Aurelia Cotta

Who was the mother of famous Julius Caesar? The woman who raised Julius and his two sisters is Aurelia Cotta. She raised her daughters both name Julia and her son Julius, she then eventually raised her grandson Augustus. Her husband Gaius Caesar the elder, died at a young age, and before that he was gone most of the time so she was the one in charge of raising her children (15 Interesting Women of Ancient Rome). Many women in today’s world do not get the recognition they deserve for all the hard work they do.

Aurelia Cotta should be recognized as a strong and loving mother who did what was best for her children. Aurelia gave birth to three children, her daughters Julia Caesaris Major, Julia Caesaris Minor, and her son Julius Caesar. The daughter’s names meant Julia the elders and Julia the younger.

Aurelia’s husband, Gaius had a long career in Roman politics and served as proconsul of Asia.

He was said to have died suddenly while putting on his shoes, he left the majority of his estate to his son Gaius Julius Caesar, who later on became a dictator of Rome (Aurelia Cotta: Life of Julius Caesar’s mother). The life for widowed Aurelia was never dull, she was always looking out for her children. As a young adult Caesar was married to a woman named Cornelia. When he was eighteen the dictator of Rome, Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (a political enemy) ordered Caesar to divorce his wife.

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Julius naturally refused and Sulla tried to take away his inheritance from his father. Aurelia protested the case with the assistance of her brother Gaius Aurelius Cotta, who later became Consul. Any mother would defend their children in this case just as Aurelia did for Julius (Aurelia Cotta: Life of Julius Caesar’s mother).

Cornelia died at a young age, awhile after giving birth to their only son. Aurelia then took on the responsibility of raising Julius’s son. She was proved highly effective in running Caesar’s home and became a prominent matriarch within the family. She was also the grandmother to Atia Balba Caesaris, Atia of the Julii, and also grandmother of Gaius Octavian, the future emperor of Rome. Caesar went on to marry Sulla’s daughter, Pompeia. She later on proved to be an unfaithful wife.

In 61 B.C. the family celebrated the Bona Dea festival at Caesar’s home. Males were excluded from this event but Aurelia discovered the political Publius Clodius dressed in female attire hoping to have a romantic evening with Pompeia. Aurelia explained the affair that took place that evening with Pompeia and Clodius. Caesur who did not believe this was true later went on to proceed with a divorce (Aurelia Cotta: Life of Julius Caesar’s mother). Once again Aurelia shows how important her children’s lives are to her.

Aurelia was highly regarded throughout Rome because of her beauty, respectability, and mind. When she died in 54 B.C. in her sixties, a nine year old Octavian dedicated an honorary funeral to his great-grandmother. Many though Julius was born by a Caesarean birth, as opening of the abdominal cavity would soon be followed with a death afterwards. Since Julius was forty-six when his mother passed ways the legend comes out to be false about his birth (Aurelia Cotta: Life of Julius Caesar’s mother).

History students should be taught more on backgrounds of these significant people. Needless to say Aurelia Cotta was a loving mother. Being a woman and living during this time was not easy, women did not have the respect that women do today. They had to earn their respect, and Aurelia did just that. Women should look at Aurelia as a role model for her strong and right set mind. Her children were dearly blessed with such a wonderful mother.

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Aurelia Cotta. (2016, Dec 08). Retrieved from

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