Julius Caesar



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His family background and position

Gaius Julius Caesar was born on 13 July 100 BC.

Caesar's father's family

“The Julii were one of the original patrician families, but one that had so far left little mark upon history.” (Gelzer p19)

His father (G. Julius Caesar) was quaestor (c.101 BC) and praetor (poss. 92 BC) – died in 85 BC.

In delivering the funeral oration for his aunt Julia (69 BC) Caesar “gave full vent to the pride which he felt in his birth.” (Gelzer p.31)

Ancus_Marcius_Coin.gif
Ancus Marcius
“During his quaestorship he made the customary funeral speeches from the Rostra in honour of his aunt Julia and his wife Cornelia; and while eulogising Julia’s maternal and paternal ancestry, did the same for the Caesars too. Her mother, he said, was a descendant of kings, namely the royal Marcians, a family founded by the Roman King Ancus Marcius; and her father, of gods - since the Julians (of which we Caesars are a branch) reckon descent from the goddess Venus. Thus Julia’s stock can claim both the sanctity of kings, who reign supreme among mortals, and the reverence due to gods, who hold even kings in their power.” (Suetonius JC.6)

The Julians traced their lineage back to Venus.

Paternal grandmother was Marcia of the Marcii Reges family – descendants of Ancus Marcius (by tradition, the 4th King of Rome).

"... they had to compensate for the fact that, unlike many of his peers, he could boast no illustrious republican ancestors." (Meier p.54)

Caesar's mother's family

Caesar's mother's family were plebeian nobility. They had been ennobled about 150 years earlier and could boast four consuls, the last was Caesar's grandfather.

Grandfather: L. Aurelius Cotta - cos. 119 BC.

Mother: Aurelia. Lived to 54 BC. Cousin of the brothers Aurelius Cotta (coss. 75 [Gaius], 74 [Marcus], 65 [Lucius]).
"His mother's relatives were to be of great service to Caesar in his political career." (Meier p.55)