Calpurnia (wife of Caesar)

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Calpurnia from the 16th-century Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Calpurnia was the third and last wife of Julius Caesar. Born in 75 BC, she was the daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, consul in 58 BC, and sister of Lucius Calpurnius Piso (Pontifex), consul in 15 BC.[1]

Marriage and Caesar's demise[edit]

Calpurnia married Caesar in late 59 BC. Contemporary sources describe her as a humble, often shy woman.[2] No children resulted from their union. Caesar's daughter, Julia, was likely older than her stepmother, and had married Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus around the same time. Following Caesar's death in 44 BC, Calpurnia delivered all Caesar's personal papers, including his will and notes, and his most precious possessions to the consul Marcus Antonius, one of Caesar's most trusted allies. She never remarried.

According to a tradition reported in some ancient sources,[3] Calpurnia had a premonition about her husband's murder and endeavoured in vain to warn him. Unaware that praetor Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus was one of the conspirators against her husband, she asked him to send word to the Senate that Caesar was ill and unable to attend. However, Caesar rejected this plan, and Brutus escorted him into the hands of his enemies.

Calpurnia in literature and popular culture[edit]

Greer Garson as Calpurnia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Caesar's Gallic War, Book 1, Julius Caesar, Hinds & Noble, 1898, pg. 83.
  2. ^ Cicero: The Secrets of his Correspondence, Volume 1, Jerome Carcopino translator, Taylor & Francis, 1951, pg. 352.
  3. ^ Vita Caesaris, chapters 19–24, recounts Caesar's assassination; extracts are quoted in "The Assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC". EyeWitness to History. Retrieved 9 November 2005. . For an assessment of Nicolaus and his sources see Sihler, E.G. Annals of Caesar: A Critical Biography with a Survey of the Sources (New York : G. E. Stechert, 1911), pp. 293–4
  4. ^ "Sylvia Lennick, Wayne & Shuster sidekick, dies at 93". The Globe and Mail, August 10, 2009.