Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty)

Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian Dynasty)

Marcus Claudius Marcellus (Julio-Claudian dynasty)

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Marcus Claudius Marcellus (42 BC – 23 BC) was the eldest son of Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus, and Gaius Claudius Marcellus Minor, a former consul. He was descended through his father from Marcus Claudius Marcellus, a famous general in the Second Punic War.



Since Augustus had no sons, Marcellus was one of his closest relatives - already at the age of three, when his uncle needed to make peace with Sextus Pompey, Marcellus was engaged to a daughter of Sextus (though the engagement was forgotten when Sextus Pompeius was defeated). As he grew older, Marcellus was seen often in public with Augustus, including at his triumphs over Mark Antony and Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and a campaign against the Cantabri.

The succession

In 25 BC, Marcellus married Augustus' only daughter, Julia the Elder, with Agrippa officiating in Augustus's absence.

Velleius, a pro-Augustan source, states that:

This passage supports the suggestion in Tacitus and other historians that other potential heirs such as Tiberius and Agrippa felt threatened by Marcellus's rise. After the marriage Agrippa set out for Asia "on the pretext of commissions from the emperor, but, according to current gossip, was in fact withdrawing for the time being, on account of his secret...
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