This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Augustus not so weak

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Young Octavian Augustus
Young Octavian Augustus

The popular opinion is that young Gaius Octavian, the future Roman Emperor, was cowardly and weak. However, we know the message about how Octavian enters the area of a military camp to talk to rebel soldiers. In the camp, he could see the body of a murdered emissary who was also looking for a dialogue. Nevertheless, Oktavian did not give up the daring decision.

We know the information that the future emperor was suddenly unconscious. The sudden change in the state of Octavian, however, resulted not from paralyzing stress, but rather from illness. Historians suspect asthma or ascites, however, Suetonius mentions that Octavian lost consciousness. These diseases do not cause such a reaction of the organism.

It is believed that Octavian probably had strong clonic-tonic attacks during which he was completely vulnerable. The argument for this thesis is that in his family there were people suffering from epilepsy. What is important, however, despite the poor health, Octavian was ready to take risks and challenges. For example, after a hard day’s illness, he arrived at Philippi (42 BCE) and commanded in battle.

It is also worth emphasizing that he often brushed against death. It was about to pass him missiles, and moreover, he survived the collapse of the bridge. So the rumors of his cowardice and weak psyche should be moved to the past.

  • Krawczuk Aleksander, Cesarz August, Warszawa 1973
  • Suetonius, The life of Augustus

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.


News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: