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Not to be confused with Son of God.

Divi filius is a Latin phrase meaning "son of god", and was a title much used by the adopted son of Julius Caesar, his great-nephew Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus.


On 1 January 42 BC, nearly two years after the assassination of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44 BC, but before the final victory of the Second Triumvirate over the conspirators who had taken his life, the Roman Senate recognised him as a divinity. He was therefore referred to as Divus Iulius (the divine Julius), and his adopted son styled himself Divi filius[1][2] (son of the deified one, son of the god). The fuller form, "divi Iuli filius" (son of the divine Julius) was also used.[3]

Octavian used the title divi filius to advance his political position, finally overcoming all rivals for power within the Roman state.[4] The title was for him "a useful propaganda tool", and was displayed on the coins that he issued.[5]

Other emperors[edit]

Since Augustus himself (the title "Augustus" was officially conferred on Octavian in 27 BC) and some other Roman Emperors were deified after death, the title Divi Filius was also applied to some of Augustus's successors: Tiberius, Nero, and Domitian.[6]

Distinction from "Dei Filius"[edit]

The term used for Julius Caesar and the deified emperors was "divus", not "deus', the word used for gods such as Jupiter and Mars. Augustus was thus called "Divi Filius", not "Dei Filius", the phrase that Christians used of Jesus.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Syme, Ronald (2002) [1939]. The Roman Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 202. ISBN 0-19-280320-4. 
  2. ^ 'Augustus' Gaius Julius Octavius
  3. ^ Inscription on Porta Tiburtina in Rome
  4. ^ "Ostentatiously rejecting divinity on his own account, he rose to power via Caesar's divine image instead" (Augustus, by Pat Southern, p. 63).
  5. ^ Coins of the Emperor Augustus; examples are a coin of 38 B.C. inscribed "Divi Iuli filius", and another of 31 B.C. bearing the inscription "Divi filius" (Auguste vu par lui-même et par les autres by Juliette Reid).
  6. ^ Tae Hun Kim, «The Anarthrous υἱὸς θεοῦ in Mark 15,39 and the Roman Imperial Cult»

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25 news items

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:56:15 -0700

He also collected numerous titles over the course of his life, such as pontifex maximus (chief priest), princeps (first citizen), imperator (commander in chief) and divi filius (son of a god), the last of which he took on following Caesar's deification ...

The Independent

The Independent
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:00:15 -0700

And once Antony and Cleopatra were dead, and his control of the Roman world was unrivalled, he was known as Imperator Caesar Augustus, divi filius (son of a god, which Julius Caesar had now become). This problem isn't a modern one, as Adrian ...

The New York Review of Books

The New York Review of Books
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Within another decade this “Imperator Caesar Divi Filius” had successfully wrested absolute control of the vast Roman dominions from his one remaining rival, Antony, whom he defeated at Actium in 31 BC and who committed suicide a year later, along with ...
Blaue Narzisse
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:22:30 -0700

Der letzte republikanische Widerstand kapitulierte 42 v. Chr. in Philippi in Nordgriechenland. Nach der erfolgten Vergöttlichung seines Adoptivvaters konnte sich Octavianus neben „Caesar“ auch „Divi filius“, „Sohn des zu den Göttern Entrückten“, nennen.

Wiesbadener Kurier

Wiesbadener Kurier
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:33:45 -0700

Und Augustus, Großneffe und Adoptivsohn Julius Cäsars, war schließlich zwei Tage nach seinem Tod zum Gott erhoben worden, zum Divus Augustus Divi filius. Damit genoss er im römischen Staat allgemeine Verehrung. Schon im Jahr 8 n. Chr. hatte der ...
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Пълната му титла към момента на смъртта му е Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, Consul XIII, Imperator XXI, Tribuniciae potestatis XXXVII, Pater Patriae (Император, син на Божествения Цезар, Август, Велик Понтифик, Консул ...

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20:30:24 -0700

Cäsar wurde zum «divus», sein Sohn zum «divi filius». 31 v. Chr. triumphierte der «Sohn des Vergöttlichten» bei Aktium vor der griechischen Westküste über seine Gegner. Antonius und Kleopatra begingen daraufhin Selbstmord. Der Sieger war der ...
Vanity Fair.it
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 01:15:00 -0700

Il nome completo è Gaio Giulio Cesare Ottaviano Augusto e poi Imperator Caesar Divi filius Augustus, titolo che il Senato gli attribuì nel 27 a.C. In realtà la definizione usata a Roma era princeps, non imperatore, e il periodo di potere è chiamato ...

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