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Julia Maesa


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JULIA MAESA
was born at Emesa in Syria, daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the Sun, sister of Julia Domna and grandmother of Elagabalus. She married Julius Avitus, by whom she had Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea, who was the mother of Severus Alexander. She was very wealthy and, when she retired to Emesa at the time of Caracalla's death, she used that wealth to induce the soldiers to proclaim Elagabalus Emperor. She proceeded to Rome after the defeat of Macrinus and, though against the law, took her seat in the Senate and tried in vain to give good counsel to Elagabalus. She died, regretted, in A.D.223 during the reign of Severus Alexander whom she had persuaded Elagabalus to adopt as his successor.

After her death, Severus Alexander struck coins commemorating her bearing the legend DIVA MAESA AVG.
Her coins are extremely rare in gold, but common in silver and bronze and these bear the legends IVLIA MAESA AVGVSTA.
 A Sestertius, with the head of Julia Maesa and the legend IVLIA MAESA AVG on the obverse, bears on it's reverse the legend SAECVLI FELICITAS S C and shows Felicitas standing with a caduceus in her hand, a modius, out of which issue ears of corn, at her feet and a star in the field.
The majority of Julia Maesa's coins probably belong to the reign of Elagabalus.

Coin illustrated is from ecoli's Forvm gallery.



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