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Women of the Roman Empire

Women of the Roman Empire 31 BCE to 395 CE. Information on their lives, plus biographies of some of the key women who wielded power during the Empire.
  1. Agrippina the Elder (4)
  2. Boudicca and the Rebelli...
  3. Cleopatra Queen of Egypt
  4. Livia Drusilla, Julia Au...

Augusta (Roman Title)
Augusta was the title given to a number of women in the Roman empire.

Cartimandua
Queen of the Brigantes, Cartimandua signed a peace treaty with the invading Romans, and ruled as a client of Rome. Then she dumped her husband, and even Rome couldn't keep her in power -- and they ultimately took direct control, so her ex didn't win, either.

Helena, Mother of Constantine
Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine I, discovered many holy relics of Christianity on a trip to Palestine shortly before her death.

The Roman Julias
They were four women named Julia, all descended from Bassianus, who was the high priest of Emesa's patron god, the sun god Heliogabalus or Elagabal. One was married to an emperor, three had sons who were Roman emperors, and another had two grandsons who were Roman emperors. But all four exercised real power and influence from their positions.

Julia Domna
Profile of Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus and mother of emperors Caracalla and Geta.

Julia Maesa
Profile of Julia Maesa, grandmother of Roman emperors Elagabalus and Alexander; one of the four Severan Julias or Roman Julias.

Julia Mamaea
Profile of Julia Mamaea, mother of and regent for the Roman emperor Alexander Severus.

Julia Soaemias
Biography of Julia Soaemias, one of four Roman Julias of the Severan dynasty, and mother of Roman emperor Elagabalus.

Elen Luyddog - Helen of the Hosts
A shadowy legendary figure, the stories say she was a Celtic princess married to a Roman soldier who became the Western Emperor. When he was executed after failing to invade Italy, she returned to Britain, where she helped bring Christianity and inspired the building of many roads.

Macrina the Elder
She was the mother of St. Basil the Elder and teacher and grandmother of St. Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Macrina the Younger and their siblings.

Macrina the Younger
She is credited with convincing Saint Basil the Great and Saint Peter of Sebastea to take up religious vocations. Another brother was Saint Gregory of Nyssa.

Poppaea Sabina
A profile of Poppaea, mistress and wife of Roman emperor Nero and subject of a 17th century Monteverdi opera.

Veleda
A German prophetess who's mentioned in the historical writings of Tacitus, little is known of her life. Her name may be a group name for holy women, related to the Völva or valkyrie of Norse legend.

Zenobia
Warrior Queen Zenobia of Palmyra in Syria challenged Rome, though she was eventually defeated.

Galla Placidia
Galla Placidia was one of the strongest female figures in the western Empire.

Agnes of Rome, Martyr
Martyred in Rome in 304 as a virgin, she has been considered the patron of young unmarried women.

Anastasia
Some brief information and bibliography for the daughter of Constantius I Chlorus, fourth century.

Aquila and Priscilla, Companions of the Apostle Paul
A biographical sketch of two of the early Christians who worked with Paul.

Constantia
Biography of the daughter of Constantius Chlorus I, half-sister of Constantine I and wife of Licinius. Fourth century. Written by Hans A. Pohlsander.

Constantina
Biography of the daughter of Constantine and Fausta, married to Hannibalianus and Gallus. Fourth century. Written by Michael DiMaio, jr.

Domnica Augusta
Biography of the wife of the Emperor Valens, 4th century, written by Thomas M. Banchich.

Eusebia Augustus and Faustina
Biography of the second wife, and mention of the third wife, of Constantius II, in the fourth century. Written by Michael DiMaio, jr.

Fausta
Biography of the daughter of Maximian and Eutropia, married to Constantine. Early fourth century. Biography by Hans A. Pohlsander.

Gregoria
Biography of the wife of Heraclius Constantine, her cousin and daughter of the general Nicetas, seventh century. Written by Lynda Garland.

Helen
Biography of the wife of Julian the Transgressor, daughter of Constantine and Fausta, fourth century. Written by Michael DiMaio, jr.

Lucy, Virgin and Martyr (Lucia)
Martyred about 304, her feast day is December 13. She is honored today in Scandinavia with a special ceremony featuring daughters with crowns of lighted candles.

Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo
Monnica or Monica, known mainly from her son's Confessions, she was converted to Christianity, though her son took many more years to become converted.

Perpetua and Her Companions, Martyrs At Carthage
A biographical sketch of the martyrdom of Perpetua with Felicity and three others in 202.

Prisca and Valeria
Prisca was the wife of Diocletian, mother of Valeria. Exiled to Syria by Maximinus Daia. Prisca was beheaded by Licinius. Valeria married Galerius, then refused to marry Daia after Galerius died. Licinius ordered her execution; she briefly escaped and hid but was captured and executed. Late third, early fourth century. Written by Michael DiMaio, jr.

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