Gaius Octavius was born in 63 BC amidst not-so-humble beginnings. He was born at Ox Head, a property on the Palatine Hill into an old and wealthy equestrian family. The historian Suetonius comments, "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae.” His father was the former governor of Macedonia; his mother, Atia, the niece of Julius Caesar. After his father died, Atia married his stepfather Lucius Marcius Philippus, a former governor of Syria, who claimed descent from Alexander the Great and was himself an elected consul. Most remarkable for the boy was his great uncle Julius Caesar naming him his adopted son and heir. This meant that Octavius would inherit Caesar's name, estate, and the loyalty of his legions. He would use his incredible wealth to maneuver himself into power in days ahead. After his rise to emperor, Octavius would compile an astounding resume of accomplishments. He was the first Roman empe
The lamp-posts are poetical...the lamp-post really has the whole poetry of man, for no other creature can lift a flame so high and guard it so well. --G K Chesterton, London Times July 24, 1909.