We sat down recently with Zaza, host of the Eurotrash podcast, to discuss the life and times of Julia the Elder. Julia was Augustus’ only biological child and her life offers some keen insights into the Roman world at that time.
Julia is born of the marriage of the youngish Octavian and Scribonia. While Octavian’s marriage to Scribonia did not last, their daughter Julia goes on to play an important role in the growing Augustan household. Historians often refer to her as Julia the Elder to distinguish her from her daughter with Agrippa, Vispania Julia Agrippina (known as Julia the Younger).
Being Julia the Elder
Julia is born into a changing Rome. The politics of the republic is breaking down in spectacular fashion. Octavian and Mark Antony are trying to carve out power positions for themselves in the nominal triumvirate that escalates into civil war. Against this backdrop, Julia is often incorporated into her father’s political aspirations.
This bust thought to be of Julia the Elder. This bust has a damaged nose and a very typical early Julio-Claudian hairstyle with a rolled fringe that leads into a plait that runs along the centre part. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
If you already know a little about Julia (even just from reputation), this episode is not to be missed. If you’re interested in coming to grips with one of the most fascinating women in Augustus’s life, then strap yourself in, because Julia lives life to the fullest!
You can catch all the details over at the Eurotrash podcast and (as a real treat) there’s also a YouTube release of the episode as well.
Keen to learn more about the Julio-Claudians?
Looking to delve deeper into the Julio-Claudians. We have a couple of episodes that may just be the ticket:
- Episode 6 – Augustus, an Introduction – Augustus has A LOT going on. This is very much just the beginning.
- Episode 8 – The Life of Tiberius … Part I – Julia the Elder and Tiberius definitely end up married at some point, but understanding Tiberius may explain a little bit about how that union ended up…
- Episode 10 – The Life of Julia Maior – our first foray MANY years ago into Julia the Elder’s life!
- Episode 81 – Livia Drusilla – Augustus’ most famous wife gets a pretty bad wrap, but did she deserve it?
“Julia, daughter of Augustus, in exile at Ventotene.” by Pavel Svedomsky in the 19th century.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.