What is the history of Julius Caesar's wife Calpurnia?


Quick Answer

Calpurnia was Julius Caesar's third and last wife. Born in 75 B.C., she married Caesar in 59 B.C., when she was around 16 and he was around 41.

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Full Answer

Contemporary sources indicate that Calpurnia had a reserved and modest disposition. The year after her marriage, Julius Caesar made her father, Piso, a consul. She bore Caesar no children. After the assassination of her husband in 44 B.C., Calpurnia gave his personal papers, including his will, to Marcus Antonius, one of Caesar's closest political allies.

Calpurnia plays an important role in many of the ancient accounts of Caesar's death. For example, Strabo and Livy write that she had a disturbing dream about her husband being in danger. Calpurnia told Caesar of these premonitions and begged him to postpone the meeting of the senate that he was to attend that day. When other seers confirmed her visions, he resolved to postpone the meeting. However, Decimus Brutus, one of the men conspiring to kill him, convinced him to attend, saying that the senators would mock him if he failed to go.

After Caesar's death, Calpurnia never remarried. History does not record the events of her later life and death. William Shakespeare used several details of Calpurnia's biography, including her lack of children and her premonitions of Caesar's death, in his play, "Julius Caesar."

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