Julia Domna, Augusta, 193-217.
Aureus (Gold, 20 mm, 7.35 g, 12 h), Rome, 206. IVLIA AVGVSTA Draped bust of Julia Domna to right. Rev.
IVNO Juno, veiled, standing front, head to left, holding patera in her right hand and long scepter in her left; at her feet to left, peacock standing left, head right. Biaggi 1140 (this coin
). BMC 37. Calicó 2617. Cohen -. RIC 559. A beautiful piece, well struck in high relief and with a lovely portrait. Extremely fine.
Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 27, 12 May 2004, 438 and from the collection of Leo Biaggi de Blasys (1906-1979).
Julia Domna hailed from an Emesan family of high priests serving the mountain god Elagabal. According to the Historia Augusta (Hadrian, 16.7 & Septimius Severus, 3.9), her future husband, the North-African Septimius Severus, first took note of her due to her compatible horoscope. The two would prove a true power couple avant là lettre, consciously modelling themselves after Marcus Aurelius and Faustina Junior, though Domna would surpass the latter by producing not one, but two male heirs to the imperial throne. Sadly, the two boys did not get along, and Geta was put to death by his brother in his mother's arms in 211. In 217, Caracalla too was assassinated, and Domna, perhaps embittered at the loss of her sons or unwilling to relinquish power, committed suicide shortly afterwards.