- Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty)
Roman imperial dynasties Julio-Claudian dynasty
Marcellus, nephew and son-in-law of Augustus
Chronology Augustus 27 BC – 14 AD Tiberius 14 AD – 37 AD Caligula 37 AD – 41 AD Claudius 41 AD – 54 AD Nero 54 AD – 68 AD Family Gens Julia
Julio-Claudian family tree
Succession Preceded by
Year of the Four Emperors
Marcus Claudius Marcellus (42 BC – 23 BC) was the eldest son of Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus, and Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor, a former consul. He was descended through his father from Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a famous general in the Second Punic War.
Since Augustus had no sons, Marcellus was one of his closest relatives - already at the age of three, when his uncle needed to make peace with Sextus Pompey, Marcellus was engaged to a daughter of Sextus (though the engagement was forgotten when Sextus Pompeius was defeated). As he grew older, Marcellus was seen often in public with Augustus, including at his triumphs over Mark Antony and Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and a campaign against the Cantabri.
In 25 BC, Marcellus married Augustus' only daughter, Julia the Elder, with Agrippa officiating in Augustus's absence. On Augustus's falling ill at this period "all were expecting that Marcellus would be preferred for Augustus's successor", according to Dio.
Velleius, a pro-Augustan source, states that:
“ People thought that, if anything should happen to Caesar, Marcellus would be his successor in power, at the same time believing, however, that this would not fall to his lot without opposition from Marcus Agrippa. He was, we are told, a young man of noble qualities, cheerful in mind and disposition, and equal to the station for which he was being reared. ”
This passage supports the suggestion in Tacitus and other historians that other potential heirs such as Tiberius and Agrippa felt threatened by Marcellus's rise. After the marriage Agrippa set out for Asia "on the pretext of commissions from the emperor, but, according to current gossip, was in fact withdrawing for the time being, on account of his secret animosity for Marcellus". In addition, Dio states that:
“ [Augustus] well understood that Agrippa was exceedingly beloved by the people and he preferred not to seem to be committing the supreme power to him on his own responsibility. When he recovered, for, and learned that Marcellus because of this was not friendly toward Agrippa, he immediately sent the latter to Syria, so that no occasion for scoffing or for skirmishing might arise between them by their being together. And Agrippa straightway set out from the city, but did not reach Syria; instead, acting with even more than his usual moderation, he sent his lieutenants thither, and tarried himself in Lesbos. ”
Augustus began to encourage Marcellus' political career, in 23 BC gaining him the right to be a senator among the ex-praetors, to stand for the consulship ten years earlier than was customary, and his election as aedile that year. To celebrate, he gave what Velleius calls "a magnificent spectacle" (with assistance from Augustus) and also funded the theatre that bears his name.
College Of Pontiffs
Marcellus did not live to see the theatre completed, however, becoming ill in the year of his aedileship, and soon dying in Baiae at approximately 19 years of age. His death is ascribed by hearsay to Livia,  the line which is also followed by Robert Graves' novel I, Claudius and the subsequent television adaptation.
“ Augustus gave him a public burial after the customary eulogies, placing him in the tomb he was building ... And he ordered also that a golden image of the deceased, a golden crown, and a curule chair should be carried into the theatre [of Marcellus] at the Ludi Romani and should be placed in the midst of the officials having charge of the games.
This he did later; at the time, after being restored to health, he brought his will into the senate and desired to read it, by way of showing people that he had left no successor to his realm; but he did not read it, for none would permit it. Absolutely everybody, however, was astonished at him because, although he loved Marcellus both as son-in‑law and nephew.... nevertheless he had not entrusted to him the monarchy, but actually had preferred Agrippa before him. Thus it would appear that he was not yet confident of the youth's judgment, and that he either wished the people to regain their liberty or for Agrippa to receive the leadership from them.
Augustus also had funerary statues of Marcellus set up, such as the Marcellus as Hermes Logios.
Agrippa swiftly returned from Asia after Marcellus's death, and Marcellus's widow Julia was soon married to him. Marcellus was added by Virgil at the end of the list of illustrious future Romans whom Aeneas sees in the underworld in Book VI of the Aeneid. This passage - recounting Marcellus's life, connecting him to his illustrious ancestor Marcellus the Elder, and lamenting his tragically early death - is said to have caused Octavia to faint with grief when it was read to her and Augustus.
Ancestors of Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty) 4. Marcus Claudius Marcellus 2. Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor 5. Junia 1. Marcellus 24. Gaius Octavius 12. Gaius Octavius 6. Gaius Octavius 3. Octavia Minor 28. Marcus Atius Balbus 14. Marcus Atius 29. Pompeia 7. Atia Balba Caesonia 30. Gaius Julius Caesar 15. Julia Caesaris 31. Aurelia Cotta
- ^ Dio 53.27.5
- ^ Dio Cassius (53.30)
- ^ http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Velleius_Paterculus/2C*.html#93 Velleius II.XCIII], as are all quotes here from Velleius.
- ^ Velleius
- ^ Dio 53.31.4-32.1
- ^ Dio 53.28.3
- ^ Dio (53.31.3) states that Augustus helped by "sheltering the Forum during the whole summer by means of curtains stretched overhead and had exhibited on the stage a dancer who was a knight, and also a woman of high birth"
- ^ Tacitus Annals Book 1.3
- ^ Augustus completed it "as a memorial to him" - Dio 53.30.5
- ^ Repeated by Dio Cassius (53.33.4) - "Livia, now, was accused of having caused the death of Marcellus, because he had been preferred before her sons; but the justice of this suspicion became a matter of controversy by reason of the character both of that year and of the year following, which proved so unhealthful that great numbers perished during them."
- ^ Dio, 30.5-31.3
- ^ Aelius Donatus, Life of Virgil - Virgil "recited three whole books for Augustus: the second, fourth, and sixth--this last out of his well-known affection for Octavia, who (being present at the recitation) is said to have fainted at the lines about her son, "…You shall be Marcellus" [Aen. 6.884]. Revived only with difficulty, she ordered ten-thousand sesterces to be granted to Virgil for each of the verses."
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Marcus Claudius Marcellus (disambiguation) — Marcus Claudius Marcellus refers to the roman consul 222 BC and famous general, who fought Hannibal s forces in the Second Punic War Marcus Claudius Marcellus may also refer to: Marcus Claudius Marcellus (consul 331 BC) Marcus Claudius Marcellus… … Wikipedia
Julio-Claudian dynasty — The Julio Claudian Dynasty refers to the first five Roman Emperors: Augustus (Octavian), Tiberius, Caligula (Gaius), Claudius, and Nero. They ruled the Roman Empire from 27 BC to AD 68, when the last of the line, Nero, committed suicide. These… … Wikipedia
Marcellus —  may refer to: Contents 1 People 1.1 In Christianity 1.2 … Wikipedia
Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus — (11 BC AD 20/21) was a consul of ancient Rome. He was the father of the Roman Empress Valeria Messalina, great nephew of the Emperor Augustus, and father in law to the Emperor Claudius. He was son of Marcus Valerius Messalla Messallinus and… … Wikipedia
Claudius (gens) — The gens Claudia was one of the oldest families in ancient Rome, and for centuries its members were regularly leaders of the city and empire.The family was traditionally held to have begun with Attius Clausus , a Sabine who favored peace with… … Wikipedia
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa — This article is about the Roman statesman and general. For the personal name, see Agrippa (praenomen). For a list of individuals with this name, see Agrippa (disambiguation). Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa … Wikipedia
Flavian dynasty — Flavian dynasty| The Flavian dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 69 and 96 AD, encompassing the reigns of Vespasian (69 ndash;79 AD), and his two sons Titus (79 ndash;81 AD) and Domitian (81 ndash;96 AD).… … Wikipedia
Julia the Elder — Julio Claudian dynasty caption= Bust of Julia the ElderJulia the Elder (October 39 BC 14), known to her contemporaries as Julia Caesaris filia or Julia Augusti filia (Classical Latin: IVLIA•CAESARIS•FILIA or IVLIA•AVGVSTI•FILIA [Aut|E. Groag, A.… … Wikipedia
Octavia Minor — Julio Claudian dynasty Octavia Minor (69 11 BC), also known as Octavia the Younger or simply Octavia, was the sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus (known also as Octavian), half sister of Octavia Major, and fourth wife of Mark Antony. One… … Wikipedia
Livia — Julio Claudian dynasty caption=A cult statue of Livia represented as Ops, with sheaf of wheat and cornucopia, first centuryLivia Drusilla, after 14 AD called Julia Augusta (Classical Latin: LIVIA•DRVSILLA, IVLIA•AVGVSTA [Aut|E. Groag, A. Stein, L … Wikipedia