Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, military general, historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He wrote Latin prose. In 60 BC, Caesar and Pompey formed the First Triumvirate, a political alliance that dominated Roman politics for several years, their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar rose to become one of the most powerful politicians in the Roman Republic through a number of his accomplishments, notably his victories in the Gallic Wars, completed by 51 BC. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River, when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to past Gaul; these achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse the standing of Pompey, who had realigned himself with the Senate after the death of Crassus in 53 BC.
With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars; as a result, Caesar found himself with no other options but to cross the Rubicon with the 13th Legion, leaving his province and illegally entering Roman Italy under arms. This began Caesar's civil war, his victory in the war put him in an unrivaled position of power and influence. After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar, he gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire. He initiated land support for veterans, he centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was proclaimed "dictator for life", giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites. On the Ides of March, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Marcus Junius Brutus and Decimus Junius Brutus, who stabbed him to death.
A new series of civil wars broke out and the constitutional government of the Republic was never restored. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war. Octavian set about solidifying his power, the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust; the biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, his cognomen was subsequently adopted as a synonym for "Emperor". He has appeared in literary and artistic works, his political philosophy, known as Caesarism, inspired politicians into the modern era. Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia, which claimed descent from Iulus, son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas the son of the goddess Venus.
The Julii were of Alban origin, mentioned as one of the leading Alban houses, which settled in Rome around the mid-7th century BC, after the destruction of Alba Longa. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families; the Julii existed at an early period at Bovillae, evidenced by a ancient inscription on an altar in the theatre of that town, which speaks of their offering sacrifices according to the lege Albana, or Alban rites. The cognomen "Caesar" originated, according to Pliny the Elder, with an ancestor, born by Caesarean section; the Historia Augusta suggests three alternative explanations: that the first Caesar had a thick head of hair. Caesar issued coins featuring images of elephants, suggesting that he favored this interpretation of his name. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC. Caesar's father called Gaius Julius Caesar, governed the province of Asia, his sister Julia, Caesar's aunt, married Gaius Marius, one of the most prominent figures in the Republic.
His mother, Aurelia Cotta, came from an influential family. Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died so Caesar was the head of the family at 16, his coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis, he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia. Following Sulla's final victory, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one, he was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding. The threat against hi
Tribune of the Plebs
Tribunus plebis, rendered in English as tribune of the plebs, tribune of the people or plebeian tribune, was the first office of the Roman state, open to the plebeians, throughout the history of the Republic, the most important check on the power of the Roman Senate and magistrates. These tribunes had the power to preside over the Concilium Plebis; the tribunes of the plebs were sacrosanct, meaning that any assault on their person was prohibited by law. In imperial times, the powers of the tribunate were granted to the emperor as a matter of course, the office itself lost its independence and most of its functions. During the day the tribunes used to sit on the tribune benches on the Forum Romanum. Fifteen years after the expulsion of the kings and establishment of the Roman Republic, the plebeians were burdened by the weight of crushing debt. A series of clashes between the people and the ruling patricians in 495 and 494 BC brought the plebeians to the brink of revolt, there was talk of assassinating the consuls.
Instead, on the advice of Lucius Sicinius Vellutus, the plebeians seceded en masse to the Mons Sacer, a hill outside of Rome. The senate dispatched Agrippa Menenius Lanatus, a former consul, well-liked by the plebeians, as an envoy to the plebeians. Menenius was well-received, told the fable of the belly and the limbs, likening the people to the limbs who chose not to support the belly, thus starved themselves; the plebeians agreed to negotiate for their return to the city. No member of the senatorial class would be eligible for this office, the tribunes should be sacrosanct; the senate agreeing to these terms, the people returned to the city. The first tribuni plebis were Lucius Albinius Paterculus and Gaius Licinius, appointed for the year 493 BC. Soon afterward, the tribunes themselves appointed two others as their colleagues; the ancient sources indicate the tribunes may have been two or five in number. If the former, the college of tribunes was expanded to five in 470 BC. Either way, the college was increased to ten in 457 BC, remained at this number throughout Roman history.
They were assisted by plebeian aediles. Only plebeians were eligible for these offices. Although sometimes referred to as plebeian magistrates, the tribunes of the people, like the plebeian aediles, who were created at the same time, were technically not magistrates, as they were elected by the plebeian assembly alone. However, they functioned much like magistrates of the Roman state, they could convene the concilium plebis, entitled to pass legislation affecting the plebeians alone, beginning in 493 BC to elect the plebeian tribunes and aediles. From the institution of the tribunate, any one of the tribunes of the plebs was entitled to preside over this assembly; the tribunes were entitled to propose legislation before the assembly. By the third century BC, the tribunes had the right to call the senate to order, lay proposals before it. Ius intercessionis called intercessio, the power of the tribunes to intercede on behalf of the plebeians and veto the actions of the magistrates, was unique in Roman history.
Because they were not technically magistrates, thus possessed no maior potestas, they relied on their sacrosanctity to obstruct actions unfavourable to the plebeians. Being sacrosanct, no person could interfere with their activities. To do so, or to disregard the veto of a tribune, was punishable by death, the tribunes could order the death of persons who violated their sacrosanctity; this could be used as a protection. This sacrosanctity made the tribunes independent of all magistrates. If a magistrate, the senate, or any other assembly disregarded the orders of a tribune, he could "interpose the sacrosanctity of his person" to prevent such action. Only a dictator was exempted from the veto power; the tribunes could veto acts of the Roman senate. The tribune Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus imposed his veto on all government functions in 133 BC, when the senate attempted to block his agrarian reforms by imposing the veto of another tribune. Tribunes possessed the authority to enforce the right of provocatio ad populum, a precursor of the modern right of habeas corpus.
This entitled a citizen to appeal the actions of a magistrate by shouting appello tribunos! or provoco ad populum!. Once invoked, this right required one of the tribunes to assess the situation, determine the lawfulness of the magistrate's action. Any action taken in defiance of this right was illegal on its face. In effect, this gave the tribunes of the people unprecedented power to protect individuals from the arbitrary exercise of state power, afforded Roman citizens a degree of liberty unequalled in the ancient
Velletri is an Italian comune in the Metropolitan City of Rome, on the Alban Hills, in Lazio, central Italy. Neighbouring communes are Rocca di Papa, Cisterna di Latina, Aprilia, Genzano di Roma, Lanuvio, its motto is: imperialis. Velletri was an ancient city of the Volsci tribe, it came into conflict with the Romans during the reign of Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, during the early Roman Republic. In the Middle Ages it was one of the few "free cities" in central Italy, it was the site of two historic battles in 1744 and 1849. During the Second World War, it was at the centre of fierce fighting between the Germans and the allies in 1944 after the Anglo-American landing at Anzio. Today, Velletri is home to a circuit court and a prison, in addition to several colleges and high schools, it is the terminus of the Rome-Velletri railway, inaugurated by Pius IX in 1863, is one of the centers the Via Appia Nuova passes through. The territory of Velletri stretches between two distinct areas.
The northern part is situated on the southern foothills of the Colli Albani range and was geologically formed about 150,000 years ago, after the collapse of the Volcano Laziale. The southern boundary forms around Pontine Marshes, whose reclamation started at the time of Pope Pius VI and was accomplished during the regime of Benito Mussolini. According to the classification given by the Geological Survey of Italy, much of the territory consists of ground-type LPS, or paleosols, the rest is composed of soils lp, argillificate and leucite analcimizzata; the Seismic classification of Velletri's territory is Zone 2 The territory of Velletri collects water run off from many streams. These streams, most of them torrential in character or small in scale, are known as fossi. Main fossi include: Fosso Minella at the edge of the municipal area to Genzano di Roma, near the Velletri frazione of Sant'Eurosia; this stream originates from Monte Spina, elevation 731 metres above sea level, in the territory of Nemi, with the name of Acqua Lucia.
Its named after the Minella bridge on State Road 7, Via Appia Nuova and originates at 405 metres above sea level, at the foot of Colle degli Olmi. Minella runs parallel to the fosso delle Tre Armi, which connects to it. Fossa Sant'Eurosia, originating from Colle degli Olmi. Fossa Paganica, which originates from springs on Colle Caldaro, on Colle Tondo. Fosso di Ponte Veloce, which arises from Colle Tondo, on Maschio dell'Artemisio and in the Faccialone forest; this watercourse near Villa Borgia, superseded the old town of Velletri, changes name to Fossa Farina near the iron bridge of the Roma-Velletri railway. Fossa Anatolia: originating from Colle Bello, it flows at the foot of old town Velletri, until it joins the Fossa Farina. Other water sources include the Acqua de Ferrari, at 650 metres, underlying Monte de Ferrari at Rocca di Papa, from, part of the municipal water supply; the old town's altitude is uniform from the elevation of Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi at 339 m above sea level, the square of the Trivium at 332 metres above sea level, Napoletana at 329 metres above sea level.
The area west of the walled city is a bit higher at San Lorenzo reaching 372 m above sea level. The remainder of the territory to the south and west is flat except for small hills that do not exceed 300 m above sea level; the climate of Velletri is mild, due to the Tyrrhenian Sea not being far, to the protection offered by the Alban Hills and Mount Artemisio in the north. The climate is rainy, with an annual average of 1,400 to 1,500 mm precipitation, making it the rainiest city of Lazio and one of the most rainy cities in Italy. Humid currents from the southwest facing the Mont Artemisio condense all the rain on Velletri, leaving clouds restricted to the northern side of the Colli Albani, it snows rarely. Climate classification: Zone D, 1544 GR / G Atmospheric Diffusivity: average The Latin term for "swamp" was Velia, corresponding to the Greek "ουελια". From this root came the place name Velestrom, the place next to a swamp or marsh, was used by Volsci to call old Velletri; the Romans named it after the same city Velitrae, hence the Greek Ουελιτραι, Ουελιτρα or Βελιτρα.
In the Middle Ages, at least six naming variants are attested by various official acts until the 11th century. Until the 18th century, Velletri survived as parallel forms of Belitri. During his reign, Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, came into conflict with the Volsci because the latter plundered Roman territory, he besieged the Velitrae, a Volscian town. The elders of the town surrendered and promised "to make good the damage they had done" and "agreed to deliver up the guilty to be punished". Ancus Marcius "concluded a treaty of peace and friendship". In 494 BC, a war between Rome and the Volsci broke out; the Roman consul Aulus Verginius Tricostus Caeliomontanus was sent to fight the Volsci. He defeated them and " pursued their enemies beyond it to Velitrae, where vanquished and victors burst into the city in one body. More blood was shed there, in the promiscuous slaughter of all sorts of people, than had been in the battle itself. A few were granted quarter, having come wit
The equites constituted the second of the property-based classes of ancient Rome, ranking below the senatorial class. A member of the equestrian order was known as an eques. During the Roman kingdom and the 1st century of the Roman Republic, legionary cavalry was recruited from the ranks of the patricians, who were expected to provide six centuriae of cavalry. Around 400 BC, 12 more centuriae of cavalry were established and these included non-patricians. Around 300 BC the Samnite Wars obliged Rome to double the normal annual military levy from two to four legions, doubling the cavalry levy from 600 to 1,200 horses. Legionary cavalry started to recruit wealthier citizens from outside the 18 centuriae; these new recruits came from the first class of commoners in the centuriate organisation and were not granted the same privileges. By the time of the Second Punic War, all the members of the first class of commoners were required to serve as cavalrymen; the presence of equites in the Roman cavalry diminished in the period 200–88 BC as only equites could serve as the army's senior officers.
After c. 88 BC, equites were no longer drafted into the legionary cavalry, although they remained technically liable to such service throughout the principate era. They continued to supply the senior officers of the army throughout the principate. With the exception of the purely hereditary patricians, the equites were defined by a property threshold; the rank was passed from father to son, although members of the order who at the regular quinquennial census no longer met the property requirement were removed from the order's rolls by the Roman censors. In the late republic, the property threshold stood at 50,000 denarii and was doubled to 100,000 by the emperor Augustus – the equivalent to the annual salaries of 450 contemporary legionaries. In the republican period, Roman senators and their offspring became an unofficial elite within the equestrian order; as senators' abilities to engage in commerce was limited by law, the bulk of non-agricultural activities were in the hands of non-senatorial equites.
As well as holding large landed estates, equites came to dominate mining and manufacturing industry. In particular, tax farming companies were all in the hands of equites. Under Augustus, the senatorial elite was given formal status with a higher wealth threshold and superior rank and privileges to ordinary equites. During the principate, equites filled the senior administrative and military posts of the imperial government. There was a clear division between jobs reserved for senators and those reserved for non-senatorial equites, but the career structure of both groups was broadly similar: a period of junior administrative posts in Rome or Italy, followed by a period of military service as a senior army officer, followed by senior administrative or military posts in the provinces. Senators and equites formed a tiny elite of under 10,000 members who monopolised political and economic power in an empire of about 60 million inhabitants. During the 3rd century AD, power shifted from the Italian aristocracy to a class of equites who had earned their membership by distinguished military service rising from the ranks: career military officers from the provinces who displaced the Italian aristocrats in the top military posts, under Diocletian from the top civilian positions also.
This reduced the Italian aristocracy to an idle, but immensely wealthy, group of landowners. During the 4th century, the status of equites was debased to insignificance by excessive grants of the rank. At the same time the ranks of senators were swollen to over 4,000 by the establishment of a second senate in Constantinople and the tripling of the membership of both senates; the senatorial order of the 4th century was thus the equivalent of the equestrian order of the principate. According to Roman legend, Rome was founded by its first king, Romulus, in 753 BC. However, archaeological evidence suggests that Rome did not acquire the character of a unified city-state until ca. 625 BC. Roman tradition relates that the Order of Knights was founded by Romulus, who established a cavalry regiment of 300 men called the Celeres to act as his personal escort, with each of the three Roman "tribes" supplying 100 horse; this cavalry regiment was doubled in size to 600 men by King Lucius Tarquinius Priscus.
That the cavalry was increased to 600 during the regal era is plausible, as in the early republic the cavalry fielded remained 600-strong. However, according to Livy, King Servius Tullius established a further 12 centuriae of equites, a further tripling of the cavalry, but this is anachronistic, as it would have resulted in a contingent of 1,800 horse, incongruously large, compared to the heavy infantry, only 6,000-strong in the late regal period. Instead, the additional 12 centuriae were created at a stage around 400 BC, but these new units were political not military, most designed to admit plebeians to the Order of Knights. Equites were provided with a sum of money by the state to purc
Atia (mother of Augustus)
Atia was the daughter of Julius Caesar's sister Julia Minor, mother of the Emperor Augustus, step-grandmother of the Emperor Tiberius, great-grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, great-great grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, great-great-great-grandmother of the Emperor Nero. The name Atia Balba was borne by the other two daughters of Julia and her husband praetor Marcus Atius Balbus, they were Atia's older sister Atia Balba Prima, her younger sister was Atia Balba Tertia. As a result, she was sometimes referred to as Atia Balba Secunda to differentiate her from her two sisters. In his Dialogus de oratoribus, Tacitus notes her to be exceptionally religious and moral, one of the most admired matrons in the history of the Republic: In her presence no base word could be uttered without grave offence, no wrong deed done. Religiously and with the utmost delicacy she regulated not only the serious tasks of her youthful charges, but their recreations and their games.
Suetonius' account of Augustus mentions the divine omens she experienced before and after his birth: When Atia had come in the middle of the night to the solemn service of Apollo, she had her litter set down in the temple and fell asleep, while the rest of the matrons slept. On a sudden a serpent shortly went away; when she awoke, she purified herself, as if after the embraces of her husband, at once there appeared on her body a mark in colours like a serpent, she could never get rid of it. In the tenth month after that Augustus was therefore regarded as the son of Apollo. Atia too, before she gave him birth, dreamed that her vitals were borne up to the stars and spread over the whole extent of land and sea, while Octavius dreamed that the sun rose from Atia's womb; the day he was born the conspiracy of Catiline was before the House, Octavius came late because of his wife's confinement. Atia was so fearful for her son's safety that she and Philippus urged him to renounce his rights as Caesar's heir.
She died during her son's first consulship, in August or September 43 BC. Octavian honored her memory with a public funeral. Another Philippus, consul suffectus in 38 BC and the son of her second husband from a previous marriage married one of her sisters, her first marriage was with Gaius Octavius, the praetor in 61 BC and Macedonian governor. Her family lived close to ancestral home of the Octavii, they had two children: Octavia Minor, born in 69 BC, the younger Gaius Octavius, born in 63 BC. Octavius died in 59 BC; that same year Atia remarried to Lucius Marcius Philippus, consul in 56 BC. They had no known children. Many of her children's descendants became major figures of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, among them were the emperors Caligula and Nero. A fictionalised Atia of the Julii is portrayed by Polly Walker in the BBC-HBO-RAI television series Rome. There she is portrayed as shrewd, sexually uninhibited, mindful of her family's advancement. Atia A portrait bust of Atia, from the Getty Museum portraits of her family and children
Claudius was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Antonia Minor, he was born at Lugdunum in the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37. Claudius' infirmity saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns, his survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an efficient administrator, he was an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, issued up to twenty edicts a day, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign by elements of the nobility.
Claudius was forced to shore up his position. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend. After his death in 54, his grand-nephew, step-son, adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor, his 13-year reign would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years. He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi, Julii Caesares, the Claudii Nerones, he was a great-nephew of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through Tiberius' brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony. Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at Lugdunum, he had two older siblings and Livilla. His mother, may have had two other children who died young, his maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus' sister, he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus' third wife, Tiberius Claudius Nero.
During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the appearance that Augustus was Claudius' paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania from illness. Claudius was left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried; when Claudius' disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, used him as a standard for stupidity, she seems to have passed her son off to his grandmother Livia for a number of years. Livia was a little kinder, but often sent him short, angry letters of reproof, he was put under the care of a "former mule-driver" to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus.
He spent a lot of his time with the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. Expectations about his future began to increase, his work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars, either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar. In either case, it was far too early for such an account, may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant, his mother and grandmother put a stop to it, this may have convinced them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line; when he returned to the narrative in life, Claudius skipped over the wars of the Second Triumvirate altogether. But the damage was done, his family pushed him into the background; when the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the Imperial clan in 8 BC, Claudius' name was inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes and Lucius, Germanicus' children.
There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades and that he did not appear at all. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius—then aged 23—appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the new Emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius was snubbed. Since the new Emperor was no more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the Imperial family, it seems that from early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death, the equites, or knights, chose
Octavia the Younger
Octavia the Younger known as Octavia Minor or Octavia, was the elder sister of the first Roman Emperor, the half-sister of Octavia the Elder, the fourth wife of Mark Antony. She was the great-grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, maternal grandmother of the Emperor Claudius, paternal great-grandmother and maternal great-great-grandmother of the Emperor Nero. One of the most prominent women in Roman history, Octavia was respected and admired by contemporaries for her loyalty and humanity, for maintaining traditional Roman feminine virtues. Full sister to Augustus, Octavia was the only daughter born of Gaius Octavius' second marriage to Atia Balba Caesonia, niece of Julius Caesar. Octavia was born in Nola, present-day Italy, her mother remarried, to the consul Lucius Marcius Philippus. Octavia spent much of her childhood travelling with her parents. Marcius was in charge of educating her brother Augustus. Before 54 BC her stepfather arranged. Marcellus was a man of consular rank, a man, considered worthy of her and was consul in 50 BC.
He was a member of the influential Claudian family and descended from Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a famous general in the Second Punic War. In 54 BC, her great uncle Caesar is said to have been anxious for her to divorce her husband so that she could marry Pompey who had just lost his wife Julia; the couple did not want to get a divorce so instead Pompey declined the proposal and married Cornelia Metella. So Octavia's husband continued to oppose Julius Caesar including in the crucial year of his consulship 50 BC. Civil war broke out when Caesar in Gaul invaded Italy in 49 BC. Marcellus, a friend of Cicero, was an initial opponent of Julius Caesar when Caesar invaded Italy, but did not take up arms against his wife's great uncle at the Battle of Pharsalus, was pardoned by him. In 47 BC he was able to intercede with Caesar for his cousin and namesake a former consul living in exile. Octavia continued to live with her husband from the time of their marriage to her husband's death when she was about 29.
They had three children: Claudia Marcella Major, Claudia Marcella Minor and Marcus Claudius Marcellus. All three were born in Italy, her husband Marcellus died in May 40 BC. By a Senatorial decree, Octavia married Mark Antony in October 40 BC, as his fourth wife; this marriage had to be approved by the Senate, as she was pregnant with her first husband's child, was a politically motivated attempt to cement the uneasy alliance between her brother Octavian and Mark Antony. Between 40 and 36 BC, she travelled with Antony to various provinces and lived with him in his Athenian mansion. There she raised her children by Marcellus as well as Antony's two sons; the alliance was tested by Antony's abandonment of Octavia and their children in favor of his former lover Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt. After 36 BC, Octavia returned to Rome with the daughters of her second marriage. On several occasions she acted as a political advisor and negotiator between her husband and brother. For example in the spring of 37 BC, while pregnant with her daughter Antonia Minor, she was considered essential to an arms deal held at Tarentum, in which Antony and Augustus agreed to aid each other in their Parthian and Sicilian campaigns.
She was hailed as a "marvel of womankind." Mark Antony divorced Octavia in 32 BC. In 35 BC, after Antony suffered a disastrous campaign in Parthia, she brought fresh troops and funds to Athens. There Antony had left a letter for her. Following Antony's rejection of her, their divorce, his eventual suicide in 30 BC, Octavia became sole caretaker of their children as well as guardian of Antony's children from his unions with both Fulvia and Cleopatra: Iullus Antonius, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, Ptolemy Philadelphus Octavia did not marry a third time. In 35 BC Augustus accorded a number of honours and privileges to Octavia, Augustus's wife Livia unheard of for women in Rome, they were granted sacrosanctitas. This had been only granted to tribunes. Livia and Octavia were made immune from tutela, the male guardianship which all women in Rome except for the Vestal Virgins were required to have; this meant they could manage their own finances. They were the first women in Rome to have statues and portraits displayed en masse in public places.
Only one woman, mother of the Gracchi, had been part of the public statues displayed in Rome. In Augustus's rebuilding of Rome as a city of marble, Octavia featured. In all her representations she wore the "nodus" hairstyle, which at the time was considered conservative and dignified, worn by women from many classes.. Augustus adored, but never adopted, her son Marcellus; when Marcellus died of illness in 23 BC unexpectedly, Augustus was thunderstruck, Octavia disconsolate beyond recovery. Aelius Donatus, in his Life of Vergil, states that Virgil recited three whole books for Augustus: the second and sixth—this la