Cleopatra, consort to Julius Caesar was worshiped in Egypt as a living embodiment of the Egyptian goddess Isis, but she was never recognized as such by the Senate of Rome.

Julius Caesar was recognized as a god after his death in 42 BC by the Roman Senate. In 29 BC Caesar's adopted son, the first Roman emperor Augustus, allowed Roman cities of Asia Minor to set up temples to him. Augustus the son of a god, would be formally made a god by the Roman Senate on Sept 17, 14 AD about a month after his death.

In Augustus' will, he adopted Livia Drusilla, his wife, into the Julian family and gave her the name Julia Augusta. The name "Julia" allowed her technically to claim she was the daughter of a god. Livia's status as a god however was never recognized by the Senate of Rome.

In 130 AD Emperor Hadrian made his lover Antinous a god complete with his own cult, after Antinous drowned in the Nile Oct 24, 130 CE. But Antinous was a young Greek fellow and Hadrian bypassed the Roman Senate when he proclaimed Antinous a God.

Was any woman made a god by the senate of Rome? Or more specifically.

My Question:
Who was the first Roman Woman to be made a god by the Senate of Rome?

I am not asking about priestesses, nor am I speaking of female goddesses of Rome like Minerva, Diana, Lucina, or Larunda. I'm talking about a living woman who was made god in her lifetime or after her death. A woman who was known to the people of Rome as a living mortal who then was proclaimed god by the senate. The same honor given Caesar, Augustus and many emperors who followed who were made god by an act of the Roman Senate.

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    I think you are mistaken when you say that Livia Drusilla's "status as a god however was never recognized by the Senate of Rome". In fact, as the Wikipedia page on Livia Drusilla notes: "It was not until 13 years later, in AD 42 during the reign of her grandson Claudius, that all her honors were restored and her deification finally completed. She was named Diva Augusta (The Divine Augusta) ..." Commented Jan 8, 2020 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


I believe that honour belongs to Julia Drusilla, the sister of the emperor Gaius (commonly known as Caligula).

As explained in A Companion to Women in the Ancient World by Sharon L. James, and Sheila Dillon,

Members of the imperial family began to receive worship, especially in the Greek East, from the time of Augustus, but the first woman to be deified was Drusilla, the sister of Caligula, followed by Livia, the wife of Augustus.

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