Augustus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

o-gus'-tus Augoustos: (1) The first Roman emperor, and noteworthy in Bible history as the emperor in whose reign the Incarnation took place (Lk 2:1). His original name was Caius Octavius Caepias and he was born in 63 BC, the year of Cicero's consulship. He was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, his mother Atia having been the daughter of Julia, Caesar's younger sister. He was only 19 years of age when Caesar was murdered in the Senate house (44 BC), but with a true instinct of statesmanship he steered his course through the intrigues and dangers of the closing years of the republic, and after the battle of Actium was left without a rival. Some difficulty was experienced in finding a name that would exactly define the position of the new ruler of the state. He himself declined the names of rex and dictator, and in 27 BC he was by the decree of the Senate styled Augustus. The epithet implied respect and veneration beyond what is bestowed on human things: "Sancta vocant augusta patres: augusta vocantur Templa sacerdotum rite dicata manu." --Ovid Fasti. 609; compare Dion Cass., 5316...

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