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Antonia Minor

Antonia Minor

Female 31 Jan 0036 B.C. - 0037

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  • Name Antonia Minor  
    Born 31 Jan 0036 B.C.  Athens, Greece Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died Oct 0037 

      Julio-Claudian family tree

      «b»Antonia Minor«/b» («i»PIR«sup»2«/i»«/sup» A 885), also known as «b»Antonia the Younger«/b» or simply «b»Antonia«/b» («u»31 January «/u» 36 BCE-September/October 37CE) was a daughter of «u»Roman «/u» «u»politician «/u» «u»Mark Antony «/u» and «u»Octavia Minor «/u», niece of «u»emperor «/u» «u»Augustus «/u», and mother of future emperor «u»Claudius «/u».
      Antonia is one of the most prominent Roman women. She is celebrated for her virtue and beauty. She was the youngest daughter to «u»Octavia Minor «/u» and «u»Mark Antony «/u» and was also the favorite niece of her mother's younger brother, Rome's first Emperor «u»Augustus «/u».

      «b»Birth and early life
      «/b»She was born in Athens, Greece and after 36 BCE was brought to Rome by her mother and her siblings. Antonia never had the chance to know her father, Mark Antony, who divorced her mother in 32 BCE and committed suicide in 30 BCE. She was raised by her mother, her uncle and her aunt, «u»Livia «/u» Drusilla. Due to inheritances, she owned properties in «u»Italy «/u», «u»Greece «/u» and «u»Egypt «/u». She was a wealthy and influential woman who often received people, who were visiting Rome. Antonia had many male friends and they included wealthy Jew «u»Alexander the Alabarch «/u» and «u»Lucius Vitellius «/u», a consul and father of future Emperor «u»Aulus Vitellius «/u».
      «b»Marriage to Drusus
      «/b»In 16 BCE, she married the Roman general and consul «u»Nero Claudius Drusus «/u». Drusus was the stepson of her uncle Augustus, second son to Livia Drusilla and brother to future Emperor «u»Tiberius «/u». They had several children, but only three survived. Their children were the famous general «u»Germanicus «/u», «u»Livilla «/u» and the Roman Emperor «u»Claudius «/u». Antonia was grandmother to Emperor «u»Caligula «/u», Empress «u»Agrippina the Younger «/u» and great-grandmother and great-aunt to Emperor «u»Nero «/u». Drusus died in June 9 BCE in «u»Germany «/u», due to complications from injuries he sustained after falling from a horse. After his death, although pressured by her uncle to remarry, she never did.
      Antonia raised her children in Rome and had Tiberius as their guardian. Germanicus died in 19CE. On the orders of «u»Tiberius «/u» and Livia Drusilla, Antonia was forbidden to go to his funeral. When Livia Drusilla died in June 29CE, Antonia took care of Caligula, Julia Agrippina, «u»Julia Drusilla «/u», «u»Julia Livilla «/u» and later «u»Claudia Antonia «/u», her younger grandchildren.
      «b»Antonia's children
      «/b»Germanicus was very popular among the citizens of Rome, who enthusiastically celebrated all his victories. He was also a favourite with Augustus, his grandfather-in-law, who, for some time, considered him as heir to the Empire. He was married to «u»Agrippina the Elder «/u», daughter of «u»Julia the Elder «/u» (Augustus's own daughter) and «u»Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa «/u». He had nine children by Agrippina but only six lived to adulthood. They were «u»Nero Caesar «/u», «u»Drusus Caesar «/u», «u»Gaius Caesar «/u» (Caligula), «u»Julia Agrippina «/u», «u»Julia Drusilla «/u» and «u»Julia Livilla «/u». In 4CE, Augustus finally decided in favour of Tiberius, his stepson, but he was compelled to adopt Germanicus as a son and name him his heir. After the death of Augustus in 14CE, the Senate appointed Germanicus commander of the forces in Germania. Tiberius was made emperor, but he was highly unpopular and the legions rioted on the news. Refusing to accept Tiberius, the rebel soldiers cried for Germanicus as emperor. However, Germanicus refused. Germanicus died in «u»Antioch «/u», «u»Syria «/u» in 19CE, a year after he defeated the kingdoms of «u»Cappadocia «/u» and «u»Commagene «/u». His death was surrounded by speculation, and several sources refer to claims that he was poisoned by «u»Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso «/u», governor of «u»Syria «/u», under orders of the emperor Tiberius.
      In 31CE, Antonia exposed a plot by her daughter «u»Livilla «/u» and Tiberius' notorious Praetorian prefect, «u»Sejanus «/u», to murder the Emperor Tiberius and Caligula and to seize the throne for themselves. Livilla had poisoned her husband, «u»Drusus Julius Caesar «/u», Tiberius' son, in order to remove rivals. Sejanus was murdered on Tiberius's orders and Livilla was handed over to her formidable mother. «u»Cassius Dio «/u» states that Antonia imprisoned Livilla in her room and allowed her to starve to death. After Livilla's death, Antonia's only remaining child was Claudius. Due to his constant illnesses and physical disabilities, she would constantly put him down. She would say «i»a monster: a man whom nature had not finished but had merely begun«/i» or, when accusing anyone of stupidity, would exclaim, «i»he is a bigger fool even than my son Claudius!«/i».
      «b»Succession of Caligula and death
      «/b»When Tiberius died, Caligula became emperor in March 37CE. Caligula awarded her a senatorial decree, granting her all the honors that Livia Drusilla had received in her lifetime. She was also offered the title of «u»«i»Augusta «/u»«/i», previously only given to Augustus's wife Livia, but rejected it.
      Six months into his reign, Caligula became seriously ill and never recovered. Antonia would often offer him advice. He once told her, «i»I can treat anyone exactly as I please!«/i».
      Having had enough of Caligula's anger at her criticisms and of his behaviour, she committed suicide. Suetonius's «i»Caligula,«/i» clause 23, mentions how he might have poisoned her.
      «i»When his grandmother Antonia asked for a private interview, he refused it except in the presence of the prefect «u»Macro «/u», and by such indignities and annoyances he caused her death; although some think that he also gave her poison. After she was dead, he paid her no honour, but viewed her burning pyre from his dining-room.«/i»
      When Claudius became emperor after his nephew's assassination in 41CE, he gave his mother the title of «i»Augusta«/i». Her birthday became a public holiday, which had yearly games and public sacrifices held. An image of her was paraded in a carriage.
    Person ID I61183  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 

    Father Mark Antony,   b. Abt 14 Jan 0083 B.C., Rome, Roman Republic Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Aug 0030 B.C., Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Octavia Minor,   b. 0069 B.C.,   d. 0011 B.C. 
    Family ID F551617469  Group Sheet

    Family Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus,   b. 14 Jan 0038 B.C.,   d. 14 Sep 0009 B.C. 
    Married 0016 B.C. 
     1. Claudius I, Emperor of Rome,   b. 1 Aug 0010 B.C., Lugundum (Lyons), Gaul (France) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Oct 0054, Rome, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Germanicus Julius Caesar,   b. 24 May 0016 B.C., Lugdunum, Gaul Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Oct 0019, Antioch Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F551617465  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Antonia Minor
    Antonia Minor
    The Juno Ludovisi
    (a portrait of Antonia Minor)