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Julia Valeria


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Julia Valeria

45 | 15 November, 28 AD | Senatore | Former Imperial Governess | Heterosexual | Canon | Julianna Margulies





Julia's personality has come full circle- as a child she worked at her mother's side to learn how to run a household someday. She was a good student and looked forward to the day when she would be a mother and domina of her own household. All the skills she learned have been tested over the years but no matter what she found a way to make the best of each situation...even as a slave. While most women of her status are lounging and enjoying the good life, Julia is not afraid of hard work. When she first escaped slavery Julia was very careful who she let get close because she feared that they would use her for their own purposes or return her to slavery but as time went on and the list of people she could trust got longer than the list of those she couldn't, she began to open her heart again. For people that she allows to get close to her, she cares deeply for them and will do anything for them. For someone who had a very small family at one point Julia now feels very blessed by the number of people she has in her life. 


Julia does not put much stock into fashion as she sees it as superficial. Her fashion choices have changed with each detour in her life’s path. As a child, she happily wore anything her mother chose to put her in. While she would do her best to keep it looking proper, she did spend most of her childhood trying to keep up with her two older brothers and therefore was not afraid to get her hands dirty when necessary. When she was sold into slavery the man who bought her was decent enough to provide her with some clothing, but it was very simple and he enjoyed reminding her of the fact that she wasn’t entitled to wear the jewels/rich clothing anymore. Added to the fact that she worked from sunup to sundown she often braided her mess of brown curls to keep it from getting tangled/out of control and her figured stayed relatively slim. She topped out her height at around 5’2”.

When she escaped, with only the clothing on her back she eventually found her way to Lucilla and this was when her life began to return to what it had been before slavery. As a freedwoman/later restored to her Patrician status, she was once again entitled to wear the ‘fancier’ things in life. Valeria wears dresses that befit her restored status, however as far as fancy embellishments or embroidery her dresses tend towards the more simple as she is very humble and for so many years she was responsible for her own limited finances- those habits are very much ingrained. Her hair is still a relatively thick bundle of curls but she has tamed it over the years. Overall, her figure is that of a matron of Rome, however it certainly shows the fact that her life has not been easy- she has added a little flesh to her bones but she still has a permanent reddish tinge to the skin and calluses on her palms from all the hard work she has been forced to do. There was a time when her hands bothered her, but it is simply now a part of who she was in the past and has no bearing on her present or future. 


Father: Sextus Julius Fidelis (Deceased- murdered by Camillus)

Mother: Valeria Dexia (Deceased- murdered by Camillus)


Camillus Deximus Julius Proditorus (deceased-traitor to Rome)
Sextus Julius Fidelis Damicus (assumed deceased)
Julia Fidelia (deceased shortly after Valeria was born)
Julia Aemilia (sold into slavery, assumed either still in slavery or deceased)
Julia Claudia (sold into slavery, assumed either still in slavery or deceased)

Spouse: Widowed

Former husband: Marcus Aburius Canus (Deceased December 73 AD- during Saturnalia)


Sextus Julius Fidelis (Born to Julia while she was a slave, purchased & freed, restored to the Julius lineage)

Extended family:

Canus’ children

Marcus Aburius Canus Minor (step-son)
Aburia Cana (step-daughter)
Servius Aburius Canus (step-son)
Aburia Marcilla (step-daughter: deceased)

Other: Imperial Children- she was their former governess and has maintained a close friendship



CHILDHOOD [28 AD-45 AD]: Birth – start of slavery

Julia Valeria, in 28 AD, was the second daughter born to Sextus Julius Fidelis and his wife Valeria Dexia. At the time of her birth (November 28 AD) her brothers Camillus and Damicus were 4 years old and her elder sister Julia Fidelia was 2. Julia was named in honour of her mother and both Fidelia and Valeria were the apple of their mother’s eye- she was so proud to have 4 healthy children. In 30 AD, Julia became the eldest daughter as her older sister Fidelia died of a raging fever while the family was living in Pompeii. Julia was only 2 when Fidelia died and she did not understand why her sister was suddenly not around but the loss her sister wasn’t to last too long. In 31 AD her mother gave birth to another daughter who was named Julia Aemilia and a third daughter followed two years after that (33AD). In a 10 year period the family had moved from Rome to Pompeii and Valeria Dexia had successfully given birth to 6 children with only 1 not surviving. While her mother had been successful in the family department, she kept her girls very close at hand as she feared they would be taken from her just like her first daughter had been but that wasn’t to be until many years later. The family returned to Rome in 34 AD and Julia excelled in her studies as well as the many tasks her mother set her to do. She was reminded regularly that she was to be a good example for her younger sisters which was fine, but she was also determined to keep up with her older brothers and could often be found trying to get in on their activities. It was back in Rome that she first met Lucilla as a child- Lucilla being a few years older than Julia would often interact with Camillus & Damicus however she would also interact with Julia when she didn’t want to play the rambunctious games that the boys were playing. In 41 AD her father was rewarded with the honour of being Co-consul for the year and at the same time Camillus, who was now 17 was beginning to rise in power. Although Valeria was sad to see her brother leave greater pursuits his accomplishments were celebrated as they also brought prestige to the family. When Camillus returned to Rome in 45 AD (Julia has now turned 17 with her younger sisters being 15 & 13) the family celebrated his return however the celebration were to be short lived. The ‘power’ had gone to her brother’s head and he hatched a plan to murder his father therefore taking the reins of power. He burnt the Domus to the ground and while Julia and her two younger sisters escaped, their parents were killed and Damicus was presumed dead. Camillus was livid that there were survivors- especially sisters that would need dowries provided. Instead of marrying them off or killing her and her sisters Camillus split the family up by selling the girls into slavery. Julia watched as her two younger sisters were sold first with her finally being sold to a relatively cruel man after they had gone. Her master enjoyed the fact that his new purchase had never been touched and had once been a patrician- he taunted her every day about how she was no longer entitled to the privileges that came with being a patrician.

Pre-birth – 24 AD Camillus/Damicus born, 26 AD- Julia Fidelia born
28 AD (November)—Valeria born to her parents, named after her mother
30 AD – Family moves to Pompeii, Julia Fidelia dies of a raging fever
31 AD – Julia Aemila, younger sister, is born
33 AD – early education begins & her youngest sister Julia Claudia is born
34 AD – Family returns to Rome, education continues at home with her mother
41 AD – Father appointed Co-consul for the year
42 AD – Camillus’ rise begins with his appointment (Propraetor of Gallia Belgica)- Valeria is sad to see her brother leave.
43 AD Camillus’ wins a great battle on the Rhine
45 AD Family is reunited- Camillus returns to Rome but celebration will be short lived
45 AD – Family is destroyed, sisters split up

TEENAGE TO EARLY ADULT [48-62 AD]: Slavery – Escape – Post Clemens:

Slavery at 17 years old forced Julia to grow up and realize that her life was going to be so different. She had been looking forward to the day when she would be married and become a wife/mother but once she heard the word ‘sold’ her dreams ceased to be. Instead of becoming her husband’s partner, she belonged to a man who enjoyed the fact that he had possession of her body and spirit. Julia did her best to just put her head down and quietly fight her way through it because she learned that if she fought back he made it worse. In 48 AD she discovered to her horror that she was pregnant with her master’s child and was unable to get rid of the child before her master found out. Julia was told that if she gave birth to a daughter she could either raise the baby herself as a slave or kill it (he didn’t really care) BUT if it was a son she would have no say over how he was to be raised as her master would raise the boy with his other children. She prayed that it was a daughter but when the child came forth (June 49 AD) she learned that she had carried a son. Julia was allowed to raise him until he reached roughly 3 years-old enough to be completely weaned and likely to survive but not old enough to fully know her as mom yet. However, the bond was well cemented for Julia by that point and when he was taken from her she grieved as if he had died. Something snapped inside her, modern ages would call it post-partum depression, and Julia did something that if she had been found would have meant her death- she found a moment and fled from her master with the clothing on her back BUT she was forced to leave her son behind as she was unable to smuggle him out. Out in the world she struggled from day to day finding small ways to survive. She would take odd jobs here and there if she could and spent many of her days travelling at night and hiding during the day so as not to be caught.
Finally, in 52 AD, unsure what to do or where to turn, she took a very dangerous chance and wrote out to a childhood friend of the family whom she had learned was the Dowager Empress. Lucilla seemed to take pity on her and sent her two trusted guards to escort the young woman back to the palace. When she arrived Julia had literally dropped to her knees out of fear of what would happen but also out of sheer relief. During their discussion she learned that Lucilla’s husband had been killed and her son Darius was on the throne with 4 regents to support him- her moment of fear came when she learned that one of the Regents was her own brother Camillus, however Lucilla promised to protect Julia from him. This was accomplished by bringing her into the household, under the false name of Hestia, as the governess to Lucilla’s youngest daughter Flavia (This was decided as the best role for her after Lucilla learning the truth about her own son). Julia took the role of governess and truly loved Flavia as if she was her own child. The two became very close and even 4 years later with the birth of Claudia and Tiberius, the close bond between Julia and the Imperials remained. Not only was it a loyalty bond but for Julia it was a replacement of the family she had stolen from her. In 56 the Regency was demolished and her brother rebelled against the Empire and was declared a traitor. Normally her life would have been forfeit as well, but she was spared by Magister Fluvius Stilicho and Lucilla’s assurance that she had nothing to do with her brother’s treason. Her brother was later discovered in Gaul, by Quintus Alexander and executed for his crimes against Rome. When the execution order was carried out, Quintus discovered a son by Camillus and again he was spared by decree from Fluvius. Lucilla and Fluvius had both promised that someday in the future if possible she would be freed/restored to her former status and following her brother’s execution and the decision to spare her, she was formally restored to her Patrician status. To Julia, this was the greatest news but at the same time, she had still lost the majority of her family. When Lucilla asked her what she planned to do with her life, Julia asked if she could continue at the Palace in the role that she had known for the last few years. Lucilla agreed on condition that Julia accept a stable wage and also accept the fact she was no longer a slave and was free to do with her life what she wished. Flavia no longer needed the close scrutiny of a governess and instead the relationship between the former slave and Imperial child became that of companion while Julia began to help out with the twins as well. In 60 AD, things in the Palace began to change…not for the better. Darius had been murdered, Junus placed on the throne with his father as co-regent. Lucilla requested Julia’s presence and it was during this meeting that she was informed Lucilla had been sick for some time and worried she didn’t have much time left. She had begun to set her affairs in order and wanted to know that the children would be protected and Julia assured her that as long as she was allowed/it was in her control she would be there for Lucilla’s children- it was the least she could for all the compassion Lucilla’s family had extended to her. Shortly after that meeting Lucilla died however that was not to be the only loss the Imperial family would experience. Valeria had to comfort Flavia when she learned of her father’s death and in November 60 AD her brother Junus was killed in a riot/assassination during the funeral games he had prepared for his mother Lucilla. In the ensuing chaos power was assumed on Senate orders by Manius Cyprianus because Tiberius as a very young child was too young to take power. Tiberius, to protect the lineage, was smuggled out of the palace by his stepsister Claudia Livia and Antonia Vitellia. Julia, along with members of the imperial household, was placed under house arrest until it was discovered that she had nothing to do with his removal. Tiberius was eventually returned to the palace and she resumed her role but she knew there would be majority scrutiny following her for some time. Déjà vu would come roughly a year later (62-63 AD) when during another Senate meeting a riot broke out and Clemens who was the head of the Praetorian’s quelled the riot by being declared Ceasar by the mob. Little did those at the Palace know what was occurring- before word even made it back to the Palace the Praetorians, led by Clemens, arrived at the Palace and proceeded to go on a rampage through the palace. Many were quelled but some were rounded up to be dealt with later. Julia had been looking for Tiberius, who had childishly decided to hide on her and while she was looking for him, she learned that Claudia had escaped the palace which meant that both twins were missing. Rufia, the only Imperial remaining at the palace was securely guarded in her room. Julia had the misfortune of being arrested, again on suspicion that she had orchestrated the escape (yay for déjà vu). She was questioned by the Senior Tribunes and while she told them honestly what she knew, she didn’t have the information they were looking for. It was decided that she would be placed under armed guard/house arrest requiring an escort and permission if she needed to leave her cubiculum. It was during this ‘imprisonment’ that she met Marcus Aburius Canus- who would surprisingly later become her husband. He was the one who had escorted her to the tribunes, and during a small amount of chatter he admitted to having once worked alongside her brother but he, like many, was shocked when he learned what he had done to Julia. During her imprisonment Julia kept herself busy by whatever small tasks she was allowed to get her hands on (mostly mending) but she made it so boring to guard her that they allowed her a little more freedom such as doors open etc. While this was going on, she was unaware of the moves Clemens was making to secure his place. She would learn in July of that year (62 AD) when Clemens had her brought to him and ordered her, as Flavia’s former governess and someone the young woman was close to, to prepare the young woman for her upcoming marriage to….Emperor Clemens. At first Julia refused, but Clemens had been prepared for that. He threated both her and Flavia with serious harm/rape/torture if she refused and Flavia failed in her duties as a wife. Suffice it to say the conversation with Flavia had not gone well. Flavia shut down and would not listen to anything Julia said even going so far as to tell Julia she could leave her presence. Flavia, with the cunning that would have made her mother proud, hatched a plan to get out it. On the day of her wedding, she summoned Julia to help prepare her and while they were allowed a few moments to themselves Julia was told that when she received a quick glance and a nod from Flavia she was to take a small sac of money and a letter re-confirming her freedom and once again run for her life. Julia initially refused, but Flavia put her foot down and threatened to make it an order if Julia didn’t agree- reluctantly Julia agreed. During the wedding ceremony Flavia asked to say a few words and it was at this point that the nod came as Flavia shocked the crowd by slicing a concealed blade across the veins in her arms. Just before chaos erupted and Flavia fainted she gave Julia another look that said run. Julia fought with herself for a moment wanting to go Flavia’s side, but realizing how much of a cost Flavia had made to ensure that she and many of the household had a chance to survive, Julia ran and managed to escape before the Palace was fully locked down. She initially went to Antonia Vitellia, who had been a very close friend of Lucilla’s. After the battle of the 4 Emperors where Quintus Alexander came out on top, Julia took up permanent residence in the Domus that once belonged to her nephew (the son of Camillus who had been spared by Fluvius only to be killed serving the Roman Army in Brittania).

48 AD (December) – Learned she was pregnant with her master’s child but unable to abort it before he found out.
49(June)-52 AD (June) – Allowed to keep the child until he reached the age of 3- old enough to make survival likely but not old enough to be fully aware of who she was. Unable to stand life anymore she hatched her escape. Valeria penned a letter to Lucilla. Lucilla met with her and brought her into her household with the story that she was going to be Flavia’s governess but that was protect her from Camillus as he often visited the palace.
56 AD –Regency abolished by Darius, her brother declared a Traitor and new children are born to Lucilla (Claudia & Tiberius)
57 AD (January)
– Camillus is discovered in Gaul, along with a biological son Sextus. Camillus is exceuted for treason.
– With her brother’s execution Lucilla and Magister Stilicho formally free her- keeping the promise Lucilla made. Fluvius and Valeria travel to meet Sextus who returns to Rome and enlists in the military
58-60 AD
– Valeria’s life revolves around the Imperial Palace and the twins
– September 60 AD- Lucilla summons her and informs her that she has been sick for some time and fears that she doesn’t have much time left. She is setting her affairs in order and wants to know that the children will be protected.
– October- November 60 AD- Valeria has to comfort Flavia when news is brought of her father’s death and Junus is killed in the funeral games he prepared for his mother. Power is taken by Manius Cyprianus
61 AD – Senate assumes power in Tiberius’ name as he is considered too young to rule
62 AD – During a senate meeting in the Curia a riot breaks out and Clemens (head of the Praetorians) quells the riot and is declared Caesar by the Mob. Tiberius in a childish mood escapes the palace and while she is looking for him, his sister Claudia escapes. Flavia remains behind – refuses to leave and Valeria is placed under house arrest until her part in the Imperial Children’s disappearance can be explored.
July 62 AD – Julia is ordered by Clemens to prepare Flavia for her marriage to Clemens and threatens both Julia & Flavia with serious harm if she isn’t able to convince the girl to go through with it. Flavia, on her wedding day attempts to commit suicide after ordering/making sure that Julia escaped the palace. Julia was given a small sum of money and told to run to protect her from Clemen’s wrath.
Post Clemens- Julia escaped the palace and fled first to Antonia Vitellia but after Clemens was killed by Quintus she moved into the Domus that had once belong to her nephew.


With the restoration of the Imperial lineage, Julia moved into the Domus that had been willed to her by her nephew. While normally able to take care of herself, the Domus was too much for her to handle and Julia purchased a few slaves to help her maintain the house. She was surprised when Canus paid her a visit- he proceeded to hand her a letter. Upon reading the letter she saw that it was the same one that she had penned when she was first placed under house arrest by Clemen’s men. She had feared that she would be killed and Canus, after confiscating and reading the letter, had promised to deliver the letter and she made him agree only if she was killed. As she wasn’t killed, he was returning the letter to her. Julia filed the letter away as she didn’t see a way it could be useful at this point. Julia invites Canus to stay for a quick meal and he does not have to return to Claudia so he agrees. Although Julia is no longer employed directly by the Imperial family, as the next decade goes on she maintains a close contact with the family- especially Rufia and Flavia this has her running into Canus occasionally. In April 63 AD, Octavius at Quintus’ request gathered a list of exiled nobles and Julia used the opportunity to ask the Imperials for advice and help searching for her biological son. She presented the letter she had written to her son and provided the name of her former master. Her former master was still alive but with major encouragement he agreed to sell. Julia purchased her son, who was 15 years old. While she was glad he had been well treated, she was also glad to be able to finally put her past as a slave behind her. Julia freed her son and hopes he will adjust to a life with her. He took the name Sextus Julius Fidelis after his grandfather (Julia’s father). One month later (May), Julia and all of Rome celebrate the return of Tiberius.

Four years later (66 AD) Julia figured marriage would never happen and was enjoying watching her son grow into a responsible young man but fate has intervened and she married Canus, who is still in service to the Imperial Family, however no longer a Praetorian. It is not a socially advantageous marriage but for Julia that is fine. The two have gotten to know each other and their marriage is one of comfort/companionship. As Canus had fallen from the equestrian class and therefore she was marrying someone who was not a patrician they were not entitled to be married by conferratio (her transferring to his authority) instead they were married by usus- Julia remains under the authority of her son and is required to leave the domus for 3 nights a year to maintain this marriage. After Canus’ fall his family had moved into the Subura but with the marriage Julia offered Canus the chance to move into her Domus- he accepted. With the marriage Julia has achieved her goal in life- wife and mother. Sure all of her ‘children’ are grown and starting to have children of their own but she is ready for the next generation to take over. Marcilla, her step-daughter, became pregnant in 67 AD and Julia supported her throughout the pregnancy while in the same year she watched with joy as Flavia was finally married and seemed very happy. Blessings and tragedies continued to follow the family (illness, death of Marcilla and her family) but the family did their best to hold together. When her husband became ill with pneumonia Cana, his eldest daughter returned to the Domus to help her care for Canus. During the time she was back in the Domus Julia encouraged both Cana and her husband to talk and reconcile their differences. She knew what it was like to be estranged from family and while their situations weren’t the same, she was happy when Cana finally forgave her father. Julia could feel the relief and wondered if that helped her husband make improvement with his pneumonia. Cana announced that she had fallen in love with a Greek freedman and hoped her father would give his blessing to returning to Greece with him. Knowing he had just reunited with his daughter Julia was glad that he agreed- she feared Cana would never forgive him again if he had refused. Julia wished the couple well and reminded her if there was ever anything they needed all the had to do was ask. Also in 69 AD Julia learned that Flavia was pregnant and although she did not serve the Imperial family directly she offered her support to Flavia who gave birth to a healthy daughter. As the year finished out and a new decade began her husband was still struggling with the bout of pneumonia he had developed the year before- he was still serving the Imperial Family and Julia could see the toil the sentence was having on her husband. Julia herself was no longer in service of the Imperial family but she works alongside her husband supporting him as much as she can. With the continual decline in his health/mental state he was released from servitude and it was at this point that her husband could finally consider a ‘retirement’. Many years earlier her husband had told her his ideal retirement was a small plot of land that he could farm and in 71 AD Canus, and Julia by extension, moved out of her son’s Domus and took up a small plot of land belonging to his friend Alaric whom Canus had worked with as a Praetorian. Her husband works with horses and Julia maintains a small domus on the property.  In 73 AD, during the Saturnalia festival, her husband Canus had one of his health scares and although she remained at his side nursing him through it, he did not recover and succumbed to his illness. She is now adjusting to life as a widow

62 AD- Moves into the Domus that once belonged to her nephew and begins to establish her own household by. Canus pays Julia a visit to return the letter, Maintains contact with Flavia & Claudia and she asked the Imperial Family to help Julia restore her son.
66 AD- Julia marries Canus
67 AD- Canus and Julia learn that Marcilla and her husband are pregnant. Julia supports Marcilla throughout the pregnancy and is there to help deliver the child- while not a midwife, she knows about delivering children. Canus begins to develop arthritis
67 AD- Julia learns that Flavia is going to marry one of the nobles in Quintus’ army. Julia attends the wedding of Flavia and Gnaeus Sestius Vacticanus
68 AD- The joy was short lived as the building Marcilla and her husband live in collapses and the family are killed. Julia mourns along with her husband
69 AD- Canus becomes ill with pneumonia and her step-daughter Cana whom has been estranged returns to help care for Canus. Julia learns that Flavia is pregnant and although she does not serve the Imperial family directly she offers her support to Flavia. Julia is happy to learn that Flavia gives birth to a healthy daughter
70 AD- Her husband, has been serving the Imperial Family BUT no longer a Praetorian (as 'punishment' for his part during the Clemen's rebellion) for 8 years and never fully recovered from his bought with pneumonia. Finally he is released from servitude
-71 Julia’s husband retires from active service and finally returns to his farming roots. During his Praetorian days he became friends with Alaric Stilicho, who was a former Germanic prince brought to Rome under duress, and it was to Alaric that he turned. Alaric offered him a position raising horses and that was most peaceful she had ever seen her husband.
-72 Occasionally receives letters from Cana. Learns she finally had a child, a girl.

-73 Canus becomes ill again during Saturnalia and does not recover, leaving Julia a widow.





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