073. Julia Soaemias

coin ancient roman 073 julia soaemias
Julia Soaemias
Julia Soaemias Bassiana (180-March 11, 222) was the daughter of Julia Maesa, a powerful Roman woman of Syrian origin, and Julius Avitus. She was niece of emperor Septimius Severus and sister of Julia Avita Mamaea.

She was married to Sextus Varius Marcellus, a Syrian Roman of an Equestrian family (meaning not a member of the Roman senate). As members of the imperial Roman family, they lived in Rome, where their numerous children were born. In 217, her cousin emperor Caracalla was killed and Macrinus ascended to the imperial throne. Julia's family was allowed to returned to Syria with the whole of their financial assets. They would not allow the usurper to stand unopposed. Together with her mother, Julia plotted to substitute Macrinus with her son Varius Avitus Bassianus (Heliogabalus). To legitimise this plot, Julia and her mother spread the rumour that the 13-year-old boy was Caracalla's illegitimate son. In 218 Macrinus was killed and Heliogabalus became emperor. Julia then became the de facto ruler of Rome, since the teenager was concerned mainly with religious matters. Their rule was not popular and soon discontent arose. Julia Soaemias and Heliogabalus were killed by the Praetorian Guard in 222. Julia was later declared public enemy and her name erased from all records.

Julia Soaemias Denarius. 220 AD. IVLIA SOAEMIAS AVG, draped bust right / VENVS CAELESTIS, Venus seated left, holding scepter, extending her hand to Cupid standing before her. RSC 14.
19 Oct 2018
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