|Annia Aurelia Faustina|
|Spouse||1. Pomponius Bassus 2. Elagabalus|
|Father||Tiberius Claudius Severus Proculus|
Ancestry and family
Annia Aurelia Faustina is an ancient Roman noblewoman who has been scarcely noticed by ancient and modern Roman historians. She was of noble descent, daughter and only child of the wealthy heiress Annia Faustina and the Roman Senator, consul Tiberius Claudius Severus Proculus. Her parents were maternal second-cousins.
Her paternal grandparents were the Pontian Greek Roman Senator and Peripatetic Philosopher, Gnaeus Claudius Severus and his second wife, the Roman Princess Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina. Her maternal grandparents were wealthy Roman heiress Ummidia Cornificia Faustina and an unnamed Roman Senator. Her paternal half-uncle was Marcus Claudius Ummidius Quadratus, who had been adopted by the Roman Consul Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus, the nephew of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. She was of Pontian Greek and Italian Roman ancestry.
Her paternal great-grandparents were the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius; Roman Empress Faustina the Younger; the Roman Senator, Philosopher Gnaeus Claudius Severus Arabianus and his unnamed wife. Her maternal great-grandparents were Marcus Aurelius’ sister, the noblewoman Annia Cornificia Faustina and Gaius Ummidius Quadratus Annianus Verus a Roman Senator who served as a suffect consul in 146. Thus she was a descendant of the former ruling Nerva–Antonine dynasty of the Roman Empire. Although by birth, Annia Aurelia Faustina was of the gens Claudia, she was not named after her father; instead she was named in honor of her parent’s relations to the gens Aurelia, the gens Annia and the Nerva–Antonine dynasty.
Annia Aurelia Faustina was born and raised on her mother's estate in Pisidia, one of a number in that area called the Cyllanian Estates. These estates were very large properties, established from the time of the dictator of the Roman Republic, Lucius Cornelius Sulla (c. 138-78 BC).
Upon her marriage, they settled at her Pisidian estates. Pomponius treated Annia well and they both lived in domestic tranquility. She bore at least two known children during her marriage: a daughter, Pomponia Ummidia (born 219), and a son, Pomponius Bassus (born 220).
By 218, her parents had died and Annia inherited her mother's estate and their fortune, becoming a very wealthy heiress. On the site of the estate inscriptions have survived proclaiming her inheritance of the property from her parents and that she was its owner.
Second marriage to Elagabalus
In the year 221, Roman Emperor Elagabalus wished to marry Annia because of her beauty and her proeminent imperial ancestry. In order to marry her, he ordered the execution of Pomponius Bassus and forbade her to mourn him. In July, the emperor married Annia, his third wife (and her second marriage). Roman society was more receptive of this marriage to her than of his previous, to the Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa.
Elagabalus had hoped she would bear him an heir so that his maternal cousin, Alexander Severus, would not inherit the throne; however, she bore him no children. In the end of 221, Elagabalus divorced her for unknown reasons and returned to Julia Aquilia Severa, re-marrying her as his fourth wife. Due to her second brief marriage, there are no surviving sources describing Annia Aurelia Faustina's rule as a Roman Empress.
Life after Elagabalus
When her marriage to Elagabalus ended, Annia Aurelia Faustina returned with her children to the Pisidian Estate. She spent the final years of her life there. When she died, her daughter Pomponia Ummidia inherited the estate and her descendants had become various distinguished nobles and politicians in Roman Society.
- Smyth, Descriptive catalogue of a cabinet of Roman imperial large-brass medals: Annia Aurelia Faustina article
- Descriptive Catalogue of a Cabinet of Roman Imperial Large-brass Medals; by William Henry Smyth, 1834
- Septimius Severus: the African emperor; by Anthony Richard Birley; 2nd ed. Routledge, 1999
- Marcus Aurelius; by Anthony Richard Birley, Routledge, 2000
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- Dirty Old Coins
- Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 2, pp. 141, 1870, ancientlibrary.com via archive.org. Accessed 2012-5-29.
- Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 1, p. 473, 1870, ancientlibrary.com via archive.org. Accessed 2012-5-29.
- Annia Faustina, Forum Ancient Coins
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