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Augustae




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AUGUSTAE, who were the wives of emperors are neither on their own coins nor on those of their husbands, ever called uxores, but always AVG or AVGVSTAE. It is, therefore, from the title bestowed upon them on the imperial coinage, that a valid argument may be drawn as to the fact of their relationship with the emperor. Vaillant, alluding to a silver coin of Julia Domna on which she is shown with the epigraph of Juno, says "that in order to surround the persons of empresses, with greater dignity and reverence, it had become the custom to assimilate them with the forms and attributes of goddesses, and to present them in their names to the people." - Empresses, analogous with the examples of the emperors, were called Matres Patriae (mothers of the country), Matres Senatus (mothers of the Senate), etc. On colonial coins the portraits of the Augustae were often represented as Genii Urbium, apparently to indicate that such colonies held their cities under the protection and patronage of these empresses.
 Augustae also had the privilege of having their consecrated images carried in the carpenta (covered carts) on those public occassions, when the statues of the emperors were conveyed in the thensae, or state carriages. - The inscriptions of PIETAS, PVDICITIA, VIRTVS, etc. followed by AVG are often seen on the coins of the Augustae along with the appropriate types. "Thus there is scarcely a female of the Augustal house, who, though she might not possess a true claim to character for being a pious, modest and good woman, yet failed to make an ostentation of her piety, chastity and virtue. For this cause it was a favourite practice with them to have the figure of VESTA engraved on their coins, under whose image, as under the peculiar type of chastity, they thought fit to be represented before the public."
   The series of Augustae, whose names and portraits are found on Roman coins (though not of every metal), from the reign of Augustus, who died in 14 A.D., to Basiliscus, brother-in-law of Leo I, who reigned 476 A.D., is as follows:-

LIVIA, wife of Augustus. Born circa 57 B.C.; Died 29 A.D.

ANTONIA, wife of Drusus Senior. Born c.39 B.C.; Died 38 A.D.

AGRIPPINA SENIOR, wife of Germanicus. Born 15 B.C.; Died 33 A.D.

MESSALINA, third wife of Claudius. Died 48 A.D.

AGRIPPINA JUNIOR, fourth wife of Claudius, sister of Caligula. Born 16 A.D.; Died 50 A.D.

OCTAVIA, first wif of Nero. Died 62 A.D.

POPPAEA, second wife of Nero. Died 62 A.D.

FLAVIA DOMITILLA, wife of Vespasian. Died 68 A.D., the year before her husband's accession.

JULIA, daughter of Titus. Died in the reign of Domitian, between 81 and 96 A.D.

DOMITIA, wife of Domitian. Died around 140 A.D. in the reign of Antoninus Pius.

PLOTINA, wife of Trajan. Died 129 A.D.

MARCIANA, sister of Trajan. Died c.114 A.D.

MATIDIA, daughter of Marciana. Died in the reign of Antoninus Pius.

SABINA, wife of Hadrian. Died 137 A.D.

FAUSTINA SENIOR, wife of Antoninus Pius. Born 105 A.D.; Died 141 A.D.

FAUSTINA JUNIOR, wife of Marcus Aurelius and daughter of Antoninus Pius. Died 175 A.D.

LUCILLA, wife of Lucius Verus and sister of Commodus. Born 147 A.D.; Died c.183 A.D.

CRISPINA, wife of Commodus. Died 183 A.D.

MANLIA SCANTILLA, wife of Didius Julianus.

DIDIA CLARA, daughter of Didius Julianus.

JULIA DOMNA, wife of Septimius Severus. Died 217 A.D.

PLAUTILLA, wife of Caracalla. Died 212 A.D.

JULIA PAULA, first wife of Elagabalus.

AQUILIA SEVERA, second wife of Elagabalus.

ANNIA FAUSTINA, third wife of Elagabalus.

JULIA SOAEMIAS, mother of Elagabalus. Died 222 A.D.

JULIA MAESA, sister of Julia Domna, grandmother of Elagabalus. Died 223 A.D.

JULIA MAMAEA, sister of Julia Soaemias, mother of Severus Alexander. Died 235 A.D.

ORBIANA, wife of Severus Alexander.

PAULINA, wife of Maximinus I.

TRANQUILLINA, wife of Gordian III.

OTACILIA SEVERA, wife of Philip I.

HERENNIA ETRUSCILLA, wife of Trajan Decius.

CORNELIA SUPERA, wife of Aemilian.

MARINIANA, supposed wife of Valerian I.

SALONINA, wife of Gallienus. Died 268 A.D.

SEVERINA, wife of Aurelian.

MAGNIA URBICA, wife of Carinus.

HELENA, first wife of Constantius I. Died 328 A.D.

THEODORA, second wife of Constantius I.

GALERIA VALERIA, daughter of Diocletian and wife of Galerius. Died 315 A.D.

FAUSTA, wife of Constantine I. Died 326 A.D.

AELIA FLACCILLA, wife of Theodosius I. Died 388 A.D.

GALLA PLACIDIA, wife of Constantius III. Died 450 A.D.

AELIA EUDOXIA, wife of Arcadius. Married April, 395 A.D.; Died 404 A.D.

AELIA EUDOCIA, wife of Theodosius II. Married 421 A.D.; Died 460 A.D.

LICINIA EUDOCIA, wife of Valerian III.

HONORIA, sister of Valentinian III.

PULCHERIA, sister of Theodosius II, wife of Marcian. Died 453 A.D.

VERINA, wife of Leo I. Died 484 A.D.

EUPHEMIA, wife of Anthemius, Emperor A.D.467.

AELIA, wife of Basiliscus, brother in law of Leo I. He died in A.D.477, the year after the dethronement of Romulus Augustus by Odoacer, which put an end to the Roman Empire in the West.


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