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 Definition Founder of the Roman Empire; first emperor. [d] [e]
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Introduction and paragraphs on names & titles taken from German WP, but written completely by myself
Arne Eickenberg 19:29, 7 July 2007 (CDT)

Note on the introductory paragraphs

Introduction / Names & Titles / Early life: These paragraphs (incl. the footnotes) are a translation of the Augustus-article in the German Wikipedia. It's material that I wrote myself, so as per this policy page the article in its current state doesn't need to be flagged with "Content from Wikipedia". —Arne Eickenberg 12:59, 13 May 2007 (CDT)


Hi. I see some black-and-white images have been added to the article. I'm sure we could also find colour pictures in places like Flikcr (take a look at this [[1]] or Wikimedia Commons. --José Leonardo Andrade 06:08, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

I'm actually more a fan of black&white photos, because all of these statues are themselves without color, even if it's a modern color photo. The only thing you have is the rather undistinguished color of the sandstone, the marble etc.. Often it simply looks plain ugly, e.g. here with the red background color. Rather no image than a bad one! ;-) In addition the Romans painted their houses and statues quite colorful, draped the busts, attached jewelry like earrings, painted the eyes etc., so what we see today as "ancient statues" is actually only the rudimentary and rather vacant basis. Therefore a black&white image would not give any wrong impression. But the image that you showed on Flickr for instance, with the corona civica, is much better than e.g. this one, especially since the typical Augustan "hair pincer" above the forehead is more pronounced and accurate. —Arne Eickenberg 07:00, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

Anyway, I don't think images are the most important issue right now, it's more important to develop the article. You're right about the statues (the same thing goes for Greek ones), but I just think that black-and-white images end up giving a bit of an old fashion feel to the article.--José Leonardo Andrade 09:02, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Use of BC/BCE and †

I have a doubt here. Should we use "before Christ" (BC) or "before Common Era" (BCE)? I see some articles are using BCE, like Socrates, while others use BC. I don't know if this has been discussed somewhere or if there is a page that points to the form we should use. Another thing that caught my attention was the use of the sign †. I notice that this is used on the German Wikipedia, however it raises some questions because of its conotations as a Christian symbol. Not that there is anything wrong with Christian symbols, but is it fair to use on the biography of a muslim, jewish or atheist person? --José Leonardo Andrade 09:13, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

I found something on the forums...[2] not much though.--José Leonardo Andrade 09:32, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

The terms CE and BCE are simply make-up, because they don't alter the christocentricity of the calendar. The "common era" still begins with the purported date of the Christ's birth, so using CE and BCE is actually a fake kind of political correctness, false obscurantism. "Common Era" is still only a different name for "Christian era". Besides, it is after all the calendar of the western world, which is mainly influenced by Christianity, and it is a Christian calendar. Therefore AD & BC are totally acceptable. In terms of Roman persons, the birthdate and date of death could additionally be given ab urbe condita, since this was the prevalent calendar at the time, as pre-Julian and Julian. We should also keep in mind that in all of mankind's history, people in the diaspora have always used and adhered to the calendars that were valid in their respective places of residence. If someone doesn't like BC & AD, he can always define them as abbreviations of "Before the Common era" and of "After the Dawn of the common era". It's of course arbitrary, but so is the replacement of AD/BC with BCE/CE. In essence they will have to change the calendar first.
Concerning the sign , it's not much different. Of course the cross is also a Christian symbol, but here it simply stands for "date of death". Besides it's originally and in the majority not a cross but a dagger, an obelos, a general punctuation symbol. In early Christian writings it was also used as a dagger, not as a cross. The same applies for the Chi-Rho . Of course it means Christus, but in antiquity it was used (also by early Christian writers) to mark "useful" passages in texts, meaning chrestos ("useful", "good"), similar to the , the checkmark, which was originally the letter v, because it stood for "seen" (Latin: visum). So if someone misinterprets the dagger as a Christian cross or alleges that we are christocentric when we use the †-symbol, it's really his problem, not ours. ;-) —Arne Eickenberg 10:07, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
We're following the Chicago manual of style which says that BC, BCE or others systems based on other religions are acceptable as long as there is consistency within the article and it's clear which you are using. Larry Sanger has said it is up to the editors of any article to decide what is apropriate on each article. Derek Harkness 00:02, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

Use of apostrophe-s: possessive case / saxon genitive

The WP articles on the apostrophe and the genitive Saxon genitive seem to be correct but incomplete, especially concerning the use of the apostrophe or the apostrophe-s in connection with family names. The following additional rules have to be obeyed, especially when writing articles for the classics and history sections:

  • non-English and also (and especially) classical, historical, biblical and historically important proper names (including English names) are suffixed with only an apostrophe, not an apostrophe-s: e.g. Octavius' name, Socrates' beard, Jesus' sandals, Guy Fawkes' mother, Descartes' writings, Elvis' music etc., although there seems to be some debate on French names, which is based on the fact that the French ending -s is usually not spoken ([deˈkaʀt] for Descartes). However, in the case of many French names their origin is Latin: e.g. the name Descartes was also known as Cartesius. This Latin origin of many French names with a spoken s enforces Descartes' writings, not Descartes's writings, independent on how the name is pronounced nowadays.
  • family names ending on a vowel + voiceless -s (e.g. Moss, Davis) have the same saxon genitive as all other general nouns ending on -s, i.e. in the singular: Mr. Davis's dog and in the plural: the Davises' dog.
  • in the cases of the other family names that sound like a plural-s or genitive-s (i.e. either a voiceless -s-ending after a consonant, as in Bates, or a voiced -s-ending, as in Jones) other rules apply: here it's Mr. Bates' dog and Mr. Jones' dog in the singular, whereas in the plural both variations are allowed: the Bates' dog or the Bates's dog; but only: the Joneses' dog. Although linguistically incorrect, forms like Mr. Jones's dog have crept into everyday usage and are now considered acceptable (cp. e.g. Thomson/Martinet: A Practical English Grammar, Oxford Univ. Press 1983).

I hope to have cleared this up. In any case it means that it is by no means allowed to use the apostrophe-s with names of antiquity ending on -s, like Octavius, Marcus, Cassius, Decimus, Gaius, Lucullus etc. pp. --Æ 08:41, 7 June 2007 (CDT)


The notes on this article are absurdly long. The first, a note on his birthday, is longer than the entire introductory section. Most, if not all of these notes should be incorporated into appropriate parts of the article proper. For instance, in the first note, the discussion of Augustus' use of Capricorn would be appropriate for a section discussing his adoption and subsequent exploitation of his association with Julius Caesar. James A. Flippin 17:51, 17 June 2007 (CDT)

Yes. The restructuring of the article will happen at a later date. The Capricorn paragraph will definitely move from the footnotes to an article passage on the games of July 44 and the appearance of the comet. At this point the text is just a 1:1 translation from my entry for the German wikipedia. —Arne Eickenberg 18:16, 17 June 2007 (CDT)
Good to know... the notes are very well written, I must say. James A. Flippin 19:14, 17 June 2007 (CDT)