Julia Livilla


Julia Livilla

Julio-Claudian dynasty


caption=Julia Livilla, daughter of Germanicus

Julia Livilla (Classical Latin: IVLIA•LIVILLA, or IVLIA•GERMANICI•FILIA [Aut|E. Groag, A. Stein, L. Petersen - e.a. (edd.), "Prosopographia Imperii Romani saeculi I, II et III" (PIR), Berlin, 1933 - I 674] ) (Lesbos, early 18 - Pandateria (modern, Ventotene) (?), late 41 or early 42) was the youngest child of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder and one of Caligula's sisters.

Life

Julia Livilla was a great granddaughter of Emperor Augustus, a great niece and adoptive granddaughter of Emperor Tiberius, a sister to Emperor Caligula and a niece of Emperor Claudius. In most ancient literary sources, on inscriptions and on coins, she's simply called 'Julia'. It is possible that she dropped the use of her cognomen after the "damnatio memoriae" of her aunt Livilla, after whom she was named. She was born on the Greek island of Lesbos, during her parents' grand tour of the eastern Mediterranean, leading Germanicus to his command base in the imperial province of Syria for the "maius imperium" given to him by Tiberius over the territory east of the Adriatic. As a young baby, she was with her mother and brother Caligula when they returned to Rome after Germanicus' untimely death in Antioch, on October 10 19.

Julia Livilla grew up in the household of her great grandmother Empress Livia and later under the care of her grandmother Antonia Minor. She was first betrothed to a distant cousin, Quinctilius Varus, son of the ill-fated governor of Germania, Publius Quinctilius Varus, and of Claudia Pulchra, granddaughter of Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus [Elder Seneca, "Controversiae", 1.3.10] , but after Quinctillius was charged of "maiestas" in 27, the marriage did not occur. In 33, she married Marcus Vinicius. Vinicius' family came from a small town outside of Rome. He descended from a family of knights and his father and grandfather were consuls. Her husband was mild in character and was an elaborate orator. Vinicius was appointed by Tiberius as a commissioner in early 37. He was also consul in 30 and proconsul of Asia in 38/39. According to an inscription, Julia Livilla may have accompanied her husband in Asia during his proconsulship [Raepsaet-Charlier, "Prosopographie des femmes de l'ordre sénatorial", p. 380] .

s. Ancient writers even report gossip of incestuous relationships between Caligula and his sisters, including Julia Livilla.

In 39, she was involved in an unsuccessful conspiracy (led perhaps by the ambitious Agrippina) to overthrow Caligula and to replace him by his brother-in-law Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (Drusilla's widower, but also lover of Agrippina and Julia Livilla). She and her sister Agrippina were banished to the Pontian Islands (they were perhaps separated in their exile and each one sent to a different island). After Caligula's murder, she returned from exile. Later in 41, she fell out of favour with Valeria Messalina and was charged by her uncle Claudius with adultery with the philosopher Seneca. Both were exiled. She was probably sent to Pandateria [Barrett, "Agrippina", p. 82] . Political considerations may have played a role in Julia Livilla's fate, more than just moral or domestic preoccupations as inferred in the ancient sources. In late 41 or early 42, her uncle ordered her execution, apparently by starvation, without a defence and on unsupported charges. Her remains were later brought back to Rome, probably when her sister Agrippina became empress; they were laid to rest in the mausoleum of Augustus [Barrett, "Agrippina", p. 82] .

Portraiture

A series of portrait heads, usually known as the "Leptis-Malta type", has been identified as Julia Livilla [Rose, "Dynastic Commemoration", nr. 21, pp. 68-69] .

Literature

*In "I, Claudius", a novel by Robert Graves, Julia Livilla is called "Lesbia".

Appearance in media

The character of Julia Livilla appeared in the 1968 British television series "The Caesars" and was portrayed by Jenny White.

Notes

ee also

*Julio-Claudian family tree

References

Biography

* (edd.), "Prosopographia Imperii Romani saeculi I, II et III", Berlin, 1933 - . ("PIR2")
* Raepsaet-Charlier M.-Th., "Prosopographie des femmes de l'ordre sénatorial (Ier-IIe siècles)," 2 vol., Louvain, 1987, 633 ff.
* Barrett, Anthony A., "Agrippina: Sex, Power and Politics in the Early Roman Empire." Yale University Press, New Haven, 1996.
* Levick, Barbara, "Claudius". Yale University Press, New Haven, 1990.

Portraiture

* Rose, Charles Brian, "Dynastic Commemoration and Imperial Portraiture in the Julio-Claudian Period." Cambridge, 1997.
* Wood, Susan, "Diva Drusilla Panthea and the Sisters of Caligula", American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 99, No. 3. (Jul., 1995), pp. 457-482.

Ancient

*Tacitus
*Suetonius
*Cassius Dio


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