San José State University
& Tornado Alley
The Timeline of the Life of |
Julia, Daughter of Octavian
When Octavian had secured power in Rome there was one dangerous threat to his governance.
In Sicily the son of Pompei, Sextus, could control the trade routes in the Mediterranean. Octavian
decided to seek a diplomatic solution to the danger by marrying the daughter of Sextus, Scribonia
Sabina. This ploy did not work. Sextus sought an alliance with Octavian's rival Mark Antony.
Nevertheless Octavian emerged the victorius and unchallenged emperor of Rome. He was not
called emperor but in effect that was what he was.
Julia was Octavian's only child and very often she seemed to be treated like a genealogical pawn
used by Octavian to try to get a male heir to succeed him. His efforts were unsuccessful.
Julia, Daughter of Octavian
- 39 BCE:Scribonia Sabina gives birth to a daughter Julia. Octavian divorces her a few days after
the birth of Julia. Julia lives with her father along with three boys; Marcus Marcellus, Octavian's nephew,
and Tiberius and Drusus the sons of Octavian's wife Livia Drusilla by a previous marriage.
- 27 BCE: Octavian went on an inspection tour of Roman outposts in Gaul.
He took Tiberius and Marcellus with him and they learned the rudiments of managing troops. Upon their return Octavian sanctioned
the marriage of his daughter Julia with Marcellus. She was about twelve years of age.
- 23 BCE: Octavian fell seriously ill. He had had bouts of sickness before but not as severe
as this one was. The illness may have been typhoid fever.
Marcellus, the husband of Octavian's daughter Julia dies. She is a widow at 16 years of age.
Marcellus was the son of
Octavian's sister Octavia. His death left Octavian without
an obvious male heir to his power within his family. His friend Agrippa was the only
man who could maintain the loyalty of the army as his successor. Agrippa already had superior
status to the elected proconsols of Rome and had been sent to the East as a deputy of
Caesar Augustus to deal with problems there.
- 22 BCE: Caesar Augustus traveled to Sicily, Greece and the Roman province of Asia (Anatolia)
to reorganize the administrations there.
- 21 BCE: Marcus Agrippa marries Julia. She is about 18 and he is 40. This marriage solves Octavian's
concerns about his successor (who could be Agrippa) and perhaps will produce a male heir for him.
- 20 BCE: A son, later named Gaius Caesar, is born to Agrippa and Julia.
- 18 BCE: Another son, later named Lucius Caesar, is born to Agrippa and Julia.
Augustus eager to have male heirs to whom
he could pass on his power adopted those two sons and renamed them Gaius Caesar and
- 12 BCE: Marcus Agrippa dies. He is only 51 years of age. Augustus wanting to ensure that one of his descendants will rule Rome
forces his daughter, the widow of Agrippa, to marry Tiberius, his stepson. Neither of the
pair desired this marriage. Tiberius was already happily married to a daughter of Agrippa by a previous
nevertheless divorces his wife and marries Julia. Tiberius immediately leaves on a military expedition
to subdue hostile elements in what is now Croatia, Serbia and Hungary.
- 6 BCE: An infant son of Julia and Tiberius dies.
- 2 CE: Lucius Caesar, the younger adopted son of Augustus, dies in West in the city of Marseille where he had been
sent by Augustus. Lucius was about 20 years of age.
Augustus allows Tiberius to return to Rome but banishes Julia to an island off the coast of
Italy. The banishment of Julia was because of her notorious promiscuity. Augustus referred to her
as "a disease of my flesh." She is first sent to the island of Pandataria off the western coast
of Italy in the vicinity of Naples. Later she is sent to the island of Rhegium.
- 4 CE: Gaius Caesar, who had been sent by Augustus to the eastern provinces of the Empire,
dies there at an age of about 24.
- 14 CE: Julia dies of malnutrition. Tiberius who had become emperor stopped funds that had been
sent to her to live on.