Julio-Claudian family tree

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The Great Cameo of France, from around 23 AD, pictures several members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty

Around the start of the Common Era, the family trees of the gens Julia and the gens Claudia became intertwined into the Julio-Claudian family tree as a result of marriages and adoptions.

Descendancy of the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty

The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the first dynasty of Roman emperors. All emperors of that dynasty descended from Julii Caesares and/or from Claudii. Marriages between descendants of Sextus Julius Caesar I and Claudii had occurred from the late stages of the Roman Republic, but the intertwined Julio-Claudian family tree resulted mostly from adoptions and marriages in Imperial Rome's first decades. Note that descendancy of the Julii Caesares before the generation of Julius Caesar's grandfather is in part conjectural, but as presented by scholars.[1]

By generation

In the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Roman emperors the lineage of the Julii Caesares was separated from those of the Claudii up to Augustus' generation. The next generation had both Claudii with a Julia Caesaris as ancestor, as Claudii adopted into the Julii Caesares family. After Tiberius, the remaining three emperors of the dynasty had, outside adoptions, ancestors both in the Julian and Claudian families.

Generation of Julius Caesar's grandfather

Gaius Julius Caesar II and Lucius Julius Caesar II may have had Sextus Julius Caesar, the military tribune of 181 BC, as a common ancestor.[1]

Julii Caesares Marcia Reges Julii Caesares Popilii Laenates
Gaius Julius Caesar II Marcia Regia Lucius Julius Caesar II Poppilia
Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder Julia Caesaris Sextus Julius Caesar III Lucius Julius Caesar III Gaius Julius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus Julia

Generation of Julius Caesar's father

This generation of Julii Caesares has two consuls: Sextus Julius Caesar III in 91 BC, and Lucius Julius Caesar III the next year.[1] This generation has also two female descendants very close to the centers of power by their marriages: Julia Caesaris, the daughter Gaius Julius Caesar II was married to seven-times consul Gaius Marius, while Julia, the daughter of Lucius Julius Caesar II was married to the two-times consul and Roman dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who had successfully challenged Marius' power.[7] For ensuing generations, Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder, married to a consul's daughter, and Lucius Julius Caesar III proved to be quintessential ancestors of those who held Imperial power in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.[1]

Gaius Julius Caesar II Lucius Aurelius Cotta Gaius Julius Caesar II Marii Gaius Julius Caesar II Lucius Julius Caesar II Fulvii Flacci Lucius Julius Caesar II Lucius Julius Caesar II Cornelii Sullae Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus
Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder Aurelia Cotta Julia Caesaris Gaius Marius Sextus Julius Caesar III Lucius Julius Caesar III Fulvia Gaius Julius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus Julia possibly identical to Ilia a.k.a. Julia Cornelia 1 Sulla 4 Caecilia Metella Dalmatica
Julia Caesaris Julia Caesaris Julius Caesar Gaius Marius the Younger Sextus Julius Caesar Lucius Julius Caesar IV Julia Antonia Cornelia Lucius Cornelius Faustus Cornelius Sulla Fausta

Julius Caesar's generation

Following Sulla's example Julius Caesar's and Pompey's first marriages were with women of their own generation, later marrying women of a younger generation. After being betrothed to Cossutia, Julius Caesar's first wife was Cornelia Cinna Minor, the mother of Julia.[2] The youngest of Julius Caesar's elder sisters married Marcus Atius: they were ancestors of all the Julio-Claudian emperors, apart from Tiberius.[1][4][5]

This is also the generation of Mark Antony's parents. Mark Antony's mother Julia Antonia was the daughter of Lucius Julius Caesar III: she was a Julia Caesaris ancestor to the last three Claudian emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.[4][5]

Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder Marcus Atius Balbus Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder Lucius Cornelius Cinna Gaius Marius Quintus Mucius Scaevola Pontifex Pompeius Strabo Sextus Julius Caesar III (or his son) Lucius Julius Caesar III Marcus Antonius Lucius Julius Caesar III Cornelii Lentuli Sulla Quintus Pompeius Rufus
Julia Caesaris Marcus Atius Julius Caesar 1 Cornelia Cinna minor Gaius Marius the Younger 1 Mucia Tertia 3 2 Pompey Sextus Julius Caesar IV Lucius Julius Caesar IV Marcus Antonius Creticus 1 Julia Antonia 2 Publius Cornelius Lentulus Sura Cornelia Quintus Pompeius Rufus
Atia Balba Prima Atia Balba Caesonia Atia Balba Tertia Julia Gnaeus Pompeius Pompeia Magna Sextus Pompey Lucius Julius Caesar V Mark Antony Gaius Antonius Lucius Antonius Pompeia Quintus Pompeius Rufus

Generation of Julius Caesar's daughter

By this time marriages with a political agenda among the powerful families were in full swing, however not yet between Julii Caesares and Claudii. Pompey married Julius Caesar's daughter Julia. Julius Caesar's second wife Pompeia, possibly a great-granddaughter of Lucius Julius Caesar II, was a granddaughter of Sulla. His third wife Calpurnia is said to be younger than his daughter. His son Caesarion resulted from his relation with Cleopatra.[1]

Atia Balba Caesonia, the daughter of Julius Caesar's sister, married Gaius Octavius: they became the parents of the first emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, then still called Octavianus. Their daughter Octavia the Younger became an ancestor to the last three emperors of that dynasty. In this generation Mark Antony had children by, among others, Antonia Hybrida Minor, and Fulvia.[4][5]

Ancharii Octavii Marcus Atius Sulla Pompey Gaius Antonius Hybrida Marcus Antonius Creticus Marcus Fulvius Bambalio Appius Claudius Pulcher Quintus Pompeius Rufus Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
Ancharia 1 Gaius Octavius 2 Atia Balba Caesonia Faustus Cornelius Sulla 1 Pompeia Magna Antonia Hybrida Minor 2 Mark Antony 3 3 Fulvia 1 Publius Clodius Pulcher Pompeia 2 Julius Caesar 3 Calpurnia
Octavia the Elder Octavia the Younger Octavianus Faustus Cornelius Sulla Cornelia Sulla Antonia Marcus Antonius Antyllus Iullus Antonius Publius Clodius Pulcher Clodia Pulchra (by Cleopatra:)

Julius Caesar Pompeius Strabo Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica
Julia 4 Pompey 2 5 Cornelia Metella

Generation of the Octavias

The Claudii were a powerful gens with consuls and other high ranking politicians in several of its families across several generations. In this generation the first marriages between Claudii and descendants of the Julii Caesares took place. This however didn't mean yet that the dynastic family trees of both gentes got merged into a single one: that didn't happen until the adoption of Claudii by (adopted) Julii Caesares in the generations to come.

Octavia the Younger's first husband was a Claudius from the Marcelli family. Clodia Pulchra, descending from Claudii, became the first wife of Octavian, who by then was adopted in the Julii Caesares family by the testament of his uncle Julius Caesar. After her first husband's death, Octavia married Mark Antony, who besides the offspring of his first three marriages had had children by Cleopatra.

Gaius Octavius Appuleii Claudii Marcelli Gaius Octavius Marcus Antonius Creticus Julius Caesar Gaius Octavius Publius Clodius Pulcher Faustus Cornelius Sulla Scribonii Pompey Lucius Cornelius Cinna
Octavia the Elder Sextus Appuleius Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor 1 Octavia the Younger Mark Antony Octavianus 1 Clodia Pulchra Cornelia Sulla Lucius Scribonius Libo Pompeia Magna 2 Lucius Cornelius Cinna
Sextus Appuleius Marcus Claudius Marcellus Claudia Marcella Major Claudia Marcella Minor (by Cleopatra:)
Alexander Helios
(by Cleopatra:)
Cleopatra Selene II
(by Cleopatra:)
Ptolemy Philadelphus
Scribonia Lucius Scribonius Libo Gnaeus Cornelius Cinna Magnus Cornelia Pompeia

Cornelii Scipiones Lucius Scribonius Libo Julius Caesar Gaius Octavius Marcus Antonius Creticus Quintus Caecilius Pomponianus Atticus Vipsanii Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor Mark Antony Sextus Appuleius Publius Quinctilius Varus
Publius Cornelius Scipio 2 Scribonia 3 Augustus Octavia the Younger 4 2 Mark Antony Pomponia Caecilia Attica 1 Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa 1 2 Claudia Marcella Major 2 Iullus Antonius Sextus Appuleius Quinctilia
Publius Cornelius Scipio Cornelia Julia the Elder Antonia Maior Antonia Minor Vipsania Agrippina Vipsania Marcella Lucius Antonius Gaius Antonius Iulla Antonia Sextus Appuleius

Antonia Maior's generation

Octavianus, becoming Augustus the first Roman emperor, married Scribonia who gave him a daughter (Julia the Elder). His last marriage was with Livia, a Claudia who had been married to a Claudius. Their son Tiberius, by birth a Claudius, was later adopted by Augustus, thus, like his stepfather Augustus, becoming one of the Julii Caesares by adoption.

Fabii Sextus Appuleius Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilii Lepidi Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor Appius Claudius Pulcher Marcus Valerius Messalla Drusus Claudius Nero I Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus Octavii (by birth) - Julii Caesares (by adoption) Mark Antony Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
Fabia Numantina 1 2 Sextus Appuleius 3 2 Claudia Marcella Major Cornelia 1 Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus 1 2 Claudia Marcella Minor 2 Marcus Valerius Messalla Appianus Tiberius Claudius Nero 1 Livia 3 2 Augustus Antonia Maior Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus
Sextus Appuleius Appuleia Varilla Lucius Aemilius Paullus Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Aemilia Paulla Paullus Aemilius Regulus Claudia Pulchra Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus Tiberius Drusus the Elder Domitia Lepida the Elder Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus Domitia Lepida the Younger

Antonia Minor's generation

Antonia Minor's husband Nero Claudius Drusus, a.k.a. Drusus the Elder, was a Claudian like his brother emperor Tiberius: they were the sons of Tiberius Claudius Nero, the praetor of 42 BC.

Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Augustus Tiberius Claudius Nero Mark Antony Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor Augustus Vipsanii Marcus Valerius Messalla Appianus Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus Quintus Haterius
Vipsania Agrippina 1 1 Tiberius Drusus the Elder Antonia Minor Marcus Claudius Marcellus 1 Julia the Elder 3 2 Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus 1 Domitia Lepida the Younger Domitia Lepida the Elder 1 Decimus Haterius Agrippa
Drusus the Younger Germanicus Livilla Claudius Gaius Caesar Julia the Younger Lucius Caesar Agrippina the Elder Agrippa Postumus Messalina Quintus Haterius Antoninus

Agrippina the Elder's generation

Lacking a biological son, Augustus adopted his grandsons (by his only daughter Julia) Gaius, Lucius and Postumus, as well as his stepson Tiberius, in order to ensure an heir and successor. Around the time of his death only Tiberius remained and he became the next emperor. Tiberius, a Claudius by birth had become one of the Julii Caesares by adoption: from this moment this first dynasty of Roman emperors was both Julian and Claudian. The further emperors of this dynasty had both Julian and Claudian ancestors.

Tiberius Claudius Nero Augustus Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Drusus the Elder Tiberius Drusus the Elder Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa Lucius Aemilius Lepidus Paullus (grandmother: Urgulania) Drusus the Elder Sextus Aelius Catus
Tiberius 3 2 Julia the Elder Gaius Caesar 1 Livilla 2 Drusus the Younger Germanicus Agrippina the Elder Julia the Younger Lucius Aemilius Paullus Plautia Urgulanilla 1 Claudius 2 Aelia Paetina
Tiberillus Julia Livia Germanicus Gemellus Tiberius Gemellus Nero Drusus Caesar Caligula Agrippina the Younger Julia Drusilla Julia Livilla Aemilia Lepida Claudius Drusus Claudia Antonia

Agrippina the Younger's generation

Caligula was the son of Germanicus, a Claudian by birth and an adopted Julian, although Germanicus also possessed blood ties to the Julii Caesares on his mother's side. Caligula was a Claudius by blood descent, but both of his parents had Julian ancestors. Therefore, he was the first actual Julio-Claudian emperor who descended from both the Julii and Claudii branches of the dynasty.

Drusus the Younger Germanicus Tiberius Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Marcus Junius Silanus Germanicus Lucius Calpurnius Piso Cassii Germanicus Lucius Aemilius Paullus Germanicus Publius Vinicius
Julia Livia Nero Drusus Caesar Aemilia Lepida Junia Claudilla 1 Caligula 2 2 Livia Orestilla 1 1 Gaius Calpurnius Piso Lucius Cassius Longinus 1 Julia Drusilla 2 Marcus Aemilius Lepidus Julia Livilla Marcus Vinicius

Most marriages remained childless and many potential successors in the dynasty were eliminated after rampant accusations.

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus Germanicus Lucius Aemilius Paullus Junii Silani Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi Claudius Faustus Cornelius Sulla Lucullus III Memmii Marcus Lollius Drusus the Younger Germanicus
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus 1 Agrippina the Younger Aemilia Lepida Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus 1 Claudia Antonia 2 Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix Publius Memmius Regulus 1 Lollia Paulina 3 2 Caligula 4 Milonia Caesonia
Nero Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus Junia Calvina Decimus Junius Silanus Torquatus Lucius Junius Silanus Torquatus Junia Lepida unnamed son Gaius Memmius Regulus Tiberius Gemellus Julia Drusilla

Claudius, the fourth emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, was a brother to Caligula's father Germanicus. He belonged to the gens Claudia through his father; on his mother's side he had Julian ancestors.

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus Sallustii Germanicus Drusus the Elder Marcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus
Domitia Lepida the Elder 1 2 Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus 2 2 Agrippina the Younger 4 3 Claudius 3 Messalina
Nero 1 Claudia Octavia Britannicus

Poppaea Sabina's generation

Nero, the last emperor of the dynasty, was by birth a Domitius on the side of his father, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus. Through his mother, Agrippina the Younger, he had Claudian ancestors. Both Ahenobarbus and Agrippina were related by blood to the Julii Caesares. Nero was adopted into the Claudii by his stepfather emperor Claudius, a brother to his grandfather from his mother's side, and from his father's side, a son of his grandmother's sister.

Lucius Otho Titus Ollius Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus Claudius Statilii
Otho 2 Poppaea Sabina 2 3 Nero 2 3 Statilia Messalina
Claudia Augusta


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Smith 1870, Vol. 1 p. 536 ff.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Napoleon III 1865, Vol. 1 p. 253
  3. Wurts 1945, Vol. 4 p. 627
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Meijer 1990, pp. 511/532/576-577
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Kamm 2006, pp. 156-157
  6. Griffin 2009, p. 13 ff.
  7. Plutarch. "Life of Sulla" in Parallel Lives


External links