Text #1643

Pliny. Natural History. Series: Natural History. Vol. 1
[Plin. Nat. 2.23. Translated by H. Rackham. Harvard University Press. 1938. (10 Vols.) p. 235]

But sometimes there is a comet in the western sky, usually a terrifying star and not easily expiated: for instance, during the civil disorder in the consulship of Octavius, and again during the war between Pompey and Caesar, or in our day about the time of the poisoning which secured the bequest of the empire by Claudius Caesar to Domitius Nero, and thereafter during Nero’s principate shining almost continuously and with a terrible glare.

Text #1644

"Gnaeus Octavius", in Wikipedia.

Gnaeus Octavius was consul of the Roman Republic in 76 BC. His father Marcus Octavius was possibly either the Marcus who was the tribunus plebis in 133 BC, political opponent of Tiberius Gracchus, or the Marcus who was also tribunus plebis and brought forward a law raising the price at which corn was sold to the people.

A member of the Plebeian gens Octavia, Gnaeus Octavius was elected Praetor by 79 BC at the latest. He may have been the praetor urbanus who introduced the Formula Octaviana, a law which provided for the restoration of property and money which had been obtained by violent acts, or by threats of violence. Gnaeus Octavius was elected consul for 76 BC, with Gaius Scribonius Curio as his colleague.

Scorned as an orator, he was also plagued with attacks of gout, which eventually made it impossible for him to walk.


Brennan, T. Corey, The Praetorship in the Roman Republic, Volume 2 (2000)

Broughton, T. Robert S., The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, Vol. II (1951)

Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, Vol III (1867).

Please view our Legal Notice before you make use of this Database.

See also our Credits page for info on data we are building upon.