Gaius Julius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus

Gaius Julius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus (C. Iulius L. f. Sex. n. Caesar Strabo Vopiscus) (c. 130 BC – 87 BC)[1] was the younger son to Lucius Julius Caesar II and his wife Poppilia and younger brother to Lucius Julius Caesar III. His cognomina indicate he was possibly cross-eyed, and the surviving member of a set of twins.[2]

In 103 BC, he was on a committee to supervise the implementation of the Lex frumentaria, an agrarian bill, proposed by tribune Lucius Appuleius Saturninus. Strabo became a pontifex in 99 BC; a quaestor in 96 BC and an aedile in 90 BC.

In the midst of the Social War, Strabo stood for the consulship even though he had not yet been praetor. His candidacy was rejected by Tribune Publius Sulpicius Rufus which led to street clashes in December 89 BC. After Strabo was dismissed Sulla and Quintus Pompeius Rufus were elected consuls for 88 BC.

Along with his brother he was killed fighting in the streets at the beginning of the civil war by partisans of Marius in 87 BC. According to Livy,[3] their heads were exposed on the speaker’s platform.

Caesar Strabo Vopiscus wrote at least three tragedies with Greek themes. These plays were Adrastus, Tecmesa and Teutras. Only fragments of the plays survive. According to Cicero, he was an orator known for his wit and humour.[4] Cicero published a dialogue called De Oratore, in which Strabo explains why humour is important in speech.[5]

He was an uncle to Lucius Julius Caesar IV, Julia Antonia and a great-uncle to Mark Antony, Gaius Antonius, Lucius Antonius and Lucius Julius Caesar V.

References

  1. William Smith A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology p.537
  2. William Smith A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology p.538
  3. Livy, The Periochae, 80.
  4. Cicero, Brutus, 47, 177
  5. Cicero, De Oratore, 2.231-290
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