* In 2 BCE, Aug turned 60 and was made consul for the 13th time.
* Lucius Caesar turned 15 and became a man.
* He was made an augur and joined his brother as a leader of the youth.
* He was also permitted to attend the Senate and marked down to be Consul in 4 CE.
* On 5 Feb 2 BCE, the Senate and the People voted to name Augustus pater patriae – father of the country.
* The honour had only been bestowed twice before and was declined both times.
* Cicero in 63 BCE, after the Catalinarian Conspiracy, and to Julius Caesar when he was dictator.
* Augustus also initially refused it, but when he was begged to accept it during a theater performance, he acquiesced.
* Valerius Messalla, acting as spokesman for the other senators, again approached him, declaring: ‘Every blessing and divine favour be upon you and your family, Caesar Augustus! For in this way we also beseech perpetual good fortune on the res publica and lasting joy for our city. The Senate with the support of the entire Roman people acclaim you Father of your Country.’
* Augustus was moved to tears as he replied: ‘Having attained my deepest wish, Fathers of the Senate, for what else have I to pray to the immortal gods, except that I may keep this universal consent of you all until the end of my days.’32 * This pattern of popular pressure overcoming Augustus’ modesty had been well established by this point.
* But if he’d wanted the title, he could have claimed it a lot earlier.
* Messalla was consul in 31 BCE, had been an ally of Brutus and Cassius, then Antony, but switched sides before Actium.
* He was one of the few people left who lived through the horrors of the civil wars.
* Whatever else you want to say about Aug, he had certainly provided stability and peace for almost 30 years at this point.
* So the appreciation people had for him must have been genuine. * Over 40 years, he had gone from being the avenger of his murdered father to the elder statesman and father of the Roman world.
* His sons were also popular and were being prepared for high office.
* The only person who wasn’t willing to play their part, was his only actual child – Julia. * With Tiberius out of the picture, Julia was on her own again.
* Not that this would have been unusual.
* He had been away a lot, as had Agrippa before him.
* But Julia didn’t like being alone, so she surrounded herself with lots of other young aristocrats.
* Like her, they had all grown up in Augustus’ era of peace and prosperity.
* Another young person making their name at this time was the poet Ovid – Publius Ovidius Naso.
* Around 2 BCE he has working on this three books on the Art of Love – Ars Amatoria.
* Unlike the poets who came before him, who had lived through the civil wars and proscriptions, he was more interested in how to find and win a lover.
* The books are more about seduction rather than sex.
* Although there’s a little bit of rapey business in there as well.
* To make sure he doesn’t run afoul of Augustus’ new morality laws, he went to pains to assure his readers that he wasn’t promoting adultery.
* All of the women in his poems are mistresses, former slaves, not wives.
* Or the Sabine women, the ones getting raped.
* His tone is never serious.
* Even when talking about rape.
* He explains a lot about where to find women to seduce and then how to seduce them.
* Flattery and remembering their birthday are pretty important, he says.
* Then he says you should write love letters – on wax and scraped tablets – and make promises, even if you have no intention of keeping them.
* Also include a good prayer to the gods.
* But don’t use fancy words in your letters, don’t show off your skills.
* And he suggests either crying when you tell her how much you love her, or at least faking it by pressing a wet hand to your eyes.
* Anyway, back to Julia.
* She obviously wasn’t the first married woman to be left alone in Rome by her husband and end up fucking around.
* JC and Aug had had affairs with plenty of married women.
* And many aristocratic women who didn’t take lovers might have surrounded themselves with young men and just partied while their husbands were away. * Julia of course was famous for surrounding herself with men while her husbands were away.
* Augustus wasn’t sure if she was sleeping with the or just having them around as company.
* But at least on one occasion he wrote to a senator and instructed him not to visit her.
* Aug wanted her to be more like Livia.
* The role model for Roman women.
* But that wasn’t her style.
* In 2 BCE she was 37 and had six children.
* Aug walked in on her once when slaves were plucking out grey hairs from her head.
* He asked whether she would prefer to be grey or bald. * But in 2 BCE Aug was presented with evidence that Julia was indeed fucking around.
* We don’t know how we came to know this, but none of the sources doubt she had a number of lovers.
* Some are even mentioned – including Iullus Antonius, the son of Mark Antony and Fulvia.
* Her lovers included Sempronius Gracchus, from the family of the brothers Gracchi who had been at the center of so much turbulence in the last decades of the second century; Quintus Crispinus, a noted moralist; Appius Claudius, from perhaps the most noble house in Rome; a Scipio; and others, both senatorial and equestrian, whom the tradition does not name.
* One was a tribune who was allowed to serve out his term before he was prosecuted.
* He would have been about 15 after the Battle of Actium.
* He had lived with Octavia while Antony was in Egypt with Cleopatra.
* He was praetor in 13 BC, consul in 10 BC, and Asian proconsul in 7 BC, and was highly regarded by Augustus.
* All of the lovers mentioned are aristocrats, including Titus Quinctius Crispinus, who had been consul in 9 BCE. * On top of the affairs, she is also said to have held drunken parties in public and even on the Rostra.
* the Rostra was the place where “her father had proposed a law against adultery”
* And night time gatherings at the statue of Marsyas – a satyr famous for music, feasting and wine – in the Forum.
* Among the Romans, Marsyas was cast as the inventor of augury and a proponent of free speech (the philosophical concept παρρησία, “parrhesia”) and “speaking truth to power.”
* The earliest known representation of Marsyas at Rome stood for at least 300 years in the Roman Forum near or in the comitium, the space for political activity.
* There were stories that she openly prostituted herself to random people in public.
* It seems unlikely that she was politically naive.
* She cannot have believed that her sexual behavior was a private matter.
* Similarly, any men associated with her would have been aware of the consequences of any illicit sexual relationship with the daughter of Augustus, a woman who was, after all, married.
* It was quite obvious that Julia was a power broker in Roman politics.
* Aspiring politicians would assume she could influence their prospects.
* It is not difficult to believe that she acquired a glamorous, powerful circle who expected to share in her political good fortune when her father eventually passed on.
* It was this circle that was crushed in 2.
* Augustus’s actions betray a vitriol that suggests that whatever Julia had done, he saw it as a betrayal. * Pliny claims there was a plot to murder Aug around this time and Dio suggests Iullus was behind it.
* The association with Marsyas is relevant because of the association with the satyr and popular liberty.
* Maybe Julia wanted to divorce Tib and marry Iullus, who would therefore become Aug’s new son-in-law and be next in line.
* Imagine that, the son of Antony.
* And then Julia and Iullus would be in power along with her sons, Caius and Lucius. * What happens next might have been the result of a conspiracy, but it might also have just been Aug’s desire that his family should be held up as an example.
* Julia’s adultery and public scandals were a bigger betrayal than Tib’s retirement.
* He didn’t need to make it public – but he did.
* He sent a letter to the Senate and had it read out.
* She was arrested for adultery and treason; Augustus sent her a letter in Tiberius’ name declaring the marriage null and void. * All of her lovers were sent into exile as was laid down by law as the punishment for adultery.
* Julius Antonius killed himself.
* Or was killed, depending on which source you believe.
* His young son was sent into exile.
* Now – if it was a conspiracy, there is a lot of leniency being shown.
* Surely he would have had them killed.
* But on the other hand, it’s also pretty harsh punishment for adultery.
* Ronald Syme claims Aug was pissed that his own daughter, and aristocratic men, were making his morality laws a laughing stock.
* But he also thinks Aug’s reaction speaks of a political motive.
* Tacitus later wrote that it was almost like Aug viewed it as treason against the state.
* and maybe that’s closer to the truth
* All of these aristocrats publicly fucking Julia was an affront to Augustus’ auctoritas.
* He was shamed – and enraged.
* He’s already been embarrassed by Tiberius.
* If these aristocrats were plotted against him, especially one being the son of a triumvir, he had to stamp it out.
* Suetonius writes that “out of shame he would meet no one for a long time” * As for Julia, he had her exiled to the tiny island of Pandateria (Ventotene), a prison island off the coast of Campania.
* She was allowed no wine, no luxuries of any sort, no male companionship.
* Any man who had to visit the island, whether slave or free, had be personally examined by Augustus first.
* And he didn’t even see her to deliver the news in person.
* Her freedwoman, Phoebe, committed suicide.
* Aug said he would have preferred to have been Phoebe’s father.
* Her mother, Scribonia, his second wife, went with her into exile.
* Augustus would remark of them: “If only I had never married, or had died childless”, slightly misquoting Hector, in the Iliad. * He wanted everyone involved to be punished and publicly shamed.
* After five years on the island, Julia was allowed to move to a more comfortable villa on the mainland near Rhegium.
* but she was still denied luxuries and male companionship.
* There was large public demonstrations in Rome, begging him to let her come home, but he refused.
* Later on, he apparently regretted his actions.
* He said if Agrippa and Maecenas had still been alive to advice him, they would have talked him out of it.
* Or they would have stopped Julia’s behaviour from getting as bad as it did.
* Now he focuses his attention even more on Julia’s sons, Caius and Lucius.
* Augustus never forgave her.
* He explicitly gave instructions that she should not be buried in his Mausoleum of Augustus.
* Julia died from malnutrition some time after Augustus’ death in 14, but before 15.
* One theory is that Tiberius, who loathed her for dishonouring their marriage, and was now emperor, had her starved to death.
* And you’d think her story would have been a warning to women named Julia in that family, but, as we’ll see, yeah, nah.
* Dio writes: As a result of this affair many other women, too, were accused of similar behaviour, but the emperor would not entertain all the suits; instead, he set a definite date as a limit and forbade all prying into what had occurred previous to that time. For although in the case of his daughter he would show no mercy, remarking that he would rather have been Phoebe’s father than hers, he nevertheless was disposed to spare the rest.
* BTW, 2 BCE is where Augustus finished his Res Gestae, even though he lives another 16 years.
* He never mentions Julia.