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Divus Augustus


DIVUS AUGUSTUS - That Augustus, during his life-time, was treated as a deity, is manifest on good authority; and Tacitus relates, thar he was commonly reproached with this - " Nibil deorum honoribus relictium, cum se templis, et effigie numinum per Flamines, et sacerdotes coli vellet." Moreover Appianus states that, after the defeat of Sextus Pompey, and the abdication of Lepidus, " he was in every town (oppidatim) consecrated among the tutelary gods." - The Pisanian cenotaph, illustrated by Cardinal Noris, shews that, whilst living, he had, besides altars and temples, his flamen also and priests. Other marbles and monuments also attest the fact that divine honours were paid to the living Augustus - take, for example, the coins inscribed HON.(?) ET AVG. But also is no less true that Augustus did not permit those divine honours to paid him at Rome, which he allowed the provinces to confer to him. At length, on the death of Augustus, it became necessary for de Senate to decree to him the honours of consecration, as that body had already committed the same insane act in the case of his father Julius, and thus established an absurd example which found imitators on plenty during succeding ages of the empire. Dion and Tacitus both affirm that Augustus was received among the immortal gods, and that flamines, and a priesthood with sacred rites, were instituted to his honour.
   On coins of Roman mint he is invariably styled DIVVS, but on consecration medals, struck out of Rome, the word DEVS is used. Thus we find on coins of Torraco (Terragona, in Spain), DEO AVGVSTo. On an unique coin of Gallienus of Roman die, Augustus is called DEVS. - Connected also with the consecration of Augustus were the groves (luci) dedicated to him in the provinces, to witch allusin is made on a medal of Juba II King of Mauretania, inscribed LVCV AVG. That is to say, according to Servins (a commentator on the Mantuan bard) - "Ubicunque Virgilius lucum pouit, sequitur etiam consecratio."
   Numerous coins attest the fact of Augustus's consecration, struck not only by is successor Tiberius, but afterwards under many other emperors. - See Eckhel. vi. pp. 124-125.


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