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Julia Domna Roman Empress, wife of Septimius Severus, mother to Emperors Geta and Caracalla 193-217AD Biography & Guaranteed Certified Authentic Ancient Coins for Sale to Buy at Trusted Online Coin Shop
Explore authentic ancient Julia Domna Roman Empress coins that you can actually buy! Yes you can own real ancient coins of the very infamous ruler today. Every coin comes with it's own custom-made, unique certificate of authenticity $50-$100 value, absolutely free, a lifetime guarantee of authenticity, professional research photograph and history. The best value at an online coin shop you will find!
Julia Domna - Roman Empress Wife of Emperor
Septimius Severus: 194 - 8 April 217 A.D. -
goddess principally associated with
fertility, who played a key role in
Roman religious festivals and myths.
From the third century BC, the increasing
Hellenization of Roman upper classes
identified her as the equivalent of the
Her cult began in Ardea and Lavinium, Latium. On August 15, 293 BC, her oldest known temple was dedicated, and August 18 became a festival called the Vinalia Rustica. After Rome's defeat at the Battle of Lake Trasimene in the opening episodes of the Second Punic War, the Sibylline oracle recommended the importation of the Sicillian Venus of Eryx; a temple to her was dedicated on the Capitoline Hill in 217 BC: a second temple to her was dedicated in 181 BC.
Venus seems to have played a part in household or private religion of some Romans. Julius Caesar claimed her as an ancestor (Venus Genetrix); possibly a long-standing family tradition, certainly one adopted as such by his heir Augustus. Venus statuettes have been found in quite ordinary household shrines (lararia). In fiction, Petronius places one among the Lares of the freedman Trimalchio's household shrine.
Julia Domna (unknown date–217) was a member of the Severan dynasty of the Roman Empire. Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus and mother of Emperors Geta and Caracalla, Julia was among the most important women ever to exercise power behind the throne in the Roman Empire.
Julia was of Syrian origin from the ancient city of Emesa. Her ancestors were Kings Priest of the famous temple of Baal. The family lost its kingdom to Rome but continued domination of the temple of Baal. The family had an enormous wealth and was promoted to Roman senatorial aristocracy. She was the youngest daughter of high-priest Gaius Julius Bassianus and her eldest sister was Julia Maesa.
In the late 180s, Julia married future Emperor Septimius Severus who himself was in part of Punic background. The marriage proved to be a happy one and Severus cherished his wife and her political opinions, since she was very well read and keen on philosophy. Together, they had two sons, Lucius Septimius Bassianus (Caracalla) in 186 and Publius Septimius Geta in 189.
When Severus became emperor in 193 he had a civil war waiting for him, against rivals such as Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Julia accompanied him in his campaigns in the East, an uncommon event in a time when women were expected to wait in Rome for their husbands. Nevertheless, she remained with the emperor and among the several proofs of affection and favour are the minting of coins with her portrait and the title mater castrorum (mother of the camp).
Julia now had complete power and ruled behind the Roman Empire. Many early Romans disliked the fact of her ruling over the throne when Septimius Severus was at war.
Controversy and transition of power
As empress, Julia was often involved in intrigues and had plenty of political enemies who accused her of treason and adultery. None of these accusations were proven, Severus continued to favour his wife and insisted on her company in the campaign against the Britons that started in 208. When Severus died, in 211 in York, Julia became the mediator between their two sons. Caracalla and Geta who were to rule as joint emperors, according to their father's wishes expressed on his will. But the two young men were never fond of each other and quarrelled frequently. Geta was murdered by Caracalla's soldiers in the same year.
Caracalla was now sole emperor, but his relations with his mother were difficult, as attested by several sources, probably due to his involvement in Geta's murder. Nevertheless, Julia accompanied Caracalla in his campaign against the Parthian empire in 217. During this trip, Caracalla was assassinated and succeeded (briefly) by Macrinus. On hearing about the rebellion, Julia chose to commit suicide. Her body was brought to Rome and placed in the Sepulcrum C. et L. Caesaris (perhaps a separate chamber in the Mausoleum of Augustus). Later, however, both her bones and those of Geta were transferred by her sister Julia Maesa to the Mausoleum of Hadrian. She was later deified.
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