Gaius Julius Caesar

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Gaius Julius Caesar was a name used by men of the gens Julia in ancient Rome. It was the full name (tria nomina) of the famous Julius Caesar, and was the name of several prominent men, including his father, during the Roman Republic. Gaius was one of the three most common praenomina (first names) for the Julii Caesares, the other two being Lucius and Sextus.

Republican era[edit]

  • Gaius Julius Caesar was the great-grandfather of the famous Julius Caesar and the first person to be known by this name. He was a great-great-great-grandson of Lucius Julius Libo, the consul in 267 BC.
  • Gaius Julius Caesar was the grandfather of the dictator. Nothing is known of his career; it is possible that he was a praetor, but few praetors in this period are recorded by name. He married a woman from the patrician Marcii Reges, a union his father would have arranged. He in turn arranged a marriage for his own son to Aurelia Cotta, a daughter of gens Aurelia from the Cotta branch, who had been plebeian nobles from the mid-3rd century BC, when two ancestors attained the consulship. He was either lucky or perspicacious in choosing a former plebeian tribune from an obscure family as a husband for his daughter: this man turned out to be Gaius Marius, the novus homo and seven-time consul.[1]
  • Gaius Julius Caesar, the father of the dictator, maintained his connections with brother-in-law Marius. In 103 or 100 BC, he served on a commission for land distribution, mainly to veterans who had served under Marius. He was praetor around 92 BC, and proconsul of Asia for two years or longer, but seems to have departed his province before the Mithridatic War broke out. He chose not to seek the consulship and to lead a quiet life outside Rome, dying in 85 BC at Pisa.[2]
  • Gaius Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC), usually referred to as Julius Caesar, the Roman general, consul, dictator and author whose career and assassination on the Ides of March, 44 BC, brought about the demise of the Roman Republic and creation of the Roman Empire.

Imperial era[edit]

See also: Caesar (title)

As Julius Caesar's adopted heir, Octavian, later known as Augustus, emphasized his connection to the assassinated dictator through his name, a practice continued by successors or potential successors in the Julio-Claudian dynasty of emperors.

  • Gaius Julius Caesar Octavanius Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD), first emperor (princeps), better known as Octavian or Augustus;
  • Gaius Julius Caesar (20 BC–AD 4), son of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, later adopted by Augustus as his heir;
  • Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus, better known as Caligula (12–41 AD), reigned 37–41 AD.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ernst Badian, "From the Iulii to Caesar," in A Companion to Julius Caesar (Blackwell, 2009), p. 15.
  2. ^ Badian, "From the Iulii to Caesar," pp. 15–16.