This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Illustration of Caesar’s birth from 14th century

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

A 14th-century illustration showing the birth of Caesar
Illustration of Caesar's birth from 14th century

Illustration of the birth of Julius Caesar from a 14th century illuminated manuscript called Les anciennes hystoires rommaines. 

The belief that Caesar was born as a result of the so-called “caesarean section” is flawed and has been duplicated for a long time. Pliny the Elder states1 that this is how the future dictator was to be born. However, this is contradicted by the fact that his mother – Aurelia Cotta, died only in 54 BCE, while in ancient Rome the law allowed to perform a caesarean section only on a deceased pregnant woman2.

The family of Julia Caesares occurs in preserved sources from the 3rd century BCE and before the great Caesar, there were many of his ancestors with the same name (praenomen), surname (nomen) and nickname (cognomen). The name of the surgical procedure certainly comes from the nickname of the branch of the Julius family and it is possible that someone from the dictator’s ancestors was in fact born as a result of this procedure.

  1. Pliny the Elder, Natural history 7.7
  2. The so-called lex Regia instauted by Numa Pompilius; later lex Cesarea. More: Hossam E. Fadel, Postmortem and Perimortem Cesarean Section: Historical, Religious and Ethical Considerations

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.


News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: