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Caius Caesar was born on the day before the calends [31st August] of September, at the time his father and Caius Fonteius Capito were consuls.1 But where he was born is rendered uncertain from the number of places which are said to have given him birth. Cneius Lentulus Gaetulicus2 says that he was born at Tibur; Pliny the younger, in the country of the Treviri, at a village called Ambiatinus, above Confluentes;3 and he alleges, as a proof of it, that altars are there shown with this inscription: "For Agrippina's child-birth." Some verses which were published in his reign, intimate that he was born in the winter quarters of the legions, “In castris natus, patriis nutritius in armis,
Jam designati principis omen erat.
” “Born in the camp, and trained in every toil
Which taught his sire the haughtiest foes to foil;
Destin'd he seem'd by fate to raise his name,
And rule the empire with Augustan fame.
” I find in the public registers that he was born at Antium. Pliny charges Gaetulicus as guilty of an arrant forgery, merely to soothe the vanity of a conceited young prince, by giving him the lustre of being born in a city sacred to Hercules; and says that he advanced this false assertion with the more assurance, because, the year before the birth of Caius, Germanicus had a son of the same name born at Tibur; concerning whose amiable childhood and premature death I have already spoken.4 Dates clearly prove that Pliny is mistaken; for the writers of Augustus's history all agree, that Germanicus, at the expiration of his consulship, was sent into Gaul, after the birth of Caius. Nor will the inscription upon the altar serve to establish Pliny's opinion; because Agrippina was delivered of two daughters in that country, and any child-birth, without regard to sex, is called puerperium, as the ancients used to call girs puerat, and boys puelli. There is also extant a letter written by Augustus, a few months before his death, to his granddaughter Agrippina, about the same Caius (for there was then no other child of hers living under that name). He writes as follows: "I gave orders yesterday for Talarius and Asellius to set out on their journey towards you, if the gods permit, with your child Caius, upon the fifteenth of the calends of June [I8th May]. I also send with him a physician of mine, and I wrote to Germanicus that he may retain him if he pleases. Farewell, my dear Agrippina, and take what care you can to come safe and well to your Germanicus." I imagine it is sufficiently evident that Caius could not be born at a place to which he was carried from The City when almost two years 'old. The same considerations must likewise invalidate the evidence of the verses, and the rather, because the author is unknown. The only authority, therefore, upon which we can depend in this matter, is that of the acts, and the public register; especially as he always preferred Antium to every other place of retirement, and entertained for it all that fondness which is commonly attached to one's native soil. It is said, too, that, upon his growing weary of the city, he designed to have transferred thither the seat of empire.
1 A.U.C. 765
2 It does not appear that Gaetulicus wrote any historical work, but Martial, Pliny, and others, describe him as a respectable poet.
3 Supra Confluentes; The German tribe here mentioned occupied the country between the Rhine and the Meuse, and gave their name to Treves (Treviri), its chief town. Coblentz had its ancient name of Confluentes, from its standing at the junction of the two rivers The exact site of the village in which Caligula was born is not known. Cliverius conjectures that it may be Cafelle.
4 Chap. vii.
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