Julia Minor (sister of Caesar)

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Julia
Born 101 B.C.
Rome
Died 51 B.C.
Spouse Marcus Atius Balbus
Issue Atia Balba Prima
Atia Balba Caesonia
Atia Balba Tertia (?)
Father Gaius Julius Caesar
Mother Aurelia Cotta

Julia, also known as Julia Minor and Julia the Younger, (101–51 BC) was the second of two daughters of Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta. She is best known as the sister of the dictator Gaius Julius Caesar, and the maternal grandmother of Augustus.

Siblings[edit]

Julia and her siblings were born and raised at Rome. Because Roman daughters typically received praenomina only if they had several elder sisters, the elder sister came to be known as "Julia Major", and the younger as "Julia Minor", when it was necessary to distinguish between them.[i]

It is not known if it was the elder or the younger of the dictator's sisters who gave evidence against Publius Clodius Pulcher when he was impeached for impiety in 61 BC. Julia and her mother gave the legal courts a detailed account of the affair he had with Pompeia, Julius Caesar's wife. Caesar divorced Pompeia over the scandal.[1]

Marriage and offspring[edit]

Caesar's youngest sister married Marcus Atius Balbus, a praetor and commissioner who came from a senatorial family of plebeian status. Julia bore him three (or two, according to other sources) daughters. The second daughter, known as Atia Balba Caesonia was the mother of Octavia Minor (fourth wife of triumvir Mark Antony) and of first Emperor Augustus. Atia Balba Caesonia' sister, Atia Balba Prima (or Atia Balba Tertia) was the wife of Lucius Marcius Philippus. Their daughter, Marcia, later married to Paullus Fabius Maximus and bore him a son, Paullus Fabius Persicus. Fabia Numantina was either Marcia's daughter with Maximus or a daughter of his brother Africanus Fabius Maximus.

Another Atia, who may have been her daughter or her husband's daughter with a woman named Claudia, was married to Gaius Junius Silanus. Their son, also named Gaius Junius Silanus, became consul in AD 10. Though, Atia may have been the emendation of "Appia". Sons of the consul in 10 were Appius Junius Silanus, consul in 28, Decimus Junius Silanus, who involved in the disgrace of Julia the Younger, and Marcus Junius Silanus, consul suffectus in 15.[2]

Death[edit]

Balbus died in 52 BC and Julia died a year later. At age 12 Octavius, her youngest grandson, the future Emperor Augustus, delivered her funeral oration.

Sources[edit]

  • Suetonius - The Twelve Caesars - Caesar and Augustus.
  • Julia, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Note that these names also applied to other members of the Julia gens, in particular to Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus, and his granddaughter, Julia the Younger.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Suet. Caes. 74; Schol. Bob. in Clod. p. 337, Orelli.
  2. ^ Syme, Ronald (1989). The Augustan Aristocracy. Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-19-814731-2. A third Atia can now be conjured up.  (Limited Previes: "Atia, wife of Marcius Philippus (suff. 38 BC)" and "A daughter (Atia) would supply a wife for C. Silanus" of this page in Google Books)