Aurelia (c. 120 BCE–54 BCE)

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Aurelia (c. 120 bce–54 bce)

Roman noblewoman and mother of Julius Caesar. Born around 120 bce; died in 54 bce in Rome; daughter of Aurelius Cotta; married Gaius Julius Caesar Maior (a judge); children: Roman emperor (Gaius) Julius Caesar Minor (c. 100–44 bce); Julia Minor (c. 100 bce–51 bce); Julia Maior .

Little is known of Julius Caesar's mother, outside of her dedication to the proper upbringing of her son who would become general and ruler of the Roman Empire. Of patrician lineage, she married Gaius Julius Caesar, a judge, and gave birth to two daughters and Julius Caesar (c. 100–44 bce). Though the circumstances of Caesar's birth are unconfirmed and often debated, Aurelia is said to have had difficulty; he was delivered through a surgical opening in her stomach—thus, the medical term caesarian section.

Aurelia was known to have had some education, because she spoke a learned Latin. As was the custom of the time, she oversaw the education of her son until he was seven-years-old, after which young Caesar was turned over to his father and uncles. Aurelia remained in charge of her daughters, one of whom, Julia Minor (c. 100–51 bce), would be the grandmother of Rome's first emperor, Augustus. Aurelia died in 54 bce, ten years before her son's assassination at the hands of his political enemies.


Fry, P.S. Great Caesar. London: Collins, 1974.

Kahn, Arthur D. The Education of Julius Caesar. NY: Schocken Books, 1986.

Thaddeus, Victor. Julius Caesar and the Grandeur That Was Rome. NY: Brentano, 1927.

Crista Martin , Boston, Massachusetts