Octavia the Elder

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Octavia the Elder (lived 1st century BC), also known as Octavia Major or Octavia Maior (Maior is Latin for the Elder) was the daughter of the Roman governor and senator Gaius Octavius by his first wife, Ancharia. She was also an elder half-sister to Octavia the Younger and Roman Emperor Augustus.[1] Little is known of her life. Plutarch only knows one daughter Octavia of Gaius Octavius and confuses Octavia the Elder with Octavia the Younger.[2]

Marriage and descendants[edit]

Octavia the Elder was married to Sextus Appuleius (I). They had one son, who was also named Sextus Appuleius (II) and was ordinary consul in 29 BC with his half-uncle, Augustus.[3] Through her son, Sextus Appuleius (II), she had a grandson named Sextus Appuleius (III). Octavia the Elder's last known descendants were her great-grandson, also named Sextus Appuleius (IV), through her grandson and Fabia Numantina, and her great-granddaughter Appuleia Varilla, mothered by Claudia Marcella Major, her half-niece.[4]


  1. ^ Suetonius, Life of Augustus 4.1 [1]
  2. ^ Plutarch, Life of Antony 31.1-2 and 87
  3. ^ Inscriptions from Pergamon 2, 419 = Inscriptiones Graecae ad res Romanas pertinentes 4, 323 = Wilhelm Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci inscriptiones selectae 462.
  4. ^ Syme, R., Augustan Aristocracy (1989), pp. 316-8