Talk:Julius Caesar/Family, affairs and sexuality

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Affair with King Nicomedia of Bithnyia

The accusation that Caesar had an affair with King Nicomedia of Bithnyia is unlikely to be true, I think. The accusation followed him throughout his life, but it doesn't fit with the rest of his character - he was a stickler for being a Roman of the Romans. This certainly didn't include homosexuality, popular in Greece but severely disapproved of in Rome. Can I suggest the page is edited to say only that this was a rumour? Winjer 18:46, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

See this article on homosexuality in the Roman Empire, as well as specific information on Julius Caesar: [1]
Homosexuality existed in the Roman Empire and it was part of the culture of the time. It was not "severely disapproved of". It was not viewed then and there as it is here and now. Cultural anthropology would have us abandon our cultural and religious notions of homosexuality and to look at what role it played in the society at the time.
With regard to the alleged "affair" with Nicomedia, the "accusation" was that Caesar played the "female role" during sexual encounters. His having sex with another male would not have been the problem.
For the noble classes and rulers to engage in such acts was not at all unusual. One could have homosexual contact, and still be Caesar and a "Roman of the Romans". The terms are not mutually exclusive. --ScottyFLL 03:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Caesarion as Caesar's son?

In the article is written that Caesarion was Caesar's son. Is this true? Did actually Caesar recognize the child?--Panairjdde 16:44, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Apparently; Cleopatra belived it, amd if Caesar had not also, he would not have allowed the use of his name; Mark Antony also declared so in the Senate, but the party of Octavian obviously had an interest in denying it. Plutarch records the parentage as a fact, but Dio and Suetonius have their doubts. Djnjwd 21:54, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Notice that, according to Roman law, a son must be recognized by his father to be part of the family. So, should I put a notice that, even if Cesarion possibly was biological son, he was not part of Caesar's family?--Panairjdde 07:38, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
I dont think he recognized as legitimate because, in his last will, Caesar acted as if he had no sons by adopting Octavius and naming him (a grand-nephew) as heir. So he was not part of his family. Apart from legal implications, i think he knew the boy was his, as well as everyone else. The fact that Caesarion was Caesar's son is the reason why Octavius killed at the first chance he had. muriel@pt 07:53, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
The fact that Caesarion's mother was not a Roman citizen, and thus neither was Caesarion, was probably rhe reason Caesar never publicly recognized him/included him in his will. If the boy can't inherit anything, then why bother?Kuralyov 10:28, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
One could reasonably argue that Caesar appointed Octavius as his heir because Caesar wouldn't live long enough for Caesarion to take over. So I don't think it's possible to draw any conclusions from that. ADB
Is it possible that Caesarion was recognized by Caesar, much in the way some medieval kings had recognized illegitamate children (i.e. Caesar considered the child to be his own, but not of the proper lineage to be an heir)?Varlet16 16:34, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I am sure Cleopatra wanted people - possible including Caesar - believe Caesarion was Caesar's son since it strengthened her position (and Egypts). However is it hard to believe that a womanizer - as Caesar was - would only father one child (Julia) with his first wive and then several marriages and affairs later have his second child when he is about 52??? In addition many historians argue the fact that Cicero mentioned the child only very late supports the view that the fathership was not really believed in. Well for Octavian's reason to kill: he could not afford to leave even the slightest chance to anybody else to claim a connection with Caesar since that was his only way to get the position he reached at Actium.


I've changed the homosexuality section in order to toe the line proposed by Suetonius better, and I think it will allow those coming to this ariticle to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to believe it. So I don't get slamed, I'll quote Suetonius at length - "When Thermus sent Caesar to Bithnyia, he wasted so much time at King Nicomedes' court that a homosexual relationship between them was suspected, and suspicion gave way to scandal when, soon after his return to headquarters, he returned to Bithynia: ostensibly collecting a debt incurred there by one of his freedmen." (The Twelve Caesars, Book 2, Pengiun Classics version). That quote there is not enough to indict anyone, so in the spirit of fairness - and quite frankly, honesty - we ought to leave the issue open as it is. --Kulindar 05:53, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

The part about "male lovers" quotes only from Caesar's political enemies. Contrary to the implications of the article, homosexuality wasn't an accepted social practice in ancient Rome. Caesar's enemies spread rumours about his being Nicomedes's homosexual lover when a youth as a means of damaging him politically.

Yes. It was. You should actually READ before contributing your garbage! Have you not heard of Hadrian? The only thing bad about Caesar's was he was PENETRATED. LEARN!!!! 20:20, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Homosexuality wasn't accepted social practice so much as it was a fairly common dirty secret; in the Republican era, homosexuality wasn't uncommon, but it was very much looked down upon in the upper classes. Personally, I think it would be more appropriate to mention that there were allegations of homosexuality made by his political enemies, but also mention the social context of these allegations.---Mr. Nexx 21:57, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Homosexuality was not looked down upon at all. Cite your source for that contention. It was the penetration of a free born male that was looked down upon. And that is mentioned in the piece. 08:59, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately, we're bugged out for Rita, so I can't get to my references, but you haven't cited any scholars, either; you've cited Suetonius. IIRC, Michael Grant was rather skeptical of Suetonius's assertion. ---Mr. Nexx 14:57, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree with MrNexx. Unlike Alexander the Great, who few scholars dispute at least engaged occasionally in homosexual activity, I've not heard a unanimous decision on Julius Caesar's supposed homosexuality. Seutonius is not above reporting mere tittle-tattle and gossip, and it's still perfectly possible that these accuasions are just another series of political slanders invented to discredit Caesar by jealous collegues. So until the scholarly community has made a clear decision on it, it should be reported with multiple angles in mind, making note that while it was possible that Caesar was gay, it is not certain.--Kulindar 07:04, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Caesar was not gay. But he was not straight either. In ancient Rome the normal thing was bisexuality. Cite some scholars who believe the Nicomedes thing is false. Wikipedia is not a Christian gossip column. You can only contribue things that others have said not your own opinions. 08:59, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
Michael Parenti, if you want, in 'The Assassination of Julius Caesar' is one source for anti-homosexual attitudes within Rome during this time period. Juvenal has nothing but disdain for it; Polybius writes that Roman soldiers caught in homosexual liasons could be flogged to death. So yes, there was a serious homophobic attitude in the Republic - moreover, the fact that the source for the liasons between Caesar and other men comes only from Caesar's most virulent opponents should make them suspect testimony. No official imperial historian under Augustus dared to repeat the stories, eloquent testitomy as to what Augustus thought of them. Like I said, it's uncertain - and should be written down as such, not as a decided fact.--Kulindar 07:06, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Look at Antinous. And sorry if I am being rude I am just sick and tired of some Wikipedians who thinks that everybody in the world adopted the the Christian Dark Age attitude of homosexuality and then goes around and deleted everything that someone else had spent a lot of time researching. Esp. sine the part you deleted was FULLY SOURCED BY PAGE NUMBERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20:31, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

Don't know bout his political enemies, but one thing I've heard or read somewhere was that Caesar slept his way to the top just like people of modern time sometimes do. And since there were no female senators&important sponsors...
I also don't know much bout the attitude of Romans regarding homosexuality, but this was the pre-christian times and the future laws&punishment again'st homosexuality was still centuries away, as was the "moral" institutions of christianity. But regardless of how tolerant or distolerant Rome was bout that, I'm guessing Caesar wouldn't have been bragging that he got a critical vote or large funds by sleeping with someone, male OR female.

Fred26 09:22, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

The OCD says that it is "impossible to speak in general term about ancient attitudes towards 'homosexuality', or about the degree of its acceptance or toleration by particular communities", because the ancients ascribed more importance to specific acts, and that the "traditional belief that Roman men regarded 'homosexuality' with repugnance and that its presence at Rome was the result of Greek influence is mistaken". It has three pages on the subject, and refers to a dozen books, so I think we should be pretty careful about trying to interpret the ancient authors ourselves - just quote what they said, and refer to any modern authors writing on the subject. Stan 13:57, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

While it is impossible to prove whether or not the young G.J.C. had a homosexual affair with the king of Bithynia, there can be no doubt that homosexuality did not meet with universal approval in Roman society, and was, in fact, often received with the opposite reaction. This was especially true in earlier times, when the typically Roman ideal of austerity was in vogue. A good source on the topic is the book Roman Homosexuality by Craig A. Williams.

I would also like to point out that despite the wishful thinking of many today, animus towards homosexuality has been widespread in human cultures past and present; it is "normal," if you will. And while hysterical gay activists may wear out their ! key berating this posting, I believe they would hard-pressed to come up with a single credible source describing general acceptance of homosexuality in any major non-Western culture. Do Chinese, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Aztec, Incan, or any other cultures really consider homosexuality normal and on par with heterosexuality? Hardly. Such being the case, it is not surprising that Roman society would also have at least some degree of disapproval towards the practice, thus making allegations of G.J.C.'s homosexuality a convenient weapon for his many enemies. User:wgiuliano 23:27, October 3 2005 (UTC)

You miss the point, which is there is no evidence that preferring members of the same sex was frowned upon, in fact there was not even a word for the concept. Contrariwise, we have quite a bit of information about which acts were OK, which were not, and about how the OKness depended on one's age and social status. For instance, it was always OK for any Roman citizen to buy a slave for the purposes of penetration, no "degree of disapproval" attached to it. But if you bought a slave to penetrate you, that made you a "catamite", and you would be regarded with shame and horror. To bring it back to Caesar, it would have been of the utmost importance as to which role he played in sex acts, but no one would have cared about any proclivities he might have had. Stan 06:10, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Stan is entirely correct. For the others please do some reading. Homosexuality during the era was largely class based, with huge importance placed on the position, namely active / passive. Not a single, solitary Roman would have made a fuss had Caesar been given oral sex by a slave boy, however, if Caesar had given, as in the case of being penetrated during anal sex the free born Roman male's dominance was at stake, something all if not most Romans would frown upon. 05:00, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

  • People keep citing the Antonine age as a proof that homosexuality was accepted in Rome. We have to remember Rome's culture was not static, and by Hadrian's time, it was more acceptable. But Caesar did not live then, he lived in a more conservative Republic. As for Roman opinion of homosexuality in Caesar's time, well, it seems pretty obvious to me. If his enemy's would use it to insult him, then they could hardly have thought it "ok". --Cjcaesar 15:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Homosexuality was considered decadent in Rome. Twenty years before the Caesar-Nicomedes incident, Marius had exonerated a man who murdered a homosexual making advances. Marius applauded the deed. The extent to which it was tolerated however is different. Certainly passive homosexuals were social pariahs if they were found out. The stigma also was considerable. But to say that homosexuality was socially tolerated is erroneous. It was rumoured of Sulla by Suetonius etc., but Sulla was never known to have engaged in it during his career in any public manner. Therefore I have removed that strange homosexual explanation under Caesar's male lovers(if in fact he ever had any). Personally I feel that it is suffice to say that he had a rumoured affair with Nicomedes and that the stigma created by the nature of such a relationship was used by his enemies. --Licinius 13:08, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Though we will never know for certain (as his memoirs no longer exist), ancient sources indicate that Sulla 'came out' late in life and revealed that he had a life-long partner, in a greek freedman named Metrobius. Though to be fair, By 'ancient sources', i do mean Plutarch. Though Wikipedia's own Metrobius section states similarly.
Many people in Caesar's time claimed that Caesar had had homosexual affairs. Even though most come from his enemies and are likely slander, these accusations must be mentioned. If anyone has a problem with them, they should make sure that the section on Caesar's male lovers clearly states the posibility or even probability of slander. —David618 05:28, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Ok this grinds my gears big time. When did all the great people of ancient greece/rome turn homosexual? It seems like some huge fucking government conspiracy theory.

Alexander the great - GAY! Julius Caecar - GAY Achilles - GAY Odysseus - GAY Marcus Aurelius - GAY etc. etc. Everyone was gay back then! ... i agree..... i think they acted gay 2... ^^ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:56, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Reorganization of Caesar's Family

I feel that it is more appropriate that the section on Caesar's family begin with his more proven legal relatives (such as his wives, children, and grandchild), and his undisputed female lovers, rather than his unproven homosexual lovers. I also editted the section on his homosexual lovers somewhat; the quotes are no longer there, but the substance of the accusations and Caesar's response to them is there. I think it would be appropriate to add to this section a note about his ancestors (Venus and Romulus), and his more immediate relatives (such as Gaius Marius). If we're going to sum up his family, let's do it right. ---Mr. Nexx 15:37, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Cleopatra's relationship with Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar married Cleopatra VII. Julius was 54 and Cleopatra was 21. Also, the story of Cleopatra and Caesar is full of love, romance, greed, and war.a Roman army led by Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt. Caesar was pursuing (going after, chasing) A Roman army that tried to keep him from returning to Rome. She arranged to have a huge carpet (rug) delivered to the 54-year-old Caesar. When he unrolled it, he found the 22-year-old former queen wrapped inside. Caesar and Cleopatra became lovers, and Cleopatra got what she wanted from him. The Roman general led his army to capture and kill the people who removed her from power.she was in love with Julius Caesar. Caesar and Cleopatra spent the next several months traveling along the Nile, where Caesar saw how the Egyptian people worshipped her. Caesar was a very powerful general who conquered many lands, but he knew that becoming a pharaoh was something he could never achieve. He saw his marriage to Cleopatra might unite Rome with Egypt. Perhaps their son could eventually rule this great empire. Caesar returned to Rome in 46 BCE with Cleopatra and their newborn son, Caesarion. At this time, Caesar already had a Roman wife. Many Romans were shocked that he would also marry a foreign womanCaesar returned to Rome in 46 BCE with Cleopatra and their newborn son, Caesarion. At this time, Caesar already had a Roman wife. Many Romans were shocked that he would also marry a foreign woman. But Julius Caesar was very popular with the Roman people. They named him dictator (ruler with complete power). Cleopatra was not popular with the Romans, however. She had called herself the "new Isis" (an Egyptian goddess), and she didn't worship the Roman gods. The senators of Rome were threatened Julius Caesar's popularity and power. Caesar used his power to make many changes in Rome, often without approval from the Senate. A year after his election as dictator, the Roman people elected Caesar "dictator for life." The Roman senators were outraged. On March 15, 44 B.C., Caesar was met by a mob of sixty senators who stabbed the him to death.The senators of Rome were threatened Julius Caesar's popularity and power. Caesar used his power to make many changes in Rome, often without approval from the Senate. A year after his election as dictator, the Roman people elected Caesar "dictator for life." The Roman senators were outraged. On March 15, 44 B.C., Caesar was met by a mob of sixty senators who stabbed the him to death.The senators of Rome were threatened Julius Caesar's popularity and power. Caesar used his power to make many changes in Rome, often without approval from the Senate. A year after his election as dictator, the Roman people elected Caesar "dictator for life." The Roman senators were outraged. On March 15, 44 B.C., Caesar was met by a mob of sixty senators who stabbed the him to death. She thought that she was once again in control of Egypt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ls600h (talkcontribs) 11:13, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


"Caesar arrived a short time afterwards. As a welcoming present he received Pompey's head and ring in a basket. However, he was not pleased in seeing his enemy, once his ally and son-in-law, murdered by traitors."

I dont understand. How can Pompey be Caesars son-in-law? It doesn't seem to be mentioned elsewhere in the article

Jonatan 22:18, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Caesar married his daughter to Pompey in order to cement their alliance. ---Mr. Nexx 22:40, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Oh yeah, thanks. I just missed it. Lets delete this.

Jonatan 11:00, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Cornelia Sulla or Cinna

In the section under "Early Life" it states that Cornelia was daughter to Lucius Cornelia Cinna, Maurius' supporter and Sullas' enemy, but in Cornelia's page, it says she was daughter to Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Which is it?


Cossutia being his first wife isn't mentioned in the article, only in the sidebar, and I don't recognise the name. I'll remove it pending discussion and references.

According to Suetonius, Caesar was engaged to Cossutia by his family when he was a boy. She came from a wealthy equestrian family, but he broke off the engagement and married Cinna's daughter Cornelia when he became Flamen Dialis [2] - the priesthoods were strictly patrician. Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology [3] calls her Caesar's first wife, but Suetonius doesn't actually say he married her, just that he had been engaged to. --Nicknack009 12:55, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Re Julio-Claudian dynasty

I've removed the succession box entry for the Julio-Claudian dynasty, as I strongly doubt that Julius Caesar is properly considered part of that dynasty. Paul August 21:25, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Might as well just call it the Claudian dynasty and have done with it.... Bill 22:44, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, Augustus, and his Vipsanian grandchildren, are generally considered part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, aren't they? john k 13:12, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Although, thinking about it, there really weren't any Julians in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. We have Octavians, Vipsanians, and Claudians, perhaps some Antonians and Aemilians...but no Julians. john k 13:14, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I guess I wasn't as clear as I could have been. The traditional scholarly name of the dynasty is Julio-Claudian; the Julio- refers to Julius. It seems most peculiar, in the particular baroque kind of way for which Wikipedia is notorious, to remove Julius from the dynasty which he founded. Bill 14:05, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I had always that the "Julio-" referred to his adopted son, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, aka Augustus. john k 14:24, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
And since Augustus was born neither Julius nor Caesar, but adopted by the original JC, as extra-crispy he took the name from guess where. Wikipedia really needs to stop reinventing the wheel! Bill 17:17, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe that noramlly Julius Caesar is not considered part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty—Augustus is normally the start because the Caesar was not an emperor. However, he is closely linked to the dynasty and it should be mentioned. —David618 t e 21:47, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
The man born Gaius Octavius acquired his status as a Julian from his adoption by Caesar. But that doesn't mean that Julius Caesar was part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, any more than it means that Julius Caesar's father, through him Caesar himself acquired his Julian status, was a member of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. My understanding of this originally is that Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula are technically "Julians", because Augustus was adopted son of Julius Caesar, Tiberius the adopted son of Augustus, Germanicus the adopted son of Tiberius, and Caligula the actual son of Germanicus. On the other hand, Claudius and Nero are Claudians, since Claudius was never adopted into the Julian clan, and Nero (originally Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus) was his adopted son. The connection into a single "Julio-Claudian" Dynasty can come from a) the fact that Tiberius and Caligula were both, by blood, Claudians; and b) the fact that all these rulers were closely related to one another, and it doesn't make a terrible amount of sense to artficially separate them on the basis of adoptions. thus "Julio-Claudians". It has nothing terribly much to do with Caesar the elder. john k 23:26, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Caesar's father's death

Ari89, you removed the statement that Caesar's father died suddenly "while putting on his shoes one morning". Well, yes he did, or at least that's what Pliny the Elder (cited in the footnote to that passage) says. I quote: "Two of the Cæsars, one of whom was at the time prætor, and the other had previously discharged that office, and was the father of the Dictator Cæsar, died without any apparent cause, in the morning, while putting on their shoes; the former at Pisæ, the latter at Rome." --Nicknack009 18:07, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Tertia (or Tertulla)

The only reference I ever found of a Tertia (or Tertulla) daughter of Servilia Caepionis was in Suetonius (Caesar, 50), where she is referred to be Caesar's mistress. Now, since we are talking about Romans not Ptolomies, that's quite different from daughter. Can anybody provide a reference for the addition of Tertia to Caesar's descendants? If not, I'll remove it in two days. Cheers, Muriel Victoria 07:57, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

  • Removed, but still open to discussion if the reference is other that The October Horse :) Muriel

According to Wikipedia's own article for Junia Tertia, there were many rumours about. Her mother, Servilla Caepionis was said to have offered up her third daughter, Julia Tertia (or Tartulla) to Julius Caesar as a mistress when he took less of an interest in Servilla. There was also another rumour that she was Julius Caesar's daughter, as at the time of birth her mother was Julius' lover. But both were never proven and, in fact, after a while it was proven that Julia's father was actually Servilla's second husband, Decimus Junius Silanus. Therefore, both 'facts' are just rumours. I hope I have cleared this up sufficiently. Rev. James Triggs 21:14, 9 August 2006 (UTC)