|Claudia Marcella Major|
|Children||3, including Lucius Antonius and Iulla Antonia|
Iullus Antonius (43 BC - 2 BC), also known as Iulus, Julus or Jullus, was a magnate and poet in Ancient Rome. He was the second son of Roman general Mark Antony and Antony's third wife Fulvia. He is best known for being the famous lover of Julia the Elder. He was the full brother of Marcus Antonius Antyllus, half-brother of Clodia Pulchra (the first wife of Augustus) through his mother's first marriage, half-brother of Antonia Major and Antonia Minor through his father's marriage to Octavia Minor, and half-brother of Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus through his father's marriage to Cleopatra VII. His stepsiblings were Marcellus, Claudia Marcella Major (later his wife), Caesarion and Claudia Marcella Minor. He was also stepson to Octavia Minor (sister of Augustus) and Cleopatra VII.
Born in Rome, and named after his father's benefactor Iullus and his elder brother had a disruptive childhood. His mother Fulvia gained many enemies including Octavian (nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar). His half-sister, Clodia Pulchra, had been Octavian's first wife; however, in 41 BC, Octavian divorced Clodia without having consummated the marriage and married Scribonia, the mother of Julia the Elder, Octavian's only child. Fulvia saw this as an insult on her family and, together with Iullus' uncle Lucius Antonius, they raised eight legions in Italy to fight for Antonius' rights against Octavian. The army occupied Rome for a short time, but eventually retreated to Perusia (modern Perugia). Octavian besieged Fulvia and Lucius in the winter of 41-40 BC, starving them into surrender. Fulvia was exiled to Sicyon, where she died of a sudden illness.
In the same year of Fulvia's death, Antonius' father Mark Antony married Octavian's full sister, Octavia Minor. The marriage had to be approved by the Senate as Octavia was pregnant with her first husband's child, Claudia Marcella Minor, at the time. The marriage was for political purposes to cement an alliance between Octavian and Mark Antony. Octavia appears to have been a loyal and faithful wife who was good and treated her husband's children with the same kindness as her own. Between 40 BC-36 BC, Octavia lived with him in his Athenian mansion. She raised both of Mark Antony's sons and her children by her first husband together for the years of her marriage to their father. They all traveled with him to various provinces. During the marriage Octavia produced two daughters, who became Iullus' half-sisters, Antonia Major and Antonia Minor. Antonia Major was the paternal grandmother of the Emperor Nero and maternal grandmother of the Empress Valeria Messalina. Antonia Minor was the sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, mother of the Emperor Claudius, and maternal great-grandmother/paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero.
In 36 BC Mark Antony abandoned Octavia and her children in Rome and sailed to Alexandria to rejoin his former lover Cleopatra VII (they had already met in 41 BC and were parents of twin children). Mark Antony divorced Octavia circa 32 BC. Iullus and his half-sisters returned to Rome with Octavia while Antyllus remained with his father in Egypt. Antyllus was raised by Cleopatra beside his father's children by her, Ptolemy Philadelphus, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II, and their stepbrother Caesarion.
In the Battle of Actium the fleets of Antony and Cleopatra were destroyed, and they fled to Egypt. In August 30 BC Octavian, assisted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, invaded Egypt. With no other refuge to escape to, Mark Antony committed suicide by falling on his sword, having been tricked into thinking that Cleopatra had already done so. A few days later, Cleopatra did actually commit suicide.
Octavian and his army seized control of Egypt and claimed it as part of the Roman Empire. While Iullus' elder brother Marcus Antonius Antyllus and his stepbrother Caesarion were murdered by Octavian, he showed some mercy to the half siblings Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus. They were given to Iullus' first stepmother Octavia to be raised as Roman citizens. In 27 BC they returned to Rome, and Octavian was given the title of Augustus.
Following the civil wars, Iullus was granted high favours from Augustus, through Octavia's influence. In 21 BC Augustus wanted his daughter Julia the Elder to marry Agrippa, who at the time was married to Iullus' stepsister Claudia Marcella Major. Agrippa agreed to the marriage and so divorced Marcella. Octavia consequently obliged Iullus to marry her. Iullus and Marcella's sons were Lucius Antonius, Gaius Antonius and a daughter Iulla Antonia.
Iullus became praetor in 13 BC, consul in 10 BC, and Asian proconsul in 7 BC, and was highly regarded by Augustus.Horace refers to him in a poem, speaking of an occasion when Iullus intended to write a higher kind of poetry praising Augustus for his success in Gaul. Iullus was also a poet and is credited with having written twelve volumes of poetry on Diomedia some time before 13 BC, which has not survived.
Although when their relationship began is uncertain, Iullus Antonius became a lover of Julia the Elder. Agrippa died in 12 BC and Julia had been forced to marry her stepbrother, Tiberius. Julia's marriage to her stepbrother had become a disaster and she was desperate to divorce him if not satisfy her desires, and Iullus was open to do so. Tiberius had left Rome in 8 BC leaving Julia and her five children by Agrippa, Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Julia the Younger, Agrippina the Elder, and Agrippa Postumus, in Rome. Julia felt that her children were unprotected and may have approached Iullus to be a protector for her children, especially her two elder sons, Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, who were Augustus' joint heirs.
Both contemporary and modern historians have suggested Iullus had designs upon the monarchy and wanted to marry Julia before her children Gaius and Lucius came of age possibly to form some sort of regency. It is unlikely, however, that Julia would have put her father or her sons at risk. It is possible that she planned to divorce Tiberius and make Iullus Antonius protector of her sons.
The scandal finally broke in 2 BC. When Augustus took action on his daughter Julia's copious promiscuity, Antonius was exposed as her prominent lover. The other men accused of adultery with Julia were exiled but Iullus was not so lucky. He was charged with treason and sentenced to death; subsequently, he committed suicide. Modern scholars have speculated that Iullus Antonius is one of the figures represented on the north face of the Ara Pacis, a Roman altar.
Iullus Antonius was connected to many members of the imperial family through blood and marriage. As the result of his parents' marriages and his own, he was connected to various families in Rome.
Through all of these family ties, he was also the step-nephew of Augustus and step-cousin of Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter, therefore he was also step-cousin of Julia's children also. Through his half-sister Antonia Minor, he was a maternal uncle of Germanicus, Livilla and the Emperor Claudius. Lastly, he was a paternal great-uncle of the Emperor Caligula, Julia's grandson by Agrippa, and the Empress Agrippina the Younger, Julia's eldest granddaughter, and Claudius' niece and fourth wife, as well as other children fathered by Germanicus and his wife Agrippina the Elder: Nero Julius Caesar, Drusus Caesar, Julia Drusilla, and Julia Livilla. Through Agrippina the Younger, Iullus was a maternal great-great-uncle of the Emperor Nero. Through his half-sister Antonia Major and stepsister Claudia Marcella Minor, he was also great-uncle to Claudius' third wife Valeria Messalina. Iullus was Messalina's great-uncle both maternally and paternally, because Antonia and Claudia Marcella were half-sisters.
|Ancestors of Iullus Antonius|
Iullus is portrayed in many modern literature and television adaptations in a variety of ways. Many modern writers portray him as a womanizer and stress the relationship between him and Julia, be it political or romantic.