Julia Major (sister of Caesar)

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Julia Major (sister of Caesar) on Wikipedia

Julia, also known as Julia Major and Julia the Elder, was the elder of two daughters of Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia. She is best known as the sister of the dictator Gaius Julius Caesar.[1]


Julia was the first of three children born at Rome to Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia. The exact year of her birth is not known, but she must have been born before 101 BC, as her younger sister was born about then, and her brother Gaius in 100. At this period of time, Roman daughters did not typically receive praenomina unless there were several sisters in a family, so the two Juliae were usually referred to as "Julia Major" and "Julia Minor" when it was necessary to distinguish between them.[lower-roman 1]

Little is known of Julia's life, except that she was twice married, once to Lucius Pinarius, a member of a very ancient patrician family, and once to Quintus Pedius, although the order of her marriages is not known. She had at least one son by each marriage. She was the grandmother of Lucius Pinarius[lower-roman 2] and Quintus Pedius, who together with their cousin, Gaius Octavius, the grandson of Julia Minor, were named as Caesar's heirs in the dictator's will.[1][2][3] Titus Pinarius, a friend of Cicero, was probably another grandson, and the brother of Lucius.[1] At least some scholars have proposed that Lucius Pinarius and Quintus Pedius were Julia's sons, and not her grandsons.[4]

Caesar's mother and one of his sisters gave testimony against Publius Clodius Pulcher when he was impeached for impiety, BC 61, but it is uncertain whether the sister was Julia Major or Julia Minor. Caesar's wife, Pompeia, had volunteered to host the festival of the Bona Dea, which men were forbidden to attend. During the festival, Clodius entered Caesar's house disguised as a woman, supposedly to seduce Pompeia. Although Clodius was acquitted, the incident led Caesar, then the Pontifex Maximus, to divorce Pompeia, asserting that his wife should be above suspicion.[1][5][6]

See also


  1. Note that these names also applied to other members of the Julia gens, in particular to Julia the Elder, the daughter of Augustus, and his granddaughter, Julia the Younger.
  2. It is not altogether certain whether Lucius Pinarius, Caesar's heir, who served in the army of the triumvirs, should be regarded as the same person as Lucius Pinarius Scarpus, who later served under Antonius, but went over to Octavian and received his pardon before the Battle of Actium.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 640.
  2. Suetonius, "Caesar", 83.
  3. Appian, iii. 22, 23.
  4. Münzer, pp. 222–230.
  5. Suetonius, "Caesar", 74.
  6. Scholia Bobiensa, In Clodio, p. 337.