Daughter of Iūlius Bassiānus, priest of Elagabalus at Emesa on Orontes, married Septimius Severus in ad 187; her sons Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Caracalla) and Septimius Geta were born in 188 and 189. She became Augusta (see augustus, augusta as titles) in 193 and ‘mother of the camp’ in 195; out of favour with Severus during the predominance of Fulvius Plautianus, she devoted herself to patronage of literature, inspiring Philostratus' Life of Apollonius. She was in Britain during the expedition of 208–11. Although trying in vain to save Geta, she was given a prominent role under Caracalla, becoming ‘mother of the senate and of the fatherland’ and managing his correspondence; she took her own life in 217, after Caracalla's murder.
Subjects: Classical Studies.