The Revenge of Augustus: Caesar, Octavian and History in Neil Gaiman’s "August"


  • Aleksandra Klęczar Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland



comic books, graphic novel, classical reception, Octavian Augustus, popular culture


Revenge of Augustus: Caesar, Octavian and History in Neil Gaiman’s "August"

The paper discusses the reception of Roman history in Neil Gaiman’s graphic short story August. It concentrates on the analysis of narrative approach and the ways in which the history of Rome, Caesar and Augustus has been interwoven with Gaiman’s fictional world.

PlumX Metrics of this article


Primary sources:

Gaiman N. et al., Sandman: Fables and Reflections, Burbank, Ca, 1992.

Gaiman N., August, [in:] N. Gaiman, Sandman, Vol. VI, Refleksje i przypowieści, transl. P. Breiter, Warszawa 2014, s. 98–122.

C. Suetonius Tranquillus, Divus Augustus, ed. M. Ihm, Leipzig–Berlin 1923.

Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars, Vol. I, transl. J.S. Rolfe, Loeb Classical Library 31, Harvard 1913. DOI:

Secondary sources:

Cantarella E., 1992, Bisexuality in the Ancient World, transl. C.Ó. Cuilleanáin, New Haven – London. DOI:

Kovacs G., Marshall C.W. (eds.), 2011, Classics and Comics, Oxford.

Kovacs G., Marshall C.W. (eds.), 2015, Son of Classics and Comics, Oxford.

Richlin A., 1993, ‘Not before Homosexuality: The Materiality of the Cinaedus and the Roman Law against Love between Men’, Journal of the History of Sexuality 3(4), pp. 523–573.

Reilly S., 2011, Old Made New: Neil Gaiman’s Storytelling in „The Sandman”, unpublished dissertation, Rhode Island College, accessible at,-99,43 (accessed 2019-01-02).

Sanders J. (ed.), 2006, Sandman Papers An Exploration of the Sandman Mythology, Seattle.

Strong A., 2011, ‘A Dream of Augustus. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Comics Mythology’, [in:] Classics and Comics, G. Kovacs, C.W. Marshall (eds.), Oxford, pp. 173–182.

Trentin L., 2011, ‘Deformity in the Roman Imperial Court’, Greece and Rome 58(2), pp. 195–208, [on-line:] DOI:

Williams C., 1999, Roman Homosexuality. Ideologies of Masculinity in Classical Antiquity, Oxford.

Websites: (accessed 2019-01-07).




How to Cite

Klęczar, A. “The Revenge of Augustus: Caesar, Octavian and History in Neil Gaiman’s ‘August’”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 21, Dec. 2018, pp. 107-20, doi:10.12797/CC.21.2018.21.07.