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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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AUGUSTUS . This name is Latin, and was a new name conferred (16th Jan. b.c. 27) by the Roman Senate on Caius Octavius, who, after his adoption by the dictator Caius Julius Cæsar, bore the names Caius Julius Cæsar Octavianus. The word means ‘worthy of reverence’ (as a god), and was represented in Greek by Sebastos , which has the same signification, but was avoided by Luke 2:1 as impious. In official documents Augustus appears as ‘Imperator Cæsar Augustus.’ He was born in b.c. 63, was the first Roman emperor from b.c. 23, and died in a.d. 14. He was equally eminent as soldier and administrator, and the Empire was governed for centuries very much on the lines laid down by him. In Luke 2:1 he is mentioned as having issued a decree that all inhabitants of the Roman Empire should be enrolled (for purposes of taxation). There is evidence for a 14-year cycle of enrolment in the Roman province of Egypt.

A. Souter.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Augustus'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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