Julius Caesar’s Children

Julius Caesar had two confirmed biological children: Julia from his first wife, Cornelia, and Caesarion by his lover Cleopatra VII. His will also named Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, his grand-nephew, as his adopted son and thus his heir. It was also suspected that Marcus Junius Brutus was his son due to Caesar’s relationship with Servilia when Marcus was born. Lastly, Caesar named Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus as his heir if Octavius died before Decimus. 


Julia (76 BC to 54 BC)

Julia was born to Cornelia and Julius Caesar sometime in 76BC. She was the only legitimate biological child of Julius Caesar. The book The Women of Caesar’s Family states that in her early years, she lived with her father first in the Subura and then in the Domus Publica, the official residence of the pontifex Maximus. After her mother’s death in 69 BC, she was raised by her paternal grandmother, Aurelia Cotta. At Caesar’s command, she became engaged to Servilius Caepio. In an attempt to form a stronger alliance with Pompey through the First Triumvirate, Caesar ended the engagement with Servilius and married off Julia to Pompey in 59 BC. It was a sudden and unexpected union.

The union was sudden and unexpected, but Pompey was greatly in love with his wife. Charmed by her beauty and goodness, their marriage was reportedly happy despite their 30-year age difference. Plutarch described how she suffered a miscarriage in 55 BC after seeing a servant carrying her husband’s bloody robe. He was not dead but came into contact with bloody rioters at the election of aediles. This miscarriage left her in poor health, and she died while in labor months later in 54 BC. Pompey and Julius Caesar’s relationship did not hold a strong connection afterward, resulting in a civil war in 49 BC. 


Caesarion (Jun 47 BC to Aug 30 BC)

Ptolemy Philopator Philometor Caesar was the only known biological son of Caesar. Thus, he was nicknamed Caesarion. His mother was Cleopatra VII. He was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt.

He was born in ancient Egypt, where he lived with his mother, Cleopatra. They stayed in Rome a year after his birth and then returned to Egypt after the death of his father. The Egyptian queen plotted to elevate Caesarion’s position in both Egypt and Rome as she had her younger brother, Ptolemy XIV Theos Philopator II assassinated, leaving space for Caesarion to rule. The mother and son reigned together on September 2, 44 BC, until she died on August 12, 30 BC. Cleopatra also aimed for her child to succeed his father. 

Through Cleopatra’s love affair with Mark Antony, who had become a triumvir in the aftermath of Julius Caesar’s death, Caesarion was given the title “King of Kings” while she was called “Queen of Kings.” After the death of his mother, Caesario was unable to rule for more than a month due to Octavian ordering his death in late August 30 BC. 

Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Augustus)

Augustus (Sep 63 BC to AD 14)

Augustus was Julius Caesar’s heir as written in his will, making him an adopted son of Caesar. He was also the grand-nephew of the former triumvir by blood. His birth name was Gaius Octavius but was later changed to Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus upon posthumously being adopted by Caesar. He was part of the Second Triumvirate that vowed revenge upon Caesar’s assassins as well as the first emperor of Rome. Later he referred to himself as Augustus which comes from the Latin word Augere which meant “to increase.” The name can be translated to “majestic one.”

Biologically, Augustus was born to Atia and Gaius Octavius. Atia was the niece of Julius Caesar, while Gaius Octavius was a Roman senator, the first man in his family to achieve the status.