March 11, 2008

March 11 | Julia Soaemias

180 - March 11, 222: Age 42

Julia Soaemias Bassiana ruled the Roman Empire for four years through her son Elagabalus, who was 15 when he ascended the throne. She was born and raised in Syria, and was related to the Emperor Septimus Severus by marriage, as well as being a cousin of the Emperor Caracalla. When Caracalla was killed and replaced by Macrinus, she shrewdly began spreading rumours that her son Elagabalus was actually the illegitimate son of Caracalla. Macrinus' enemies were happy to use the news as an excuse to kill Macrinus, and the teenaged Elagabalus was put in his place.

Julia ruled Rome while Elagabalus occupied himself with mysticism and sexual explorations (what better occupation for a 15-year-old?). Bearing in mind that they were unpopular and thus historians were not kind to them, it has come down that he used to wear makeup and wigs pretend to be a prostitue, standing nude at the door of a particular room in the palace, shaking a curtain that hung from gold rings, soliciting sex with dirty comments. He is said to have offered vast sums of money to the doctor who could equip him with a vagina.

The powers behind the throne realized that the army were not going to tolerate this for long. When the Praetorian Guard rioted, Elagabalus tried to hide but was caught. Julia was with him and they were both killed, Julia embracing her son tightly. Their heads were cut off and their bodies stripped and dragged through the streets.

Source: Wikipedia

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