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On the Alleged Treachery of Julia Domna and Septimius Severus’s Failed Siege of Hatra

  • Riccardo Bertolazzi
Chapter
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Abstract

The enmity between the empress Julia Domna and the powerful prefect of the guard, Fulvius Plautianus, seems to be the origin of certain unspecified accusations of treachery that were brought against Domna during the reign of her husband Septimius Severus. The latter ordered Plautianus to hunt down the supporters of his former rival, Pescennius Niger, in the East, but Plautianus took advantage of this role to accumulate riches by pillaging Syria and Mesopotamia. This probably caused the hostile reaction of Domna, who was close to the middle-eastern communities owing to her Syrian origin and cultural background. It is, therefore, not surprising that Plautianus accused the Augusta of conspiracy with the enemies of the Emperor. The case of the unsuccessful siege of the Mesopotamian city of Hatra, which Severus attacked for having supported Niger, may be indicative of the conflict that was taking place at court between Domna and Plautianus.

Abbreviations

AE

L’Année Épigraphique

BMC Galatia

Warwick Wroth, Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Galatia, Cappadocia and Syria (London: British Museum, 1899)

BMC Phoenicia

George F. Hill, Catalogue of the Greek Coins of Phoenicia (London: British Museum, 1910)

CIL

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum

IGLS

Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie

Lindgren & Kovacs

Henry C. Lindgren, Frank L. Kovacs, Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant from the Lindgren Collection (San Mateo: Chrysopylon Publications, 1985)

PIR2

Prosopographia Imperii Romani (2nd edn)

SNG ANS

Ya’akov Meshorer, Sylloge nummorum Graecorum. American Numismatic Society, 6, Palestine–South Arabia (New York: The American Numismatic Society, 1981)

SNG Levante

Edoardo Levante, Sylloge nummorum Graecorum Switzerland. Cilicia. (Berne: Crédit Suisse, 1986)

SNG Levante–France

Edoardo Levante, Sylloge nummorum Graecorum. France, 2, Cilicie. (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale. Cabinet des Médailles)

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Bertolazzi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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