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

Bianca Sanderson, Peter Keegan


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.


Julia; Marsyas; adultery; Rome; Augustus; morality

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