The Unusual Life and Death of Julia: A Woman Trapped in the Empirical Intrigues of Ancient Rome | Ancient Origins Members Site


The Unusual Life and Death of Julia: A Woman Trapped in the Empirical Intrigues of Ancient Rome

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The Unusual Life and Death of Julia: A Woman Trapped in the Empirical Intrigues of Ancient Rome

The Unusual Life and Death of Julia: A Woman Trapped in the Empirical Intrigues of Ancient Rome

Although they could not officially hold public offices, there were many women who were able to influence the course of Roman history from a position behind the scenes.  Julia, the only daughter of Emperor Augustus, was not one of them.  In fact, her name stands out from the list of known imperial women at the time as probably the only one who was not involved in politics one way or the other. She became a largely ignored character and relegated to footnotes in the history relating to her father, her husbands and her children.

Portrait of a girl, attributed to Julia Augustus.

Portrait of a girl, attributed to Julia Augustus. (CC BY 3.0)

From what we can gather from the little information we have about her life, Julia seemed to have had no head for intrigue and preferred to enjoy the advantages that came from being a member of the imperial family. In fact, one gets the impression that should she had been a wife of a low-ranking official or a well-off merchant, Julia would have been contented. However, being the daughter of the first emperor of Rome meant that it was her destiny to play her part in the political maneuverings of the empire.


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