Julia Domna: Mother Of The Camps


This article will focus on Julia Domna. We will cover Julia Domna’s early life, accomplishments, personality, coinage, and death. Roman Empress Julia Domna was the wife of Septimius Severus and a member of the Severin dynasty.

Early Life

Julia Domna was born in 160AD in Emesa (Homs), Syria. Julia Domna’s family came from a royal Lineage. They were considered Royalty within Emesa up until the 1st century. The family name “Domna” is an archaic Arabic word that translates to the word black. Many of her family members were High priests of the sun god El-Gabal.

At some point during her early life, she had a prophecy or prediction that said she would marry a king one day, which would be fulfilled when Septimius Severus came to Emesa looking for a wife.

Because of her family’s connections, they had immense wealth, which would later help them gain power in the Roman Senate.


The Wife of Septimius Severus

She regularly accompanied her husband Septimius Severus while he was on military campaigns. This was vastly different when compared to other Empresses of the Roman Empire. Julia gave birth to two sons with her husband. Both of her sons would grow up to become the roman emperors we know as Geta and Caracalla.

Caracalla and Geta started co-ruling the empire after Septimius passed away. She acted as a mediator between them until a tipping point was reached, and Caracalla had Geta assassinated. She would later accompany her Son Caracalla while he was out on campaigns similar to Septimius.

Decision and Character

Roman Empress Julia Domna is known for her strong influence over politics and social matters. She was exceptionally well read and surrounded herself with artists, philosophers, historians, and many others. She dealt with a lot of correspondence on behalf of the empire. All of this gave her a significant amount of political and social influence.

Throughout her life, she received many titles. One of her titles was “Mother of the Camps.” She received this title while out on a campaign with Septimius.

She influenced Roman fashion by wearing wigs, a standard Assyrian custom. Later, Empresses would copy her hairstyle and wig choices.


Julia Domna Coins

Roman Empress Julia Domna had her portrait portrayed on many different roman coins. Including the Roman silver Denarius and the gold Aureus.

Many minted denarii were done so during the reigns of Geta and Caracalla. There is a debate about when Domnas title changed from “Mother of The Camps” to “Mother of The Fatherland.” The latter mostly appeared on coins minted after Septimius Severus’s death.

Julia Domna Aures
Gold Aureus with Julia Domnas port

Julia Domna, Down Fall and Death

Her son Caracalla began a military campaign in Parthia. Julia Domna traveled with him until they reached Antioch. This is where the two parted ways, with Julia remaining in Antioch and her Son Caracalla continuing with the military campaign. During this time, a Roman soldier assassinated Caracalla. Upon hearing of Caracalla’s assassination, Roman Empress Julia Domna committed suicide in 217.

Roman Denarius

Each coin has a unique history attached to it. Coin collectors love the Roman Denarius. Coin collectors worldwide adore it. We carry Roman Denarius from various periods in the Roman Republic/Empire. Click the link below to see if we have a Roman Empress Julia Domna denarius currently in stock.

Wife of septimius severus
Roman Denarius from the reign of Septimius Severus. The Roman denarius displays the Wife of Septimius Severus – Julia Domna.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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