Julia Maesa: Sister of Julia Domna

Julia Maesa


This article will briefly introduce you to the life of Julia Maesa. We will cover Julia Maesa’s early life, being Julia Domna’s sister, her political career, being the grandmother to Roman Emperors, her death and finally, her deification.

Julia Maesa’s Early Life

Julia Maesa, born in 170 CE, was a prominent figure in Roman history. She was the daughter of Julius Bassianus, a nobleman from Emesa, a city in the eastern province of Syria. Growing up in a wealthy and influential family, Julia Maesa received a first-rate education, learning philosophy, literature, and history. Her early life was marked by exposure to the Roman imperial court, as her sister, Julia Domna, had married Emperor Septimius Severus. She eventually married Julius Avitus, a wealthy Roman senator, with whom she had two daughters, Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea.

However, tragedy struck when both her husband and daughters died prematurely. These personal losses, coupled with her deep understanding of Roman politics and her ambition to secure power for her family, made Julia Maesa a formidable political figure in her own right. Her early life planted the seeds of determination and resilience, shaping her into a woman who would go on to challenge the male-dominated political landscape of ancient Rome.


Julia Domna’s Sister

Julia Maesa held a significant familial connection as the sister of Julia Domna. Contrary to her sister’s marriage to Emperor Septimius Severus, Julia Maesa chose a path of distinctive influence within the political realm. Despite the differences in their chosen paths, their shared heritage and formidable intellects likely contributed to the sisters’ close bond and enduring support. The connection between Julia Maesa and Julia Domna became a source of strength and inspiration for both women as they pursued their respective aspirations. They each played a crucial role in each other’s political ambitions and allowed each other to navigate the treacherous waters of ancient Rome politics with greater ease.

Julia Domna’s influential position as the wife of Emperor Severus provided Julia Maesa with valuable insights into the inner workings of Roman power and politics. This knowledge, coupled with the unwavering support and advice they exchanged, enabled Julia Maesa to carve out her own path and make significant contributions to the political landscape of ancient Rome.


Julia Maesa’s Political Career

Julia Maesa’s political career was marked by her relentless pursuit of power and influence within the male-dominated political landscape of ancient Rome. After the tragic deaths of her husband and daughters, she resolved to secure power for her family, determined to make her mark in history. Leveraging her deep understanding of Roman politics and her familial connections, Julia Maesa skillfully maneuvered through the intricacies of power, ultimately playing a pivotal role in shaping the empire.

As a formidable matriarch, Julia Maesa’s influence extended beyond her immediate family. Her close connection to her sister, Julia Domna, the wife of Emperor Septimius Severus, provided her with valuable insights into the inner workings of Roman power. Guided by their shared heritage and formidable intellects, the sisters supported and inspired each other as they pursued their political aspirations. With Julia Domna’s influential position, coupled with the advice and support they exchanged, Julia Maesa carved out her own path and made significant contributions to the political landscape of ancient Rome. Her enduring impact continues to inspire generations, highlighting women’s pivotal role in shaping Roman history.

Julia Domna's sister
Bust of the Empress Julia Domna. Ancient sculpture isolated on white background. Classic antiquity woman portrait (

Grandmother Of Emperors

Julia Maesa’s role as a grandmother held significant importance in shaping the future of the Roman Empire. Through her daughters, Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea, she became the grandmother of two future emperors: the infamous Elagabalus and the esteemed Severus Alexander. As a doting grandmother, Julia Maesa exerted her influence to ensure the success and stability of her grandchildren’s reigns.

She played a pivotal role in their upbringing, providing guidance and instilling a sense of duty and responsibility in them. Her political acumen and knowledge of Roman power contributed to the successful transitions of power from generation to generation, leaving a lasting impact on the empire’s history and the Severin Dynasty.


Julia Maesa’s Death

Julia Maesa passed away in 224 CE. Her death at the age of 54 marked the end of an era characterized by her significant influence. While the exact cause of her death remains unknown, historians speculate that natural causes were likely to blame. Julia Maesa’s death left a notable void in the Roman political sphere. Her astute political maneuvering and involvement in power struggles had shaped the empire’s dynamics.

Recognizing her contributions, the people of Rome revered her even after her death. Her memory was honored as she was deified and worshipped as a goddess. The legacy of Julia Maesa’s political prowess and her role as a matriarch of emperors continued to inspire subsequent generations, solidifying her enduring impact on Rome’s history.


Julia Maesa’s Deification

After Julia Maesa’s death in 224 CE, her significant contributions to Roman politics and her role as a matriarch of emperors led to her deification and subsequent worship as a goddess. Her memory was honored, and she became a figure of veneration, solidifying her enduring impact on Rome. The deification elevated her status to that of a divine being, emphasizing her extraordinary power and influence during her lifetime.

This act of worship was a reflection of the deep respect and admiration the people held for her. By becoming a goddess, Julia Maesa’s memory transcended the realms of mortality, ensuring that her political prowess and role as a grandmother of emperors would be remembered and celebrated for generations to come.


Roman Coins

Roman gold and silver coins possess numismatic value, making them highly sought after by collectors and history enthusiasts. These ancient treasures offer a captivating glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire and the intricate craftsmanship of its coinage. Each coin carries a unique history and story, bearing the images of emperors, gods, and symbols of power. Owning a Roman coin allows you to hold a tangible piece of antiquity in your hands, connecting you to a bygone era.

Julia Maesa Early Life and death

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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