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A Look at Julius Caesar’s Parents

Julius Caesar was much more than a character in a William Shakespeare play, as he was a living, breathing man who turned out to become one of most influential and well known of men in history. However, while Caesar played an important role in the politics of ancient Rome , have you ever stopped to think who conceived this powerful man, who led Rome’s military at one time. Without Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta, there would be “Hail Caesar’s” heard during ancient Roman times.

Gaius Julius Caesar (140 BC – 85 BC) served as a Roman senator and was a great supporter of his brother-in-law Gaius Mairus, but he would become more known as the father of Julius Caesar. Caesar’s father married Aurelia Cotta, who belonged to the Aurelii and Rutilii families. The union produced two daughters, who they both named Julia and a son , Julius, who was born in 100 BC. As for more family members, Gaius had a brother named Sextus Julius Caesar, who was consul in 91 BC.

In his career, Gaius quickly became a fixture in Roman political scenes, even though exact dates that he held offices are still under debate. Records uncovered about Gaius state that he served as commissioner in a colony at Cercina (probably Marius-affiliated in 103 BC), praetor, quaestor, military tribune, and proconsul of Asia during his lifetime.

While in Rome, Caesar’s father suddenly lost his life in 85 BC , simply slipping into his shoes at the start of the day. It is said that another Caesar (possibly his own father) had died in the same manner , instead in Pisa. However, his son would survive his death and would later benefit from the extensive education that he had given his son. This would help him to become one of the best orators in all of Rome.

In regards to the reading of Gaius’ will, he left his son, Caesar the majority of his estate, but after Marius’s military was taken down in the civil war that took place during the 80s BC, Caesar would lose his inheritance to a dictator by the name of Sulla.

As for Caesar’s mother, Aurelia Cotta (120 BC – 54 BC) was sometimes simply referred to as Aurelia. Caesar’s mother had ties to politics, as the daughter of Rutilia and Lucius Aurelius Cotta, who served as consul in 119 BC. Even her paternal grandfather of the same name served as consul in 144 BC. To say the least, the Aurelii Cottae family held a significant place throughout the Roman Republican period. Her mother’s family was also connected to consular rank. Additionally, Aurelia was kin to three half-brothers, who were also consuls: Lucius Cotta, Gaius Aurelius Cotta, and Marcus Cotta.

When Aurelia married Gaius, he was a praetor, which was a title bestowed upon one who served as a commander of an army. She gave birth to two other children besides Caesar , daughters , both named Julia (except one was called Major while the other was Minor). Ancient records reveal that she was viewed as the ideal Roman mother and woman. Plutarch stated that she was strict, yet respectable. Aurelia was also seen as rather intelligent, beautiful, and filled with common sense.