Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Philo on Augustus

Although I have heard that Augustus renounced divine honors during his lifetime, it was nice to track down a primary source that states this as fact.

In De Legatione ad Gaium Philo is comparing Augustus' reign vis-à-vis the tyrannical Emperor Gaius Caligula, who demanded to be worshipped as a God when he writes:

That he was never elated or puffed up (ὑπερόγκοις; cf. Jude 16; 2 Cor 12.7) by the vast honours given to him is clearly shown by the fact that he never wished anyone to address him as a god (τὸ μηδέποτε θεὸν ἑαυτὸν ἐθελῆσαι προσειπεῖν) but was annoyed if anyone used the word, and also by his approval of the Jews, who he knew full well regarded all such things with horror (Legat 154).

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