Marcellus, heir of Augustus
Marcus Claudius Marcellus was the designated heir by Augustus to the succession; was the son of his sister Octavia Minor and Gaius Claudius Marcellus, descended from the ancient family of the Claudi and the famous consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus General of the Second Punic War. He was born in Rome in 42 BC when Octavian was Triumvir with Mark Antony and Lepidus, was two years old when, in 40 BC his father died.
In 39 BC when the triumvirate signed peace with Sextus Pompey, son of Pompey the Great, who controlled Sicily, Octavian and Sextus to seal the agreement announced as promised spouses Marcellus and Sesto daughter; but the signed peace was instrumental to other military initiatives of the triumvirate who had need for legions against the Parthians. Fixed issue Parthian Octavian returned to attack Sextus Pompey was defeated at Nauloco by Agrippa and flee to Asia, where he was executed. The Marcellus engagement was broken and the boy began his public appearances alongside Augustus that not having male heirs saw in him the only possible heir.
For his education Octavia mother took as a teacher Nestor of Tarsus, probably addressed by Augustus as an educator who had the stoic Athenodorus himself from Tarsus.
Augustus had planned the whole life of Marcellus although it seems that adopted him ever- only historian who mentions the adoption of Marcellus is Plutarch - but in 25 B.C. he gave him to wife the daughter Julia who was fourteen years old. Augustus was away from Rome since the end of 27 B.C., engaged in the Cantabrian Wars, and then there was not at the ceremony where his deputy were made by his friend Agrippa, who had married in 28 BC Marcella, nephew of August and Claudius Marcellus sister.
Also in 25 BC, almost certainly by co-option, it seems that Marcellus is entered in the Arvales Collegium, the brotherhood more closed and exclusive of Rome where he entered for parental relations and, according to legend, it had to be natural or adopted children of Acca Larentia , then somehow descendants of Romulus.
Augustus in that period had health problems and decided to accelerate the preparation in command of Claudius Marcellus, and sent together with Tiberius, which was the same age as military tribune in Iberia because he wanted the two boys carried out the right military experience.
Marcellus and Tiberius had shared many experiences; just eleven years old participated in the triumph for the victory of Actium driving the chariot of Augustus. Marcellus in the place of honor rode the horse at outside right while Tiberius was on the left outer horse: Marcellus was the favorite and the differences that Augustus was fed a creeping rivalry and created concern for Livia on the future of her son Tiberius.
In Spain the two boys learned the first rudiments of military art, they suffered gear inconvenience and displacements and took care in organizing games for the soldiers.
But this was the first step on the road that Augusto had scored for him; Augustus was often ill and was afraid of dying before having arrange succession, so he pushed the Senate to accelerate the Cursus Honorum of Marcellus: in 24 BC by decree, he was allowed to become a senator and a candidate for the consulship ten years in advance. The same year he was appointed edile curule - magistrate who oversaw the observance of safety laws and the public interest in the City - then superintendent; for appointment to this position the eighteen year old Marcellus gave the great games in order to win the sympathy and approval of the people of Rome.The games had to be really beautiful and engaging because the people of Rome would never stopped loving the beautiful Marcellus and his wife Julia ...
by M.L. ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED (Ed 1.0 - 02/07/2016)