Key information:

Official Name: OCTAVIA MINOR

Birthdate: Disputed, likely born between 69 and 66 BCE.

(Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar, 27)

Birthplace: Nola, Italy

Reign: Octavia’s younger brother, Octavian, became Rome’s first emperor in 27 BCE. 

(Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 17)

Marriages:

Gaius Claudius Marcellus (? – 40 BCE)

(Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar, 27)

 

Mark Antony (40 BCE – 33 BCE)

(Plutarch, Life of Antony, 57) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 50.3)

Children:

Claudia Marcella Major
Claudia Marcella Minor
Marcus Claudius Marcellus
Antonia Major
Antonia Minor

(Suetonius, Life of Augustus 63) (Plutarch, Life of Antony, 87)

Death:

Octavia died of natural causes in 11 BCE.

(Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 61)

Statue identified as Octavia, National Archaeological Museum Naples, Italy, October 2019
Portrait of Octavia, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome, December 2018.
Cast of the portrait of Octavia, Ara Pacis Museum, Rome, February 2019.

Famous facts and dates

40
Octavia played a major role in the power struggles of the 1st century BCE. Her marriage to Mark Antony (40 BCE) helped cement his alliance with Octavian, known as the Second Triumvirate. Antony’s decision to divorce Octavia and marry Cleopatra (33-32 BCE) shattered this alliance and led to civil war.
(Plutarch, Life of Antony 57) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 50.3)
27
Octavia had a deep and personal connection with Octavian, her younger brother, who would go on to become Rome’s first emperor in 27 BCE. As a result, she was granted several rights and privileges that were normally reserved for Roman men. These included the ability to manage her own affairs and finances without needing to consult a male guardian.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 49.38)
11
After Octavia’s death, emperor Augustus built the Portico of Octavia in her honor.
(Suetonius, Life of Augustus, 29) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 49.43)

Related monuments in Rome

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Octavia” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 09/09/2021. https://ancientromelive.org/octavia/

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