THE SUPPORTING CAST
Cleopatra and Rome's supporting cast is made up of an eclectic circle of family members, close friends, and political and military associates of the major players. In many ways, this coterie was as eccentric as the prime-time actors. It consisted of an adulterous princess with a penchant for ribald jokes, rebellion, and perhaps even conspiracy; a confidant of the emperor who was an inveterate builder of monuments bearing his name; a gastronome who built Rome's first private swimming pool; a literary patron who supported women poets; a pair of spirited youths who imitated their grandfather's hairstyle and handwriting and dressed up like Trojans; and a melancholic recluse who seems to have grown to dislike his mother but who was partial to gorgeous islands. All of their lives were intertwined with that of Augustus, and some of them may have been aware enough of Cleopatra's personality and art to acknowledge them in their own lives and monuments.
Julia was the only child of Augustus, born to him and Scribonia in 39 B.C. (Fig. 3.1). On the very day she was born, Julia's parents divorced. Angustus and Livia, who married in 38, lost no time in situating Julia in Augustus's house, seeing to it that she was properly trained in weaving, spinning, and other appropriate skills. Her upbringing was strict. She was still