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R.I.P. Augustus Caesar, 2001 years ago today.

August 19, 2015



Oliver Goldsmith (who tended to nick things and probably nicked this) remarked of Augustus Caesar that it would have been much better for the world if Augustus had never been born, or if he had never died.  Augustus killed Republican Rome and replaced it with a system of government which only he was capable of superintending.

Anyhow, Augustus did die. 2001 years ago today as it happens.  The original Augustan age died 2001 years ago.  When people speak of “Augustanism” they speak of a period of calm and balance and sanity that followed a period of civil war – hence they use the term to refer to folks in the eighteenth-century thanking various deities that they weren’t living in the seventeenth-century.  Aesthetic values such as Calm and Balance and Sanity are best appreciated, perhaps, by those living in the aftermath of Civil War.

It was the genius of Octavian Caesar…

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