The Great Cameo of France, from around 23 AD, pictures several members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty

Around the start of the Common Era, the family trees of the gens Julia and the gens Claudia became intertwined into the Julio-Claudian family tree as a result of marriages and adoptions.

Descendancy of the emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty

See also: Julii Caesares § Descendancy, and Family tree of Roman emperors § 27 BC – AD 192

The Julio-Claudian dynasty was the first dynasty of Roman emperors. All emperors of that dynasty descended from Julii Caesares and/or from Claudii. Marriages between descendants of Sextus Julius Caesar and Claudii had occurred from the late stages of the Roman Republic, but the intertwined Julio-Claudian family tree resulted mostly from adoptions and marriages in Imperial Rome's first decades. Note that descendancy of the Julii Caesares before the generation of Julius Caesar's grandfather is in part conjectural, but as presented by scholars.[1]

Julio-Claudian family tree[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Sextus Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius CaesarSextus Julius Caesar Postumus
Gaius Julius CaesarMarcia
Gaius MariusJuliaGaius Julius CaesarAureliaSextus Julius CaesarLucius Julius Caesar
3 CalpurniaJulia MajorJulia MinorMarcus Atius BalbusSextus Julius CaesarLucius Julius Caesar
2 PompeiaGaius Julius CaesarGaius OctaviusAtiaSextus Julius Caesar
1 CorneliaMarcus Antonius CreticusJulia
2 PompeyJulia1 Gaius Claudius MarcellusOctavia Minor2 Mark Antony
2 ScriboniaGaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus (Gaius Octavius)3 Livia Drusilla Augusta[4][5]1 Tiberius Claudius Nero
1 Claudius Marcellus
2 Julia the Elder3 Tiberius Claudius Nero1 Vipsania AgrippinaDrusus the Elder[4][5]Antonia Minor
2 Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Drusus the YoungerLivilla1 Plautia Urgulanilla
Julia the YoungerGaius CaesarTiberius GemellusJulia LiviaClaudius Drusus
Agrippa PostumusLucius CaesarAgrippina the ElderGermanicus2 Claudius2 Aelia Paetina
Lucius Cassius LonginusJulia DrusillaDrusus CaesarJulia Livilla4 Agrippina the Younger1 Gnaeus Domitius AhenobarbusClaudia Antonia
Milonia CaesoniaGaius Caesar (Caligula)Nero Julius Caesar3 Valeria Messalina
1 Claudia OctaviaBritannicus
Julia Drusilla1 Otho2 Poppaea Sabina2 Nero
3 Statilia Messalina
Claudia Augusta
 1, 2 
spouse order


Sextus Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius CaesarSextus Julius Caesar
Marcia RegiaGaius Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarPopillia
AureliaGaius Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarFulvia
Gaius Julius CaesarMarcus Atius BalbusJulia MinorJuliaMarcus Antonius Creticus
AtiaGaius Octavius(({...))}
2 ScriboniaGaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus (Gaius Octavius)3 Livia Drusilla AugustaTiberius Claudius NeroOctavia MinorMark Antony
2 Marcus Vipsanius AgrippaJulia the Elder3 Tiberius Claudius NeroDrusus the ElderAntonia MinorAntonia the ElderLucius Domitius Ahenobarbus
Agrippina the ElderGermanicusClaudius1 Gnaeus Domitius AhenobarbusDomitia Lepida the YoungerMarcus Valerius Messalla
Milonia CaesoniaGaius Caesar (Caligula)Agrippina the YoungerValeria Messalina
Julia DrusillaOtho2 Poppaea Sabina3 Statilia MessalinaNero1 Claudia OctaviaBritannicus
Claudia Augusta

By generation

In the Julio-Claudian dynasty of Roman emperors, the lineage of the Julii Caesares was separated from those of the Claudii up to Augustus' generation. The next generation had both Claudii with a Julia as ancestor, as Claudii adopted into the Julii Caesares family. After Tiberius, the remaining three emperors of the dynasty had, outside adoptions, ancestors in both the Julian and the Claudian families.

Generation of Julius Caesar's grandfather

Gaius Julius Caesar II and Lucius Julius Caesar II may have had Sextus Julius Caesar, the military tribune of 181 BC, as a common ancestor.[1]

Generation of Julius Caesar's grandfather
Julii CaesaresMarcii RegesJulii CaesaresPopilii Laenates
Gaius Julius CaesarMarciaLucius Julius CaesarPopillia
Gaius Julius CaesarJuliaSextus Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarGaius Julius Caesar Strabo VopiscusJulia

Generation of Julius Caesar's father

This generation of Julii Caesares has two consuls: Sextus Julius Caesar in 91 BC, and Lucius Julius Caesar the next year.[1] This generation has also two female descendants very close to the centers of power by their marriages: Julia, the daughter of Gaius Julius Caesar II was married to seven-times consul Gaius Marius, while Julia, the daughter of Lucius Julius Caesar II was married to the two-times consul and Roman dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who had successfully challenged Marius' power.[7] For ensuing generations, Gaius Julius Caesar (proconsul of Asia), married to a consul's daughter, and Lucius Julius Caesar proved to be quintessential ancestors of those who held Imperial power in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.[1]

Generation of Julius Caesar's father
Gaius Julius CaesarLucius Aurelius CottaGaius Julius CaesarMariiGaius Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarFulvii FlacciLucius Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarCornelii SullaeLucius Caecilius Metellus Delmaticus
Gaius Julius CaesarAureliaJuliaGaius MariusSextus Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarFulviaGaius Julius Caesar StraboJulia possibly identical to Ilia a.k.a. Julia Cornelia 1Sulla4 Caecilia Metella
Julia MajorJulia MinorJulius CaesarGaius Marius the YoungerSextus Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarJuliaCorneliaLucius CorneliusFaustus Cornelius SullaFausta

Julius Caesar's generation

Following Sulla's example Julius Caesar's and Pompey's first marriages were with women of their own generation, later marrying women of a younger generation. After being betrothed to Cossutia, Julius Caesar's first wife was Cornelia, the mother of Julia.[2] The younger of Caesar's two sisters married Marcus Atius Balbus: they were ancestors of all the Julio-Claudian emperors, apart from Tiberius.[1][4][5]

This is also the generation of Mark Antony's parents. Mark Antony's mother Julia was the daughter of Lucius Julius Caesar: she was an ancestor of the last three emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.[4][5]

Generation of Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius CaesarMarcus Atius BalbusGaius Julius CaesarLucius Cornelius CinnaGaius MariusQuintus Mucius Scaevola PontifexPompeius StraboSextus Julius Caesar (or his son)Lucius Julius CaesarMarcus AntoniusLucius Julius CaesarCornelii LentuliSullaQuintus Pompeius Rufus
Julia MinorMarcus Atius BalbusJulius Caesar1 CorneliaGaius Marius the Younger 1Mucia Tertia 32 PompeySextus Julius CaesarLucius Julius CaesarMarcus Antonius Creticus 1Julia2 Publius Cornelius Lentulus SuraCorneliaQuintus Pompeius Rufus
Marcus Atius BalbusAtiaAtia MinorJuliaGnaeus PompeiusPompeia MagnaSextus PompeyLucius Julius CaesarMark AntonyGaius AntoniusLucius AntoniusPompeiaQuintus Pompeius Rufus

Generation of Julius Caesar's daughter

By this time marriages with a political agenda among the powerful families were in full swing, however not yet between Julii Caesares and Claudii. Pompey married Julius Caesar's daughter Julia. Julius Caesar's second wife Pompeia, possibly a great-granddaughter of Lucius Julius Caesar II, was a granddaughter of Sulla. His third wife Calpurnia is said to be younger than his daughter. His son Caesarion resulted from his relation with Cleopatra.[1]

Atia, the daughter of Julius Caesar's sister, married Gaius Octavius: they became the parents of the first emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, then still called Octavianus. Their daughter Octavia the Younger became an ancestor to the last three emperors of that dynasty. In this generation Mark Antony had children by, among others, Antonia Hybrida Minor, and Fulvia.[4][5]

Generation of Julius Caesar's daughter
AnchariiOctaviiMarcus Atius BalbusSullaPompeyGaius Antonius HybridaMarcus Antonius CreticusMarcus Fulvius BambalioAppius Claudius PulcherQuintus Pompeius RufusGaius Julius CaesarLucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
Ancharia 1Gaius Octavius2 AtiaFaustus Cornelius Sulla 1Pompeia MagnaAntonia Hybrida Minor 2Mark Antony 33 Fulvia1 Publius Clodius PulcherPompeia 2Julius Caesar3 Calpurnia
Octavia the ElderOctavia the YoungerOctavianusFaustus Cornelius SullaCornelia SullaAntoniaMarcus Antonius AntyllusIullus AntoniusPublius Clodius PulcherClaudia(by Cleopatra:)
Generation of Julius Caesar's daughter (2)
Julius CaesarPompeius StraboQuintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio Nasica
Julia 4Pompey 25 Cornelia Metella

Generation of the Octavias

The Claudii were a powerful gens with consuls and other high ranking politicians in several of its families across several generations. In this generation the first marriages between Claudii and descendants of the Julii Caesares took place. This however didn't mean yet that the dynastic family trees of both gentes got merged into a single one: that didn't happen until the adoption of Claudii by (adopted) Julii Caesares in the generations to come.

Octavia the Younger's first husband was a Claudius from the Marcelli family. Claudia, descending from Claudii, became the first wife of Octavian, who by then was adopted in the Julii Caesares family by the testament of his uncle Julius Caesar. After her first husband's death, Octavia married Mark Antony, who besides the offspring of his first three marriages had had children by Cleopatra.

Augustus daughter Julia the Elder's first marriage was to Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; their daughter Julia the Younger married Lucius Aemilius Paullus; their youngest child was Junia Lepida married to Gaius Cassius Longinus (consul AD 30). Junia and Gaius granddaughter Domitia Longina married twice: 1) Lucius Aelius Lamia Plautius Aelianus and 2) Emperor Domitian of the Flavian dynasty. Issue from Domitia Longina first marriage was Lucius Fundanius Lamia Aelianus[8] and Plautia, their children married into the Antonine dynasty.

Generation of the Octavias
Gaius OctaviusAppuleiiClaudii MarcelliGaius OctaviusMarcus Antonius CreticusJulius CaesarGaius OctaviusPublius Clodius PulcherGaius SentiusScriboniiPompeyLucius Cornelius Cinna
Octavia the ElderSextus AppuleiusGaius Claudius Marcellus 1Octavia the YoungerMark AntonyOctavianus1 ClaudiaSentiaLucius Scribonius LiboPompeia Magna2 Lucius Cornelius Cinna
Sextus AppuleiusMarcus Claudius MarcellusClaudia Marcella MajorClaudia Marcella Minor(by Cleopatra:)
Alexander Helios
(by Cleopatra:)
Cleopatra Selene II
(by Cleopatra:)
Ptolemy Philadelphus
ScriboniaLucius Scribonius LiboGnaeus Cornelius Cinna MagnusMagna
Generation of the Octavias (2)
Cornelii LentuliLucius Scribonius LiboJulius CaesarGaius OctaviusMarcus Antonius CreticusQuintus Caecilius Pomponianus AtticusVipsaniiGaius Claudius MarcellusMark AntonySextus AppuleiusSextus Quinctilius Varus
Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus 2Scribonia3 AugustusOctavia the Younger 42 Mark AntonyPomponia Caecilia Attica 1Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa 12 Claudia Marcella Major2 Iullus AntoniusSextus AppuleiusQuinctilla Varilla
Cornelius Lentulus MarcellinusCorneliaJulia the ElderAntonia the ElderAntonia the YoungerVipsania AgrippinaVipsania MarcellaLucius AntoniusIullus AntoniusIulla AntoniaSextus Appuleius

Antonia Major's generation

Octavianus, becoming Augustus the first Roman emperor, married Scribonia who gave him a daughter (Julia the Elder). His last marriage was with Livia, a Claudia who had been married to a Claudius. Their son Tiberius, by birth a Claudius, was later adopted by Augustus, thus, like his stepfather Augustus, becoming one of the Julii Caesares by adoption.

Antonia Maior's generation
FabiiSextus AppuleiusSextus Quinctilius VarusGnaeus Cornelius Lentulus MarcellinusAemilii LepidiGaius Claudius MarcellusAppius Claudius PulcherMarcus Valerius MessallaTiberius Claudius NeroMarcus Livius Drusus ClaudianusOctavii (by birth) - Julii Caesares (by adoption)Mark AntonyGnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus
Fabia Numantina 12 Sextus Appuleius 3Quinctilla VarillaCornelia 1Paullus Aemilius Lepidus 12 Claudia Marcella Minor2 Marcus Valerius Messalla AppianusTiberius Claudius Nero 1Livia 32 AugustusAntonia MaiorLucius Domitius Ahenobarbus
Sextus AppuleiusAppuleia VarillaLucius Aemilius PaullusMarcus Aemilius LepidusAemilia PaullaPaullus Aemilius RegulusClaudia PulchraMarcus Valerius Messalla BarbatusTiberiusDrusus the ElderDomitia Lepida the ElderGnaeus Domitius AhenobarbusDomitia Lepida the Younger

Antonia Minor's generation

Antonia Minor's husband Nero Claudius Drusus, a.k.a. Drusus the Elder, was a Claudian like his brother emperor Tiberius: they were the sons of Tiberius Claudius Nero, the praetor of 42 BC.

Antonia Minor's generation
Marcus Vipsanius AgrippaAugustusTiberius Claudius NeroMark AntonyGaius Claudius MarcellusAugustusVipsaniiMarcus Valerius Messalla AppianusLucius Domitius AhenobarbusQuintus Haterius
Vipsania Agrippina 11 TiberiusDrusus the ElderAntonia MinorMarcus Claudius Marcellus 1Julia the Elder 32 Marcus Vipsanius AgrippaMarcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus 1Domitia Lepida the YoungerDomitia Lepida the Elder1 Decimus Haterius Agrippa
Drusus the YoungerGermanicusLivillaClaudiusGaius CaesarJulia the YoungerLucius CaesarAgrippina the ElderAgrippa PostumusMessalinaQuintus Haterius Antoninus

Agrippina the Elder's generation

Without son, Augustus had adopted his grandsons (by his only daughter Julia) Gaius, Lucius and Postumus, and his stepson Tiberius, in order to ensure an heir and successor. Around the time of his death only Tiberius remained and he became the next emperor. Tiberius, a Claudius by birth had become one of the Julii Caesares by adoption: from this moment this first dynasty of Roman emperors was both Julian and Claudian. The further emperors of this dynasty had both Julian and Claudian ancestors.

Agrippina the Elder's generation
Tiberius Claudius NeroAugustusMarcus Vipsanius AgrippaDrusus the ElderTiberiusDrusus the ElderMarcus Vipsanius AgrippaPaullus Aemilius Lepidus(grandmother: Urgulania)Drusus the ElderSextus Aelius Catus
Tiberius 32 Julia the ElderGaius Caesar 1Livilla2 Drusus the YoungerGermanicusAgrippina the ElderJulia the YoungerLucius Aemilius PaullusPlautia Urgulanilla 1Claudius2 Aelia Paetina
TiberillusJulia LiviaGermanicus GemellusTiberius GemellusNero Julius CaesarDrusus CaesarCaligulaAgrippina the YoungerJulia DrusillaJulia LivillaAemilia LepidaClaudius DrususClaudia Antonia

Agrippina the Younger's generation

Caligula was the last emperor adopted into the family of the Julii Caesares. He was a Claudius by descendance, although he had Julii Caesares among his ancestors, from both his mother's and his father's side.

Agrippina the Younger's generation
Drusus the YoungerGermanicusTiberiusMarcus Aemilius LepidusMarcus Junius SilanusGermanicusLucius Calpurnius PisoCassiiGermanicusLucius Aemilius PaullusGermanicusPublius Vinicius
Julia LiviaNero Julius CaesarDrusus CaesarAemilia LepidaJunia Claudilla 1Caligula 22 Livia Orestilla 11 Gaius Calpurnius PisoLucius Cassius Longinus 1Julia Drusilla2 Marcus Aemilius LepidusJulia LivillaMarcus Vinicius

Most marriages remained childless and many potential successors in the dynasty were eliminated after rampant accusations.

Lucius Domitius AhenobarbusGermanicusLucius Aemilius PaullusJunii SilaniMarcus Licinius Crassus FrugiClaudiusFaustus Cornelius SullaMemmiiMarcus LolliusDrusus the YoungerGermanicus
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus 1Agrippina the YoungerAemilia LepidaMarcus Junius Silanus TorquatusGnaeus Pompeius Magnus 1Claudia Antonia2 Faustus Cornelius Sulla FelixPublius Memmius Regulus 1Lollia Paulina 32 Caligula4 Milonia Caesonia
NeroMarcus Junius Silanus TorquatusJunia CalvinaDecimus Junius Silanus TorquatusLucius Junius Silanus TorquatusJunia Lepidaunnamed sonGaius Memmius RegulusTiberius GemellusJulia Drusilla

Claudius, the fourth emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, was a brother to Caligula's father Germanicus. He belonged to the gens Claudia with, from his mother's side, Julian ancestors.

Claudius, the fourth emperor
Lucius Domitius AhenobarbusSallustiiGermanicusDrusus the ElderMarcus Valerius Messalla Barbatus
Domitia Lepida the Elder 12 Gaius Sallustius Crispus Passienus 22 Agrippina the Younger 43 Claudius3 Messalina
Nero1 Claudia OctaviaBritannicus

Poppaea Sabina's generation

Nero, the last emperor of the dynasty, was by birth a Domitius with as well Julian ancestors (from both his mother's as his father's side), as Claudian (from his mother's side). He became a Claudian himself, by adoption by his stepfather emperor Claudius, a brother to his grandfather from his mother's side, or, from his father's side, a son of his grandmother's sister.

Poppaea Sabina's generation
Lucius OthoTitus OlliusGnaeus Domitius AhenobarbusClaudiusStatilii
Otho 2Poppaea Sabina 23 Nero 23 Statilia Messalina
Claudia Augusta


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Smith 1870, Vol. 1 p. 536 ff.
  2. ^ a b Napoleon III 1865, Vol. 1 p. 253
  3. ^ Wurts 1945, Vol. 4 p. 627
  4. ^ a b c d e f Meijer 1990, pp. 511, 532, 576–577
  5. ^ a b c d e f Kamm 2006, pp. 156–157
  6. ^ Griffin 2009, p. 13 ff.
  7. ^ Plutarch. "Life of Sulla" in Parallel Lives
  8. ^ Historia Augusta, Antoninus Pius 1.7; translated by Anthony Birley, Lives of the Later Caesars (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976), p. 96

General and cited sources

  • Miriam Griffin. A Companion to Julius Caesar, p. 13 ff. John Wiley & Sons, 2009. ISBN 9781444308457. (Julius Caesar's descendancy.)
  • Antony Kamm. Julius Caesar: A Life, pp. 156 (Genealogical chart of the family of Julius Caesar) and 157 (Simplified genealogical chart of the emperors from Augustus to Nero). Routledge, 2006. ISBN 9781134220335.
  • J. W. Meijer (translator). Tacitus: Jaarboeken (Ab excessu divi Augusti Annales). Ambo, 1990. ISBN 902631065X ISBN 9789026310652 – pp. 511 (Julia the Elder's family tree), 532 (Tiberius' family tree), 576–577 (from Gaius Julius Caesar the Elder to Nero)
  • Napoleon III. Histoire de Jules César Volume 1, p. 253. Paris: H. Plon 1865. (Julius Caesar's family tree.)
  • William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1870. Volume 1 p. 536 ff. Archived 2015-03-14 at the Wayback Machine (Julii Caesares up to the generation before the adoptions started.)
  • John S. Wurts. Magna Charta. Brookfield Publishing Company, 1945. Vol. 4 p. 627. (Ordinals for the Julii Caesares with the same praenomen.)