The 5 Children Of The Roman Emperor Augustus

Further ReadingThe 5 Roman Emperors Of The Julio Claudian Dynasty

The first Roman emperor Augustus would have a total of 5 children during his lifetime. Out of these 5 children only one was biological while the other 4 were adopted either for political purposes or to give Augustus an heir.

Over the course of his life Augustus would have 5 children.

  1. Julia The Elder
  2. Caius Caesar
  3. Lucius Caesar
  4. Marcus Agrippa Postumus
  5. Tiberius Caesar

Each of these children were adopted into the imperial family to serve a purpose. 3 of the male children were adopted to be a potential heir to Augustus. In the end however it was Tiberius, the last adopted son, who became the second emperor of Rome.

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Without further ado, here are the 5 children of the Roman Emperor Augustus.

Julia The Elder

Born30th of October, 39 BC
Died14 AD

The only biological child of Augustus was his daughter Julia. Augustus was incredibly protective over Julia and often would screen people who wished to visit her.

Julia over the course of her life would be used as a pawn in Augustus’s dynastic plans. Since Augustus had no biological male heirs he positioned Julia to produce several male heirs that could take over for Augustus.

However, as fate would have it Julia’s first marriage to Marcellus did not last long nor did it produce any offspring. After the passing of Marcellus Julia would be married off to Agrippa; a close friend and leading general to Augustus.

This marriage produced three children; Gaius, Julia, and Lucius.

Augustus adopted Lucius and Gaius and started to have them taught how to govern a state effectively.

As such one of the 5 children of Augustus was his daughter Julia the Elder.

Lucius Caesar

Giovanni Dall'Orto - Own work
Born17 BC
Died2 AD

The second child of Augustus was the adopted child of Julia the Elder, Lucius Caesar.

Lucius was both Augustus’s adopted son and his paternal grandson. Along with his brother Gaius Caesar it was decided that Lucius and Gaius would rule the empire as joint emperors after the passing of Augustus.

From an early age both Lucius and Gaius would receive an education on how to manage an army and act as Roman aristocrats. Augustus would personally teach the two boys how to write, swim, and fight as a Roman Emperor would be expected to.

However, unlike Augustus both Lucius and Gaius were taught to work for the applause of the Roman people and not to expect it.

Historians debate on the nature of Gaius and Lucius Caesar. Augustus was busy trying to present them to the Roman people as the ideal Roman leader. From an early age both of these boys would be given extreme responsibility of managing an entire province as consuls-elect.

Unfortunately for Augustus both Gaius and Lucius would pass away at an early age. This again left the now old Roman Emperor without an heir to run the Empire.

Gaius Caesar

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) - Own work
Born20 BC
Died4 AD

Probably the most qualified of the adopted sons of Augustus to lead the Empire was Gaius Caesar.

Gaius from an early age would distinguish himself as an able Roman. In 13 BC he took part in the Trojan Games. In these games Gaius and other noble sons would work together to accomplish a series of tasks. These games were designed to demonstrate how well the future leaders of Rome could work together.

Further, in 8 BC Gaius would accompany the future second Emperor of Rome, Tiberius, on a military campaign against Sicambri in 8 BC. While on military campaign Gaius would learn how to efficiently march and control a Roman army.

As Augustus got older he began to entrust Gaius with more responsibility. In 1 BC Augustus would send Gaius to the eastern province of Syria. While in this province Gaius would lead a series of successful military campaigns. His ultimate success was the placing of Ariobarzanes II of Atropatene on the Armenian throne, making another client kingdom for Rome.

However, Gaius proved to be too trustworthy and in 2 AD a large rebel force had taken the city of Artagira. Gaius attempted to barter with the leaders of the rebel forces and was wounded in a confrontation.

This would eventually cause a decline in the health of this promising Roman who would pass away two years later in 4 AD.

As such Gaius Caesar was the 3rd child of the Roman emperor Augustus.

Marcus Agrippa Postumus

Born12 BC
Died14 AD

The 4th child of Augustus was his adopted son Marcus Agrippa Postumus.

There is not much to say about Marcus. Historians know very little about him as Augustus had him removed from the Imperial household sometime around 6 AD.

Ancient historians such as Cassius Dio have reported that they had sources that depicted Marcus Agrippa as being overly brutish. He was fond of violence and was incredibly strong. Further, he had a short temper.

Augustus was hesitant to adopt Marcus due to his bad nature and hot temper. However after the deaths of Gaius and Lucius Augustus had no other choice.

It is reported that Marcus only wanted to do one thing in life…fish. For this reason in 7 AD Marcus Postumus was banished to the sea island of Pianosa between Italy and Corsica.

While under banishment Postumus would be watched by a host of guards. Here he would spend the rest of his life fishing in the Mediterranean Sea.

Tiberius

The 5th child of Augustus was his adopted son Tiberius.

Tiberius would prove to be extremely intelligent and an able commander. However, he hated politics and did not want to be the emperor of Rome.

However, after the deaths of Lucius and Gaius Augustus had no other option left then to adopt Tiberius and proclaim him his heir.

Tiberius’s life was much better without him being emperor and on several occasions Tiberius would tell Augustus he did not want to hold the office.

This was because Tiberius had already happily married to his first wife Vipsania Agrippinia. This marriage was a happy one and both she and Tiberius were a great match for each other, a rare occurrence among the nobility of Rome.

However, Augustus would force Tiberius’s hand in divorcing Vipsania and instead marrying Augustus’s daughter Julia the Elder. This proved to be an unhappy marriage and the couple were only legally married.

In the end Tiberius would eventually become the second emperor of Rome in 14 AD. He was reported to not have liked this job and ultimately would retire from Roman politics leaving a handful of men to run the empire in his absence.

As such the 5th child of the Roman emperor Augustus was Tiberius.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article dedicated to the 5 children of the Roman Emperor Augustus.

The concept of Roman lineage is interesting. Unlike our modern lineage patterns Roman family lineage stemmed from names and not biological birth. It was possible to be adopted into another family and become a full fledged member. Roman’s would use this all the time to either solidify their political power or advance themselves.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you enjoyed this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter and sharing around the internet.

Further, you can check out the other articles below.

Sincerely,

Nick