14. C. Octavius
, son of the preceding and father of Augustus, was likewise said by the enemies of Augustus to have been a money-lender, and to have been employed in the Campus Martius as one of the agents for bribing the electors.
But there is probably no truth in these reports.
The riches left him by his father enabled him, without difficulty, to obtain the public offices at Rome, although he was the first of his family who had aspired to them. We learn from an inscription, which is given below, that he was successively tribune of the soldiers twice, quaestor, plebeian aedile with C. Toranius, judex quaestionum, and praetor. Of his history up to the time of his praetorship we have no further information; we are only told that he filled the previous dignities with great credit to himself and obtained a reputation for integrity, ability, and uprightness. Velleis Paterculus characterizes him (2.59) as gravis, sanctus, innocens,
and adds that the estimation in which he was held gained for him, in marriage, Atia, the daughter of Julia, who was the sister of Julius Caesar. Thus, although a novus homo,
he was chosen first praetor in B. C. 61, and discharged the duties of his office in so admirable a manner that Cicero recommends him as a model to his brother Quintus. (Cic. ad Qu. F.
In the following year he succeeded C. Antonius in the government of Macedonia, with the title of proconsul, and on his way to his province he cut to pieces, in the Thurine district, in consequence of orders front the senate, a body of runaway slaves, who had been gathered together for Catiline, and had previously belonged to the army of Spartacus.
He administered the affairs of his province with equal integrity and energy.
The manner in which he treated the provincials was again recommended by Cicero as an example to his brother Quintus.
He routed the Bessi and some other Thracian tribes, who had disturbed the peace of the province, and received in consequence the title of imperator from his troops.
He returned to Italy at the latter end of B. C. 59, in full expectations of being elected to the consulship, but he died suddenly at the beginning of the following year, B. C. 58, at Nola, in Campania, in the very same room in which Augustus afterwards breathed his last. Octavius was married twice, first to Ancharity, by whom he had one daughter [ANCHARIA], and secondly to Atia, by whom he had a daughter and a son [ATIA]. His second wife, and his three children, survived him. (Suet. Aug. 3
; Nicol. Damasc. Vit. August.
100.2, ed. Orelli; Vell. 2.59
; Cic. Att. 2.1
, ad Qu. F.
1.1.7, 2.2.7, Philipp.
3.6; Tac. Ann. 1.9
The following is the inscription which has been above referred to :--C. OCTAVIVS. C. F. C. N. C. P. R(VFVS). PATER AVGVSTI. TR. MIL. BIS. Q. AED. PL. CVM. C.TORANIO. IVDEX QVAESTIONVM. PR. PROCOS. IMPERATOR APPELLATVS EX PROVINCIA MACEDONIA.