Octavia [69 - 11 BCE]

older sister of Octavian (Augustus),
second wife of Marc Antony &
maternal grandmother of Claudius

While Antony was wintering with Cleopatra in Alexandria (41-40 BCE), his first wife [Fulvia] feuded with his fellow triumvir [Octavian] in Rome. The next spring she traveled to Greece to confront Antony, where she died. Antony returned to Rome & confirmed his alliance with Octavian by marrying the latter's recently widowed sister, who over the next four years bore him two daughters [both named Antonia]. When Antony returned to the East (36 BCE), Octavia dutifully accompanied him to his mansion in Greece but fell ill & returned to Rome. That was the last time she saw her husband, who returned to Cleopatra in Alexandria. 

As news reached Rome of Antony's public liaison, Octavia remained a loyal wife & mother. Even after Antony divorced her (32 BCE), she never remarried. After his death, she devoted herself to raising not only her own daughters but also Antony's children by his first wife & his three children by Cleopatra: Alexander, Cleopatra & Ptolemy. When she died, her brother had the Senate declare her a goddess.

References: Suetonius, Life of Augustus 61.
                   Plutarch, Parallel Lives: Antony 30-35, 53-54, 57, 87.

Other resources on line:

Perspective on the World of Jesus

Copyright 1999-2021 by Mahlon H. Smith
All rights reserved.

an American Theological Library Association Selected Religion Website
OCLC catalog no.: 62046512