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Domna, Iulia Pia

A native of Emesa, of low birth, but married to the Roman emperor Septimius Severus (A.D. 175), by whom she had Caracalla and Geta. She was a woman of much intellectual power and both political and literary ability, having great influence over her husband, after whose death she was intrusted by Caracalla with the conduct of state business of the first importance. When Caracalla was put to death by Macrinus (A.D. 217) she was at first treated with much consideration; but having excited the suspicion of Macrinus, she was banished from Antioch, and soon after ended her own life by voluntary starvation

Iulia Pia Domna. (Vatican Museum.)

(A.D. 217). She is described as a woman of much beauty but of loose morals; and is accused by Spartianus, Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, and Orosius of having maintained an incestuous intercourse with Caracalla, so that she was popularly known at Alexandria as “Iocasta.” Dio Cassius, however, her contemporary, does not mention this scandalous story. Iulia was the great-aunt of Elagabalus and of Alexander Severus.

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