Suetonis Life of Augustus
“Gallius was tortured as if he were a slave; and though he confessed to nothing, Augustus himself tore out his eyes and sentenced him to death.” (Suetonis 27)
“According to some historians, he chose 300 prisoners of equestrian or senatorial rank, and offered them on the ides of March at the altar of the God Julius, as human sacrifices. (Suetonis, 15)”
The first quote is addressed in the 27 paragraph where it is explained by Augustus was hated during his reign. This quote is an example of Augustus being irrational, using just what he thought he saw (a sword) and killing a possibly innocent man. Augustus acted rashly. The reason I associate the term Iris with this quote is because although Augustus could have been mistaken with the object he thought he saw on Gallius, he went so far to tear his eyes as if removing doubt to what he saw. It is a guilty complex to assume someone is a threat and instead of being incorrect, Augustus uses the idea “If you don’t see it, it never happened”. He was trying to mask his mistake but removing the eyes of his victim.
The second quote refers to Augustus again being hot headed. In the passage, Augustus seek revenge with sentencing death to crowds of prisoner. The event happens to be on the Ides of March, the day Julius Caesar was given his fate. The ides of march, best known as the foretold date, reminded me of eyes that could see into the future. Ides, translated to the day falling to the middle of the month, made me think of eyes (play on words) . The iris of a person’s eyes is near the front of the eye, between the cornea and the pupil- the middle of the person’s eyes. It control the amount of light a person processes. The eyes move quickly and rapidly change the amount of light it processes to the brain. Just like the Iris, Augustus is rash and impulsive to act.
Latin may be a dead language, but several words derive from it, including the word iris. During Caesar’s error it would not be uncommon to hear someone say iris and not refer to the color of one’s eyes. Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and the messenger of the Olympian gods, specifically the God named Hera.
In your own words
This is an image of me. I took it to show my Iris and how my eyes of dilated because of the flash. Although the name Iris, comes from a God, it comes from a God Augustus most likely knew of and worshiped during his life.
The quotes to not directly connect with Iris since it is the name of a God but I found it interesting how rash and impetuous Augustus was, especially about killing people. It reminded me of how my father teases me that my eyes are bigger than my mouth or when I go through episodes of rapid thought and continuously look for everything to do and never being able to slow down and concentrate.
This image relates to Art 1010 because I took this image in my living room next to the blue lamp my father loves. This lamp has a similar shape that of a Pelike which is a one-piece ceramic container similar to an amphora. It has two open handles, a narrow neck, a flanged mouth, and a sagging, almost spherical belly. I thought it was interesting since I considered everything in my home very modern. Having a lamp resemble something from ancient Greece would be fun to say in a conversation.
Cameron, Cannon TEAM JUPITER