Julia (wife of Marius)

Julia (c. 130 BC – 69 BC) was the wife of the Roman consul Gaius Marius and a paternal aunt of future Roman dictator Julius Caesar.

This bas-relief named Les Trémaïé may depict Julia and her husband Marius[1]
Bornc. 130 BC
Died69 BC (aged around 61)
Known forwife of Gaius Marius and aunt of Julius Caesar
SpouseGaius Marius
ChildrenGaius Marius the Younger
FamilyJulii Caesares

Biography edit

Julia was the daughter of Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcia (daughter of praetor Quintus Marcius Rex). She was a sister of Gaius Julius Caesar (the father of Julius Caesar) and Sextus Julius Caesar, consul in 91 BC.

At about 110 BC she married Gaius Marius. They had a son, Gaius Marius the Younger. Plutarch also mentions that Marius had two step-sons named Quintus Granius and Gnaeus Granius,[2] it is possible that these men were children of Julia by an earlier marriage or step-children of Marius from a marriage to another woman before Julia. If Quintus and Gnaeus were indeed Julia's sons, then her earlier husband was likely a member of the Campanian trading family since Julia was a patrician and would only have married someone from the Grania gens if they were very rich.[3]

According to Plutarch, it was by marrying her, a patrician woman, that the upstart Marius got the attention of the snobbish Roman Senate and launched his political career.[4] Julia is remembered as a virtuous woman devoted to her husband and their only child. Her reputation alone permitted her to keep her status, even after Sulla's persecutions against Marius himself and his allies.

Julia died in 69 BC and received a devoted funeral eulogy from her nephew Julius Caesar.[5]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Campagne de Marius dans la gaule. Marius, Marthe, Julie devant la légende des Saintes-Maries, Isidore Gilles, éd. Thorin, Paris, 1870, p. 67.
  2. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 299 ("Gnaeus and Quintus Granius").
  3. ^ Katz, B R (1975). "The First Fruits of Sulla's March". L'Antiquité Classique: 107 – via Persée.
  4. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "(The Life of) (Caius) Marius", VI
  5. ^ Plutarch, Parallel Lives, "(The Life of) (Julius) Caesar", V; Also: Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, "I. Julius Caesar", VI:

    When quaestor, he pronounced the customary orations from the rostra in praise of his aunt Julia and his wife Cornelia, who had both died. And in the eulogy of his aunt he spoke in the following terms of her paternal and maternal ancestry and that of his own father: "The family of my aunt Julia is descended by her mother from the kings, and on her father's side is akin to the immortal Gods; for the Marcii Reges (her mother's family name) go back to Ancus Marcius, and the Julii, the family of which ours is a branch, to Venus. Our stock therefore has at once the sanctity of kings, whose power is supreme among mortal men, and the claim to reverence which attaches to the Gods, who hold sway over kings themselves."

Bibliography edit

  • Münzer, Fredrich (1918). "Iulius 541" . Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft (in German). Vol. 10, 1. Stuttgart: Butcher. col. 892 – via Wikisource.
  • Plutarch (1919) [2nd century AD]. "Life of Caesar". Parallel Lives. Loeb Classical Library. Vol. 7. Translated by Perrin, Bernadotte. OCLC 40115288 – via LacusCurtius.
  • Plutarch (1920) [2nd century AD]. "Life of Marius". Parallel Lives. Loeb Classical Library. Vol. 9. Translated by Perrin, Bernadotte. OCLC 40115288 – via Perseus Digital Library.

External links edit