Agrippa’s Advice to His Comrades (Dio Cass. 49. 4): an Essay of Interpretation

Tariverdieva Sabina E.

The author of the article contests two main interpretations of Agrippa’s advice to his associates reported by Cassius Dio (49. 4). The followers of the fi rst view believe that Dio’s information is just a product of his own fantasy and has nothing to do with Agrippa. The supporters of the second interpretation believe that Dio’s account is quite reliable and therefore proves that Agrippa bewared of Augustus and that he really had such a bad opinion about rulers. It is argued in the article that the advice entirely corresponds to the common policies of Augustus and Agrippa in terms of strengthening the power of the princeps. A new interpretation of the advice is suggested: Agrippa recommended his associates to show modesty and leave their fame to the Emperor in order to secure as much as possible honour and authority for Augustus. It is very likely that Agrippa’s advice to his associates was the result of his common planning with Augustus.

Keywords: Marcus Agrippa, Augustus, principate, Sicilian War, refusal of triumph, Cassius Dio
  1. Dvoretskiy I.H. 1958: Drevnegrechesko-russkiy slovar. M.
  2. Markov K.V. 2007: Kontseptsiya idealnoy monarhii v .Rimskoy istorii. Diona Kassiya. Diss... k.i.n. N. Novgorod.
  3. Parfenov V.N. 2001: Imperator Tsezar Avgust. Armiya. Voyna. Politika. SPb.
  4. Tariverdieva S.E. 2012: Voenno-politicheskaya deyatelnost Agrippyi vo vremya gallskogo namestnichestva 40–38 gg. do n. e. // ENOZh .Istoriya.. 8 (16) [Elektronnyiy resurs]. Dostup dlya zaregistrirovannyih polzovateley. URL: (data obrascheniya: 22.05.2014).
  5. Tariverdieva S.E. 2013: Martsell i dinasticheskaya politika Avgusta // SH. XIII, 158–177.
  6. Beard M. 2007: The Roman Triumph. Cambr.
  7. Blumenthal F. 1913: Die Autobiographie des Augustus // Wiener Studien. 35, 267–288.
  8. Broughton T.R.S. 1952: The Magistrates of the Roman Republic. Vol. II. N.Y.
  9. Charlesworth M.P. 1933: Some Fragments of the Propaganda of Mark Antony // CQ. 27, 172–177.
  10. Crook J. 1996: Political History, 30 B.C. to A.D. 14 // CAH. Vol. X, 70–112.
  11. Eck W. 1984: Senatorial Self-Representation: Developments in the Augustan Period // Caesar Augustus: Seven Aspects / F. Millar, E. Segal (eds.). Oxf., 129–167.
  12. Freudenburg K. 2014: Recusatio as Political Theatre: Horace’s Letter to Augustus // JRS. 104, 105–132.
  13. Fullerton M.D. 1985: The Domus Augusti in Imperial Iconography of 13–12 B.C. // AJA. 89. 3, 473–483.
  14. Gardthausen V. 1891: Augustus und seine Zeit. Lpz.
  15. Gowing A.M. 1992: The Triumviral Narratives of Appian and Cassius Dio. Ann Arbor.
  16. Hickson F. V. 1991: Augustus “Triumphator”: Manipulation of the Triumphal Theme in the Political Program of Augustus // Latomus. 50, 124–138.
  17. Hinard F. 1985: Les proscriptions de la Rome r.publicaine. Rome.
  18. Kienast D. 2009: Augustus: Prinzeps und Monarch / 4. Aufl . Darmstadt.
  19. Konstan D. 1997: Friendship in the Classical World. Cambr.
  20. Liddell–Scott 1996: A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxf.
  21. Millar F. 1964: A Study of Cassius Dio. Oxf.
  22. Münzer F. 1999: Roman Aristocratic Parties and Families / T. Ridley (transl.). Baltimore–London.
  23. Reinhold M. 1933: Marcus Agrippa. A Biography. Geneva (NY).
  24. Reinhold M. 1972: Marcus Agrippa’s Son-in-Law P. Quinctilius Varus // CPh. 67, 119–121.
  25. Reinhold M. 1988: From Republic to Principate. An Historical Commentary on Cassius Dio’s Roman History Books 49–52 (36–29 BC). Atlanta.
  26. Roddaz J.-M. 1984: Marcus Agrippa. Rome.
  27. Shipley F.W. 2008: Agrippa’s Building Activities in Rome. Eugene.
  28. Syme R. 1934: Lentulus and the Origin of Moesia // JRS. 24, 113–137.
  29. Syme R. 1939: The Roman Revolution. Oxf.
  30. Syme R. 1986: The Augustan Aristocracy. Oxf.
  31. Wardle D. 1994: Agrippa’s Refusal of a Triumph in 19 B.C. // Antichton. 28, 58–64.