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Julia Maesa, Augusta, 8 June 218 - 224 or 225 A.D., Grandmother of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander
Julia Maesa was the sister of Julia Domna and grandmother of both Elagabalus and Severus Alexander. After her nephew Caracalla was murdered, Julia Maesa used her ample funds to successfully overthrow the usurper Macrinus and place her grandson Elagabalus on the throne. The teenager was a disaster as emperor, scorning Roman values with religious and sexual scandals. She cleverly convinced Elagabalus to adopt her other grandson Alexander as his heir. Shortly after Elagabalus and his mother were murdered by the Praetorian Guard, dragged through the streets and thrown into the Tiber. Through it all, Maesa held the power behind the throne.