, so her own personal family was benefitting too.
22:12 Mara Durotriges: If she really did cut him off for awhile after the Vestal Virgin Affair, of course he would have gone elsewhere. And adultery is not always viewed in the same sense that we view it - as anything outside of the marriage - I think that relationships with slaves, etc, were sort of considered 'bodily funtions' or something
22:12 Lollia Junius: (her first husband was her first cousin)
22:12 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, could you clarify here.....the family lineages. Livia had two sons ----- Tiberius and Drusus, right? But who were the parents of Lucius and Gaius?
22:13 Lollia Junius: Agrippa was the father of Gaius and Lucius. Julia was their mother
22:13 Morgana Flavius: And Torrey, I read that Livia even "arranged" some women for Augustus! And that she would do so in order to control even Augustus' infidelities.
22:13 Mara Durotriges: though Augustus got enacted all kinds of morality laws, especially concerning what women could/could not do. I can't quote. Have only skimmed other sources. Will look it up later
22:15 Torrey Philemon: I'm curious then what the precise definition of adultery was then......... And in regard to exile, it's my impression (from studying Ovid) that Augustus started exiling people after he past his morality acts. He exiled a number of people for adultery.
22:16 Mara Durotriges: of course, as ruler, Augustus may have been above the law in so small a thing as sex
22:16 flavius Horatius: Augustus was actually faced with a real dilemma of morality having to do with the issue of extra marital sex leading to a dimunition in the legal population and had various laws passed to reward families who raised children by granting them extra priliges [much like some of the legislation in recent decades in China!] He also was instrumental in initiating legislation against "conspicuous consumption" and excessive spending [again shades of compassionate conservatism with a tinge of Red China!!]
22:16 Morgana Flavius: Marcellus was the first option for Augustus as his male heir. Marcellus was the son of Octavia and her first husband. When Marcellus died, the next option were Gaius and Lucius, the sons of Julia (Augustus' only child) and Agrippa, Augustus brillian general and personal friend.
22:16 Lollia Junius: I think I read soemwhere that adultery was if you had an affair with a freeborn or just free person. Slaves fell outside the law . (Infact, sex with them was considered to fall outside culture).
22:17 Mara Durotriges: who would risk the wrath of his armies and plotters over that?
22:17 Torrey Philemon: Augustus moral legislation --
22:17 Torrey Philemon: http://web.reed.edu/academic/departments/classics/AugMorals.html
22:17 flavius Horatius: Augustus' legislation was not targeted against women but was more pro-family: Itlay and Rome needed more citizens and fewer dependents in the streets to be paid for the public dole.
22:18 Torrey Philemon: Or better yet, his marriage laws http://www.uky.edu/ArtsSciences/Classics/wlgr/wlgr-romanlegal120.html
22:19 Morgana Flavius: Yes, that's what I heard too, Flavius. That the reason for Augustus "moral laws" was his concern about the dimishing number of patrician fellows.
22:19 flavius Horatius: As for exiling those with corrupt morals: the one great instance is that of Ovid and even there we still don't really know what the exact meaning of his "carmen et error" was: was Ovid like Actaeon guilty of seeing something he shouldn't? Did he act in a compromising manner in covering up Julia's indiscretions? Did he aid and abet her rebellion? Was he himself involved with Julia?
22:19 Mara Durotriges: And as far as legislating morality: p. 304 Plancus said you cant legislate morality, only drive imorality into dark corners
22:19 Lollia Junius: thus the benfits for Mothers of 4 children
22:19 Lollia Junius: Ovids text apparently corrupted Julia
22:20 Mara Durotriges: unfortunately, 'pro-family' often turns out to be 'anti-women' - but that's a whole 'nother debate
22:21 flavius Horatius: It is only supposition that it was Ovid's poetry that corrupted Julia and as poorly argued as saying that Kurt Cobain caused the massacre at Columbie or that Marilyn Manson is responsible for suicides: it refuses to recognize the responsibility of the individual: in this case, of Julia!
22:21 Morgana Flavius: I think it's the other way around, Lollia. Sexual intercourse with freepersons was not considered illegal. But sex with a married patrician woman was adultery. And both men (weather patrician or not) and women were punished.
22:21 Torrey Philemon: Skimming through the marriage laws now, I notice that there are a lot more penalties against adulterous wives than there are against adulterous husbands.
22:22 Lollia Junius: I know, I'm saying that was the reason given.
22:22 flavius Horatius: And how do you prove that the husband is adulterous? As the Jewish proverb goes, you only really know who your mother is!
22:22 Lollia Junius: I meant for married persons slaves were fair game and free people werent.
22:23 flavius Horatius: And as for the emphasis upon patrician versus plebeian adultery: I think that is again anachronistic and more a contrivance of writers like McCullough!
22:23 Lollia Junius: Looks? BTW, there were many cases where men had children by their slaves but they were not brought before the law. So I dont think there was one
22:24 Torrey Philemon: These laws, from the Lex Julia, are really astounding...... "A husband who surprises his wife in adultery can only kill the adulterer when he catches him in his own house. ... It has been decided that a husband who does not at once dismiss his wife whom he has taken in adultery can be prosecuted as a pimp. etc. etc.
22:24 flavius Horatius enters...
22:24 Morgana Flavius: Again, I agree with you Flavius. I think that Ovid's poems were not real cause of his exile, nor of Julia's downfall. But WERE used as the excuse for the punishment of the poet and the "princess".
22:24 Torrey Philemon: Being caught in the act would be proof, Flavius! <-:
22:25 flavius Horatius: Yep, in flagrante delicto is always considered proof, unless there is a blind person... but inter caecos monoculus rex est.
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