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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numism  |  Reading For the Advanced Collector  |  Topic: Lucilla and Crispina 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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LordBest
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« on: July 14, 2005, 01:02:07 am »

When you read the traditional biographies of Lucilla and Crispina they state that Lucilla was was exiled and executed in 182, while Crispina was exiled and executed "early in her husbands reign". One source I read, I do not remember which, said that while Lucilla and Crispina hated each other, for a brief time they were in exile together and became friends. But, in the Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women* it quotes Dio, Herodian, SHA and Balsdon(?) in stating that Crispina was exiled and executed in 187. Can anyone shed any more light on this. Obviously if Lucilla was exiled executed in 182 and Crispina five years later, they cannot have been friends in exile. But then, I had never heard that Crispina was disposed of so late in Commodus' reign.
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*Lightman & Lightman, Checkmark Books 2000.
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2005, 02:37:38 am »

Lucilla was exiled and executed in 181 AD (source: Dietmar Kienast: Römische Kaisertabelle) or 182 (Richard Stoll, Frauen auf Römischen Münzen). For Crispina, I found differing dates: Richard Stoll says 183 AD, Dietmar Kienast and Géza Alföldy, in: Commodus und Crispina in einer Inschrift aus Sabratha, vote for 192 AD.

Sorry I can't solve the problem...

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LordBest
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2005, 06:18:14 am »

192? That would be extremely late for Crispina. So far we have:
Lucilla exiled and executed in 181-2.
Crispina exiled and executed in 182, 183 or 192(?)
They were possibly in exile together at some point and became friends.
I think some confusion could arise from the fact some unknown amount of time elapsed before their execution. Lucilla may have been exiled in 181 but not exiled until sometime in 182, possibly quite late. Crispina may have been exiled in 182 and executed sometime in 183, this would allow them to have been in exile together, if that story is credible. Exile and execution in 187 or 192 seem unlikely for Crispina considering how scarce her coins are, unless she was exiled in 182 and executed 5-10 years later.

I remember reading a crazy theory that Lucilla and/or Crispina may have escaped to Egypt. Mad, but I'd love to know what they guy was basing it on. Something about a villa in Egpyt being linked to them I think.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2005, 06:47:50 am »

RIC III also gives 183 AD as the date of Crispina's "disgrace and banishment", but doesn't say anything about the execution date.

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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2005, 10:05:35 am »

       Just marshalling people's opinions leads nowhere, unfortunately:  we have to know ON WHAT EVIDENCE THOSE OPINIONS ARE BASED!
       For Lucilla, I believe dates are deduced from the accounts of her conspiracy in Dio, the SHA, and Herodian:  where do those accounts occur in the narratives and what datable details are mentioned.
        From Kaiser-Raiss, Münzprägung des Commodus, pp. 17-21:  Lucilla's conspiracy usually dated to 182 or 183 on the assumption that Commodus adopted the title Pius in commemoration of its suppression, but the connection between PIVS and the conspiracy is not an attested fact.
       K-R suggests instead a date at the end of 181, on the basis of the SECVRITAS PVBLICA type that appears then on aurei, and the fifth largesse distributed by Commodus early in 182, following with surprising rapidity on his third in 180 (accession) and his fourth in 181 (return to Rome?).
        K-R's date of late 181 for the conspiracy is followed by Kienast, Kaisertabelle, 1990 edition, pp. 145-7.
        As to Crispina, I think the problem is that she is named in inscriptions much later than her presumed fall early in the reign.  Moreover her brother was consul in 187, unlikely if his sister had already fallen and been executed and had her memory condemned!
        Kienast Kaisertabelle p. 150 dates her fall to Fall 192, on the basis of the inscription ILS 405 as interpreted by Grosso.
        Unfortunately I have never been able to acquire copies of the reprint of ILS or Grosso's book on Commodus.  Lars, can you send me a scan of that article on the inscription from Sabratha?
        When do the coinages of Lucilla and Crispina end?  That is a problem that should be soluble on numismatic evidence, but no one yet has assembled the necessary material to see what emerges!
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2005, 10:44:46 am »

Lars, can you send me a scan of that article on the inscription from Sabratha?

I just sent you an e-mail, but as I noticed, Alföldy took his date of 192 AD from Kienast. Since you own Kienast, you surely saw that he writes: vgl. Dessau 405 mit Kommentar von Grosso / F. Grosso, La totta politica al tempo di Commodo. Unfortunately, I am not able to read Italian, even if I could get access to Grosso.

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LordBest
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2005, 11:26:29 am »

       Just marshalling people's opinions leads nowhere, unfortunately:  we have to know ON WHAT EVIDENCE THOSE OPINIONS ARE BASED!       
Thats the goal of this topic, I probably should have stated that more clearly to begin with.
   Even in distant provinces news of the Augusta's disgrace would arrive in months, faster if Imperial dispatch riders were used. Even under relatively sane emperors a disgrace could ruin a family politically, under an insane emperor like Commodus it could result in execution, if Crispina's brother was Consul in 187 that would seem to indicate, as alreayd said, she survived atleast that long. I need a copy of Dio and Herodian, it would help to know exactly what was said of Crispina's fall. Is it possibly a fabrication itself? Do any of the primary sources mention the friend in exile theory, or is that some modern fantasy?
   Well, turns out I DO have a copy of SHA, the exile and execution of Lucilla and Crispina are mentioned within two paragraphs of each other with no attempt made to date them, not much use at all.
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2005, 12:00:55 pm »

      Lars, thanks for the article which I have printed out for my files.  It is useful and interesting, though unfortunately does not specifically handle ILS 405 and the date of Crispina's fall as I had hoped!  If you can read French, I think you will find you can make your way through Italian too quite easily.
       LordBest, I have forgotten what the ancient authors say about Crispina; will check tonight at home. Kaiser-Raiss does not treat Crispina's coinage in her published dissertation but promises to do so in depth in another publication, which to my knowledge has never appeared!
        I'll bet that the friends in exile bit is just modern fantasy, as you suspect!
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Curtis Clay
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2005, 01:23:40 pm »

If you can read French, I think you will find you can make your way through Italian too quite easily.

Well, I live in Switzerland where we do have four national languages: German, French, Italian and Raetoromanian. In my village, 25 % of the inhabitants speak French and the next village is already in the French speaking part of Switzerland, thus I can speak and read French, also a little bit of Italian, but I'm still far away from being able to read scientific Italian. Unfortunately...

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Lars
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2005, 08:11:46 am »

     After recounting the conspiracy of Lucilla, Dio, in the summary of his text by the Byzantine Xiphilinus, says, "Commodus also put Crispina to death, having become angry with her for some act of adultery.  But before their execution both women were banished to the island of Capri."
      This is clearly the evidence for dating Crispina's fall early in the reign, about the time of the conspiracy of Lucilla, and also for the possible joint exile of the two ladies to Capri.
      There is nothing about Crispina's fall in the SHA or Herodian.
      Whittaker, in a note in his Loeb edition of Herodian, says Crispina's family apparently continued in favor until 187 when her brother was ordinary consul, but probably soon thereafter she was accused of adultery, exiled, and later killed as Dio relates.  Whittaker refers to an article by himself in Historia 13, 1964, 353.
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2005, 08:42:50 am »

My copy of Historia Augusta (Penguin Classic) says: "His wife, whom he had caught in adultery, he drove out, then banished her, and subsequently killed her."
Could it be that Crispina was exiled early in the reign but kept alive while her family remained in favour, similar to Plautilla (except her family didnt stay in favour), and executed after her family lost favour for whatever reason? I guess we will never know for sure, short of some specific dated inscriptions or the like.
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2005, 08:56:58 am »

     That suggestion, early exile and execution only after 187, sounds reasonable, though of course impossible if Crispina is mentioned in an inscription of 192, which remains to be established!
     A key factor will be when her coinage ends, which as I said should be determinable.
      Nice that the SHA confirms Dio's account of Crispina's fall, though unfortunately without adding any useful details.
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