These 16 Romantic Break-ups Changed History
These 16 Romantic Break-ups Changed History

These 16 Romantic Break-ups Changed History

D.G. Hewitt - May 4, 2019

These 16 Romantic Break-ups Changed History
Julius Caesar never let love or loyalty get in the way of his ambition. Pinterest.

1. Julius Caesar cold-heartedly broke up with Cossutia as he began his rise to the top

It’s never been entirely clear whether Julius Caesar married and then divorced Cossutia or they were simply engaged when he broke the relationship off. What is clear, however, is that Caesar was still technically a boy when the pair met and embarked on a romantic affair. He had yet to wear the toga of manhood, while she was a young girl from a good, if not great, family. According to some ancient sources, as soon as Caesar assumed his manly toga, he moved to make her his wife.

In 84BC, Caesar suddenly split up with Cossutia. His father had just recently died and he was looking to the future. Moreover, he was assessing his chances of gaining power while married to a girl from a family that was not novi homines, that is, one which didn’t have at least one Senator to its name. Caesar abruptly ended the union and married Cornelia soon afterwards. Since she was the daughter of four-time consul of the Roman Republic Lucius Cornelius Cinna, the union made much more sense politically and set Caesar on the path to greatness.


Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Abraham Lincoln, Mary Owens and the accidental engagement.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

“Julius Caesar.”

“Mark Anthony.” McGill University.

“Lady Caroline Lamb.” The Daily Telegraph, April 2001.

“Meet Caroline Norton: fighting for women’s rights before it was even cool.” January 2016.

“Rachel Jackson Biography.” National First Ladies Library.

“The Heartbreaking History of Divorce.” Smithsonian Magazine, February 2014.

“A brief history of divorce.” The Guardian, September 2009.

“Eleanor of Aquitaine.” BBC History.

“Edvard Munch: Beyond The Scream”. Smithsonian Magazine. Arthur Lubow. March 2006