Julia Domna

Reece Period attributed: Period 10

Obverse image of a coin of Julia Domna

Member of the The Severans dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 193 until 217.

Severus took Julia as his second wife ca. 187, after consulting an astrologer who said she was destined to marry an emperor. She bore him two sons, Caracalla and Geta.

Julia was notorious for her many adulteries, and moreover had conspired against her husband. However, he did not divorce her. Julia was also known as a patroness of the arts, and continued her influence through the reign of her son Caracalla. She later contracted cancer and starved herself to death.

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Julia Domna
  • Full names:
    • Julia Domna
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  • Definition: Julia Domna (Latin: [ˈjuːli.a ˈdomna]; c. 160 – 217 AD) was Roman empress from 193 to 211 as the wife of Emperor Septimius Severus. She was born in Emesa (present-day Homs) in Roman Syria to an Arab family of priests of the deity Elagabalus. In 187, she married Severus, who at the time was governor of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. They had two sons, Caracalla and Geta. A civil war over the Roman throne broke out in 193, and shortly afterwards Severus declared himself emperor. The war ended in 197 with the defeat of the last of Severus's opponents. As empress, Domna was famous for her political, social, and philosophical influence. She received titles such as "Mother of the Invincible Camps". After the elder of her sons, Caracalla, started ruling with his father, she was briefly co-empress with Caracalla's wife, Fulvia Plautilla, until the latter fell into disgrace. Following the death of Severus in 211, Domna became the first empress dowager to receive the title combination "Pia Felix Augusta", which may have implied greater powers being vested in her than what was usual for a Roman empress mother. Her sons succeeded to the throne. They had a conflictual relationship and Domna acted as their mediator, but Caracalla had his brother Geta assassinated later that year. Domna committed suicide in 217 upon hearing of Caracalla's assassination in the course of his campaign against Parthia, on which she had accompanied him to Antioch (present-day Antakya, Turkey). After the death of Domna, her older sister Julia Maesa successfully contended for political power. The Severan dynasty was restored to power with the accession of Maesa's grandson, Elagabalus, in 218. The dynasty maintained power until 235, when the reign of Emperor Severus Alexander came to an end. This marked the start of the Crisis of the Third Century.
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    • Empress of Rome
    • Augusta (honorific)
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