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Julia Maesa coins Roman Imperial catalog

Empress Julia Maesa (?-223), grandmother of Elagabal and Alexander Severus

Julia Mesa came from the influential family of the priest of the sun god Elagabalus of Emesa in the province of Syria.
Mesa married the consul Gaius Julius Avitus Alexianus. They had two daughters, Julia Mameia and Julia Soemia.
In 193, her younger sister Julia Domna married Septimius Severus, who became emperor the same year. The family moved to Rome.
After Severus' death in 211, his son Lucius Septimius Bassianus (Caracalla) became emperor, and after his assassination in 217. - Macrinus.
Mesa's husband died before 217.
Julia Domna, who had lost her husband and son, starved herself to death.
Macrinus did not touch Julia Mesa and even kept all her property (but ordered her to return to Syria), which did not prevent her from agitating the soldiers against him. Julia's 14-year-old son Bassianus, called Elagabalus, was a priest of the local sun god, whose huge temple the surrounding kings generously sponsored. There was a legionary camp nearby and the soldiers, impressed by the wealth, spread the rumor, started by Mesa, that Elagabalus was the illegitimate son of Caracalla, adding that "the old woman had a lot of money" which she would gladly share with the legionaries if they would help restore power to her family.

The legionaries revolted and Macrinus was defeated and killed. In 218. Heliogabalus (as he was also called in Greek) was proclaimed emperor by the Senate, Caracalla and Julia Domna were deified, and Julia Mesa and Julia Soemia were given the titles of Augusta.

As a result, it was Julia Mesa who ruled the state. Elagabalus indulged in debauchery and madness, his mother was not lagging behind. Realizing that such power will not last long, Mesa persuaded Elagabalus to adopt and declare Caesar cousin Alexander (son of her second daughter Mamea).

Eventually the Romans got tired of the constant bullying and the emperor was killed along with his mother on March 11, 222. Alexander Severus became emperor.

It is not known how much Julia Mesa grieved for her daughter and grandson, but she lived quite well, died a few years later in the palace and was deified.



coin Roman Empire Julia Maesa denarius

denarius 218-222
20 mm.
Draped bust right / Julia Maesa Augusta
Felicitas standing left, sacrifices on the altar, in the left hand caduceus / The Age of Happiness
Value - $60-80








Coins of Julia Maesa in the catalog are presented divided by historical periods, indicating the main characteristics and differences by type.
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