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Soaemias Obv
Silver Denarius of Julia Maesa, Obverse

Soaemias Rev
Silver Denarius of Julia Maesa, Reverse

Julia Maesa c. 165 - 226 A.D. (Her lifetime)

Julia Maesa was one of the most powerful and influential women in Roman history. She was instrumental in the downfall of the Emperor Macrinus, and the elevation Elagabalus (and his subsequent downfall) and Severus Alexander, both of whom were her grandsons. Julia Maesa was born to a priest of Heliogabalus, Julius Bassianus, and this heritage may partially explain her grandson Elagabalus' obsession with the God when he came to the throne later. Her nephew was the murderous emperor Caracalla, who was usurped and murdered on the orders of his successor Macrinus, who exiled the Severans (including Julia Maesa) from Rome. Allowing them to leave Rome alive turned out to be a fatal mistake on Macrinus' part, as Julia Maesa plotted to exploit the discontent of the soldiery and have her grandson Elagabalus (by Julia Soaemias, Maesa's daughter) declared Emperor instead. Macrinus was subsequently captured and executed by his own defecting troops in 218. Elagabalus proved to be a poor choice as Emperor however, and his outrageous and blasphemous behaviour was alienating almost every section of Roman Society. Calculating that Elagabalus' was already doomed to suffer a violent downfall, Julia Maesa decided to pre-empt the inevitable and save herself and the rest of the Severan dynasty by persuading her deranged grandson to appoint her other grandson (Elagablus' cousin) Severus Alexander as his heir. The soldiery and the people of Rome quickly made it known that they prefered the heir to the incumbant, and the disgruntled Praetorian Guard eventually hailed Severus Alexander as Emperor and stood aside as the Roman Mob tore Elagabalus and his mother to pieces in 222 A.D. Alexander Severus proved to be a better choice, and his reign remained relatively stable for the rest of Julia Maesa's life. She died around 226 A.D. and did not live to see the downfall of the Severans when, lacking the strength of personality and cunning of his grandmother, Alexander was himself assassinated by a usurper some nine years later.

Price & Availability:-
DescriptionGradePrice £Price $Availability
Silver Denarius of Julia Maesa 2.8gVF/GVF£125$AskYes

Roman Historical Notes
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