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.