The Info List - Antonia Minor

Antonia Minor
Antonia Minor
(PIR2 A 885), also known as Julia Antonia Minor,[1] Antonia the Younger or simply Antonia (31 January 36 BC - September/October AD 37) was the younger of two daughters of Mark Antony and Octavia Minor.[2] She was a niece of the Emperor Augustus, sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the Emperor Caligula
and Empress Agrippina the Younger, mother of the Emperor Claudius, and both maternal great-grandmother and paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero. She was additionally the maternal great-aunt of the Empress Valeria Messalina
Valeria Messalina
and Faustus Cornelius Sulla Felix, the paternal grandmother of Claudia Antonia, Claudia Octavia, and Britannicus
and the maternal grandmother of Julia Livia and Tiberius


1 Birth and early life 2 Marriage to Drusus

2.1 Conflict with Livilla

3 Succession of Caligula
and death 4 In art and popular culture

4.1 In ancient art 4.2 In popular culture

5 Ancestry 6 Notes 7 References

7.1 Ancient sources 7.2 Secondary sources

Birth and early life[edit] She was born in Athens, Greece
and after 36 BC 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 BC and committed suicide in 30 BC. She was raised by her mother, her uncle and her aunt, Livia
Drusilla. Due to inheritances, she owned properties in Italy, Greece
and Egypt. 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 Alexander the Alabarch and Lucius Vitellius, a consul and father of future Emperor Aulus Vitellius. Marriage to Drusus[edit] In 16 BC, she married the Roman general and consul Nero
Claudius Drusus. Drusus was the stepson of her uncle Augustus, second son of Livia
Drusilla and brother of future Emperor Tiberius. They had several children, but only three survived: the famous general Germanicus, Livilla
and the Roman Emperor Claudius. Antonia was the grandmother of the Emperor Caligula, the Empress Agrippina the Younger and through Agrippina, great-grandmother and great-aunt of the Emperor Nero. Drusus died in June 9 BC in Germany, 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. Tiberius
adopted Germanicus
in AD 4 (Suetonius Tiberius
15, Gai. 1., Div. Claudius
2). Germanicus
died in 19 AD, allegedly poisoned through the handiwork of Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso and Munatia Plancina. On the orders of Tiberius
and Livia
Drusilla, Antonia was forbidden to go to his funeral (suggested, but not stated by Tacitus
Annals 3.3). When Livia
Drusilla died in June 29 AD, Antonia took care of Caligula, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla, Julia Livilla
and later Claudia Antonia, Claudius's daughter through his second wife Aelia Paetina, her younger grandchildren. She outlived her husband, her oldest son, her daughter and several of her grandchildren. Conflict with Livilla[edit] In 31 AD, Antonia exposed a plot by her daughter Livilla
and Tiberius’ notorious Praetorian prefect, Sejanus, to murder the Emperor Tiberius
and Caligula
and to seize the throne for themselves. Livilla
had allegedly poisoned her husband, Tiberius' son, Drusus Julius Caesar (nicknamed "Castor") to remove him as a rival. Sejanus was executed on Tiberius’ orders, and Livilla
was handed over to her formidable mother for punishment. Cassius Dio states that Antonia imprisoned Livilla
in her room until she starved to death. Succession of Caligula
and death[edit] When Tiberius
died, Caligula
became emperor in March 37 AD. 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 Augusta, previously only given to Augustus's wife Livia, but rejected it. Six months into his reign, Caligula
became seriously ill. Antonia would often offer Caligula
advice, but he once told her, "I can treat anyone exactly as I please!" Caligula
was rumored to have had his young cousin Gemellus beheaded, to remove him as a rival to the throne. This act was said to have outraged Antonia, who was grandmother to Gemellus as well as to Caligula. Having had enough of Caligula’s anger at her criticisms and of his behavior, she committed suicide. Suetonius’s Caligula, clause 23, mentions how he might have poisoned her.

When his grandmother Antonia asked for a private interview, he refused it except in the presence of the prefect Macro, 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.

When Claudius
became emperor after his nephew’s assassination in 41 AD, he gave his mother the title of Augusta. Her birthday became a public holiday, which had yearly games and public sacrifices held. An image of her was paraded in a carriage. In art and popular culture[edit] In ancient art[edit]

Juno Ludovisi, Palazzo Altemps, Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome Malta Ara Pacis, Rome
[1] Location unknown [2][permanent dead link] Palazzo Massimo, Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome
[3] and portr-antonia-minor.jpg Cossyra
[4][permanent dead link] Cimiez Nice
Archaeological Museum [5] Musée des Antiques de Toulouse
[6] Coinage, e.g. [7], [8], [9] and [10] Harvard University Art Museums [11], Getty Museum
Getty Museum
[12] British Museum, 'Clytie' [13] Baiae
Nymphaeum, now at Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei
Campi Flegrei
at Baiae / Misenum

For more, see Nikos Kokkinos, Antonia Augusta: Portrait of a Great Roman Lady (London ; New York : Routledge, 1992) [15]. In popular culture[edit] Antonia is one of the main characters in the novel I, Claudius. In the television adaptation of the book she is portrayed by Margaret Tyzack. She is a loyal wife deeply in love with her husband Nero
Claudius Drusus. However, she is unloving towards her son Claudius, whom she regards as a fool. Furthermore, after finding evidence that Livilla murdered her husband Drusus Julius Caesar
Drusus Julius Caesar
and rightfully believing she was also poisoning her daughter for the same reason, she kills Livilla by locking her in her room until she starves to death. During the reign of Caligula
she is so disgusted by the state of Rome
that she commits suicide. She is a leading character in the novel by Lindsey Davis, The Course of Honour (1997), where she guides and advises Claudius
and his supporters. In the 1968 ITV historical drama The Caesars, Antonia was indirectly mentioned by Tiberius
(played by André Morell), who noted that Germanicus
was a blood relative of Augustus
on his mother's [Antonia] side. Colleen Dewhurst
Colleen Dewhurst
portrayed Antonia opposite Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
as Livilla in the 1985 miniseries A.D. Ancestry[edit]

Ancestors of Antonia Minor

16. Gaius Antonius

8. Marcus Antonius Orator

4. Marcus Antonius Creticus

2. Mark Antony

20. Lucius Julius Caesar II

10. Lucius Julius Caesar III

5. Julia Antonia

1. Antonia Minor

24. Gaius Octavius

12. Gaius Octavius

6. Gaius Octavius

3. Octavia Minor

28. Marcus Atius Balbus

14. Marcus Atius

29. Pompeia

7. Atia Balba Caesonia

30. Gaius Julius Caesar

15. Julia Minor

31. Aurelia Cotta


^ Minto, The Heliopolis Scrolls, p.159 ^ Tacitus, Annales 4.44.2 and 12.54.2 may have confused the two Antonia sisters (of whom the younger is far more famous). The problem is even more complex: an even older Antonia was born to a previous wife of Antony, who married Pythodorus of Tralles, Dio 44.5.3, 46.38.52 App. BC 5.10.93. That daughter is properly Antonia Major
Antonia Major
(the Elder), and the subject of the article Antonia Tertia.

References[edit] Ancient sources[edit]

- Life of Mark Antony Suetonius - Caligula
(Gaius) & Claudius Tacitus
- Annals of Imperial Rome Valerius Maximus, Factorum et dictorum memorabilium libri iv.3.3

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Antonia Minor.

Secondary sources[edit]

E. Groag, A. Stein, L. Petersen - e.a. (edd.), Prosopographia Imperii Romani saeculi I, II et III, Berlin, 1933 - . (PIR2) J. Minto, The Heliopolis Scrolls, ShieldCrest, 2009

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 72184927 LCCN: n92000105 GN