6. Daughter of Augustus by Scribonia [SCRIBONIA
], and his only child.
She was born in B. C. 39, and was but a few days old when her mother was divorced. (D. C. 48.34
.) Julia was educated with great strictness.
The manners of the imperial court were extremely simple, and the accomplishments of her rank and station were diversified by the labours of the loom and the needle. (Suet. Aug. 73
A daily register was kept of her studies and occupations; her words, actions, and associates were jealously watched ; and her father gravely reproached L. Vinicius, a youth of unexceptionable birth and character, for addressing Julia at Baiae (Suet. Aug. 63
She married, B. C. 25, M. Marcellus, her first cousin, the son of Octavia (D. C. 53.27
), and, after his death, B. C. 23, without issue, M. Vipsanius Agrippa [AGRIPPA, M. VIPSANIUS] (D. C. 53.30
; Plut. Ant. 87
; Suet. Aug. 63
), by whom she had three sons, C. and L. Caesar, and Agrippa Postumus, and two daughters, Julia and Agrippina.
She accompanied Agrippa to Asia Minor in B. C. 17, and narrowly escaped drowning in the Scamander. (Nic. Dam. p. 225, ed. Coray.; J. AJ 16.2.2
.) After Agrippa's death in B. C. 12, Augustus meditated taking a husband for his daughter from the equestrian order, and C. Proculeius was at the time thought likely to have been preferred by him. (Tac. Ann. 4.39
; Suet. Aug. 63
; Plin. Nat. 7.45
; D. C. 54.3
; Hor. Carm. 2.2
According, indeed, to one account (Suet. l.c.; D. C. 48.54
; Suet. l. c.
), he had actually betrothed her to a son of M. Antony, and to Cotiso, a king of the Getae [COTISO]; but his choice at length fell on Tiberius Nero, who was afterwards Caesar. (Vell. 2.96; Suet. Tib. 7
; D. C. 54.31
.) Their union, however, was neither happy nor lasting.
After the death of their infant son at Aquileia, Tiberius, partly in disgust at Julia's levities (Suet. Tib. 8
), went, in B. C. 6, into voluntary exile, and before he returned to Italy, Augustus had somewhat tardily discovered the misconduct of his daughter.
With some allowance for the malignity of her step-mother Livia, for the corruptions of the age and the court, and for the prejudices of writers either favourable to Tiberius, or who wrote after her disgrace, the vices of Julia admit of little doubt, and her indiscretion probably exceeded her vices. Her frank and lively temperament broke through the politic decorum of the palace, her ready wit disdained prudence, and created enemies; the forum and the rostra were the scenes of her nocturnal orgies and, if we may judge by their names, her companions were taken indifferently from the highest and the lowest orders in Rome. (Vell. 1.100 ; D. C. 55.10
; Suet. Aug
19, 64; Macr. 1.11
.) Her father's indignation on discovering what all Rome knew, was unbounded ; he threatened her with death, he condemned her to exile, and imprudently revealed to the senate the full extent of his domestic shame. To all solicitations for her recal--which towards the end of his reign were frequent, for the people loved Julia, and dreaded Livia and Tiberius--he replied with the hope that the petitioners themselves might have similar daughtes and wives. He called her a disease in his flesh; repeatedly wished himself childless; and when Phoebe, one of Julia's freedwomen, slew herself to avoid the puniishment liberally inflicted on the partners of her mistress's revels, he exclaimed, " Would I had been Phoebe's father ! " (D. C. 4.10
; Suet. Aug. 65
.) If, however, Pliny's assertion is credible, that Julia had engaged in a conspiracy against her father's life, his anger is intelligible (Plin. Nat. 7.45
), and, at a later period of his reign, she seems to have been an object of interest to the disaffected. (Suet. Aug. 19
.) Julia was first banished to Pandataria, an island on the coast of Campania. Her mother Scribonia shared her exile, but this was the only alleviation of her sufferings: wine, all the delicacies, and most of the comforts of life, were denied her, and no one, of whatever condition, was permitted to approach her place of seclusion without special licence from Augustus himself.
At the end of five years she was removed to Rhegium, where her privations were somewhat relaxed, but she was never suffered to quit the bounds of the city. Even the testament of Augustus showed the inflexibility of his anger.
He bequeathed her no legacy, and forbade her ashes to repose in his mausoleum. On the accession of Tiberius her exile was enforced with new rigour. Her former allowance was diminished and often withheld; her just claims on her father's personal estate were disregarded; she was kept in close and solitary confinement in one house; and in A. D. 14, consumption, hastened if not caused by grief and want of necessaries, terminated, in the 54th year of her age, the life of the guilty, but equally unfortunate, daughter of the master of the Roman world. (Suet. Tib. 50
; Tac. Ann. 1.53
.) Macrobius (Macr. 6.5
) has preserved several specimens of Julia's conversational wit, and has sketched her intellectual character with less prejudice than usually marks the accounts of her.
There are only Greek coins of Julia extant, with the exception of denarii, struck by the moneyers of Augustus, bearing on the obverse a bare head of Augustus, and on the reverse a garlanded at head of Julia, having the heads of C. and L. Caesar on either side.
The annexed is a Greek coin, having on the obverse the head of Julia, and on the reverse that of Pallas.