Key information:

Official Name: JULIA AVITA MAMAEA AUGUSTA

Birthdate: Exact date unknown, likely between 184 CE and 192 CE.

(Herodian, History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus, 5.3.2-3) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 79.30)

Birthplace: Emesa, Syria (modern-day Homs)

(Herodian, ​​History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus, 5.3.2-3) (Cassius Dio, Roman History, 79.30)

Reign: Julia Mamaea was the mother of Severus Alexander, who ruled as emperor from 222-235 CE. 

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 79.30) (Historia Augusta, Life of Severus Alexander, 60)

Marriages:

Marcus Julius Gessius Marcianus (?-218 CE)

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 79.30 & 79.33-34)

Children:

Severus Alexander (son by Marcus Julius Gessius Marcianus)

(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 79.30)

Death:

Julia Mamaea was killed by rebellious soldiers in March 235 CE.

(Historia Augusta, Life of Severus Alexander, 60)

Portrait of Julia Mamaea, Roma Universalis Exhibition, Colosseum, Rome, February 2019
Marble Inscription to Julia Mamaea and Severus Alexander, British Museum, London, June 2021
Colossal Head of Julia Mamaea, Petworth House, West Sussex, November 2021

Famous facts and dates

222
Julia Mamaea wielded tremendous political influence during her lifetime. In 222 CE, she helped engineer the assasination of emperor Elegabalus and ensured that her son Severus Alexander would succeed him. While her son was emperor, Julia Mamaea was a trusted advisor and helped manage affairs of state.
(Cassius Dio, Roman History, 80.19-20) (Herodian, History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus, 5.8.3 & 6.1.1)
(RIC III Marcus Aurelius 676)
222
Severus Alexander was extremely close to his mother and the two shared a deep bond. During his life, Severus Alexander granted Julia Mamaea several prestigious titles such as Augusta, Mater Augustus (Mother of Augustus), and Mater Castrorum (Mother of the Camp).
235
In 235 CE, soldiers under the command of Maximinus Thrax rebelled and attacked Severus Alexander and Julia Mamaea. The two died in each other’s arms.
(Herodian, History of the Empire from the Death of Marcus, 6.9.6-7)

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Julia MamaeaAncient Rome Live. Last modified 4/18/2022. https://ancientromelive.org/JuliaMamaea/

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