A.2. Crowning Marsyas: the symbolism involved in the exile of Julia

  • Bianca Sanderson Macquarie University, Sydney
  • Peter Keegan Macquarie University, Sydney
Keywords: Julia, Marsyas, adultery, Rome, Augustus, morality


In addition to the widely reported adultery committed by Julia prior to her banishment, Pliny records that Julia was seen to place a corona on the statue of Marsyas. While the accusations of adultery have been considered in regard to Augustus’ so‐called morality laws, or as the smokescreen for a conspiracy, the Marsyas incident has been neglected. However, the symbolism of the various traditions regarding Marsyas indicate that Julia was sending her father a powerful public message which was a factor in his decision to remove her from the city.


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Author Biographies

Bianca Sanderson, Macquarie University, Sydney
Department of Ancient History
Peter Keegan, Macquarie University, Sydney
Department of Ancient History