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Calpurnia from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "

Calpurnia Pisonis (1st century BC), daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, was a Roman woman, third and last wife of Julius Caesar. She was sister of Lucius Calpurnius Piso "the Pontifex". They married in 59 BC with no children resulting from the union. Following Caesar's death on the Ides of March (March 15) of 44 BC, Calpurnia delivered all Caesar's personal papers, including will and notes, and most precious possessions to Mark Antony, one of the new leaders of Rome. She never re-married after the death of Caesar.

According to historical tradition, reflected in some ancient sources,[1] Calpurnia had a premonition of her husband's murder and tried to warn him in vain. She also encouraged Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus to send word to the senate that Caesar was sick on the day of his death, but Caesar refused to lie.

Calpurnia in literature and film

In Shakespeare's play, Calpurnia has a dream that a statue of Caesar was flowing with blood as many Romans wash their hands in the blood. She also saw in her dream that Julius Caesar would die in her arms.

A version of Calpurnia was portrayed by Haydn Gwynne in HBO's series Rome.

Her character from Shakespeare's play was also portrayed by Sylvia Lennick in Wayne and Shuster's comedy sketch "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga", parodied as a hysterical Italian-American housewife repeatedly wailing "I told him, Julie! Don't go!" in a Bronx accent.[2]

She was also been portrayed by British actresses Greer Garson in the 1953 adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, by Joan Sims in Carry on Cleo, by Italian actress Valeria Golino in the 2002 made for TV movie Julius Caesar, and by Gertrude Michael in Cecil B. DeMille's 1934 Cleopatra.


  1. ^ Vita Caesaris, chapters 19–24, recounts Caesar's assassination; extracts are quoted in "The Assassination of Julius Caesar, 44 BC". EyeWitness to History. Retrieved 9 November 2005.  . For an assessment of Nicolaus and his sources see Sihler, E.G. Annals of Caesar: A Critical Biography with a Survey of the Sources (New York : G. E. Stechert, 1911), pp. 293–4
  2. ^ "Sylvia Lennick, Wayne & Shuster sidekick, dies at 93". The Globe and Mail, August 10, 2009.


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