Item: i85405 Authentic Ancient Coin of. (Augusta): 220-221 & 221-222 A.2nd Wife of Emperor Elagabalus Silver Denarius 19mm Rome mint, struck circa 220-222 A. Reference: RIC IV 226 (Elagabalus); RSC 2; Thirion 478; sear5 #7679 Certification: NGC Ancients. XF 5769738-006 IVLIA AQVILIA SEVERA AVG, draped bust right. CONCORDIA, Concordia standing half-left sacrificing from patera over lighted altar, holding double cornucopia, star to left.
Iulia Aquilia Severa was the second and fourth wife of Emperor Elagabalus. She was the daughter of Quintus Aquilius, twice consul under Caracalla. The praenomen of Julia was given to her after becoming an empress. Severa was a Vestal Virgin.
As such, her marriage to Elagabalus in 220 was the cause of enormous controversy - traditionally, the punishment for breaking the thirty-year vow of celibacy was death by being buried alive. Elagabalus is believed to have had religious reasons for marrying Severa - he himself was a follower of the eastern sun god El-Gabal, and when marrying himself to Severa, he also conducted a symbolic marriage of his god to Vesta. Both these marriages were revoked shortly afterwards, however.This was possibly on the urging of Julia Maesa, the grandmother who had engineered Elagabalus' rise to the imperial throne. Elagabalus then married Annia Faustina, a more generally acceptable choice. It is believed that Severa remained with Elagabalus until his assassination in 222.
The two are not believed to have had any children. Severa's own opinions about the entire affair are not very well recorded. Some sources state that she was forced to marry against her will, and others go further, alleging rape. It is claimed by some historians, however, that many stories about Elagabalus have been exaggerated by his enemies, and so there is no certainty about what actually happened. It is unclear whether Elagabalus had any real feelings towards Severa, or whether he was more concerned with the symbolism of the marriage.Elagabalus appears to have been either homosexual or bisexual, and the historian Cassius Dio claims that Elagabalus had a more stable relationship with his chariot driver, Hierocles, than with any of his wives. World-renowned expert numismatist, enthusiast, author and dealer in authentic ancient Greek, ancient Roman, ancient Byzantine, world coins & more. Ilya Zlobin is an independent individual who has a passion for coin collecting, research and understanding the importance of the historical context and significance all coins and objects represent.
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