Cornelia Salonina

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A marble bust of Cornelia Salonina.

Julia Cornelia Salonina (died 268, Mediolanum) was an Augusta, wife of Roman Emperor Gallienus and mother of Valerian II, Saloninus, and Marinianus.

Early life[edit]

Salonina has an extensive coinage.
This arch, a gate in the Servian Walls of Rome, was dedicated to Gallienus and SALONINAE SANCTISSIMAE AUG, "to Salonina, most holy Augusta".

Julia Cornelia Salonina's origin is unknown. According to a modern theory, she was born of Greek origin[1][2][3] in Bithynia, then part of the province of Bithynia et Pontus, Asia Minor. However, there exists some scepticism on that.[4] She was married to Gallienus about ten years before his accession to the throne. When her husband became joint-emperor with his father Valerian in 253, Cornelia Salonina was named Augusta.

Cornelia was the mother of three princes, Valerian II, Saloninus and Marinianus.[5] Her fate, after the murder of Gallienus, during the siege of Mediolanum in 268, is unknown. It is likely that either her life was spared[6] or that she was executed together with other members of her family, at the orders of the Senate of Rome.[7]

Her name is reported on coins with Latin legend as Cornelia Salonina; however, from the Greek coinage come the names Iulia Cornelia Salonina, Publia Licinia Cornelia Salonina, and Salonina Chrysogona (attribute that means "begotten of gold").

References[edit]

  1. ^ According to Bray (1997), pp.30, 347, supporters of Greek Bithynian origin include Andreas Alföldi in Die Vorherrschaft der Pannonier im Römerreiche und die Reaktion des Hellenentums unter Gallienus, Studien zur Geschichte der Weltkrise des 3, ahrhunderts nach Christus. M.78 Taf. Darmstadt, 1967 and R. Munsterburg in Numismatische Zeitschrift, vol. LVIII, 1925, p.41
  2. ^ Lissner, Ivar (1958). The Caesars: might and madness. Putnam. p. 291. OCLC 403811. Gallienus' wife was a remarkably sensitive and cultured Greek woman named Cornelia Salonina who came from Bithynia 
  3. ^ Bengtson, Hermann – Bloedow, Edmund Frederick (1988). History of Greece: from the beginnings to the Byzantine era. University of Ottawa Press. p. 344. ISBN 0-7766-0210-1. The Empress Salonina, a Greek from Bithynia, took an avid part in the philhellenic efforts of the emperor. 
  4. ^ Bray (1997), p.30, who cites Jean Gagé, Programme d' italicité et nostalgies d'hellénisme autour de Gallien et Salonine, Aufstieg und niedergang der Römischen Welt, vol. 5, New York, 1975, ISBN 3-11-004971-6, p.839
  5. ^ Bray (1997), pp.50-51
  6. ^ Bray (1997), p.308
  7. ^ Watson, Alaric. Aurelian and the Third Century, Routledge, Oxon, 1999. ISBN 0-415-30187-4, p.41

Further reading[edit]

  • (French) Minaud, Gérard, Les vies de 12 femmes d’empereur romain - Devoirs, Intrigues & Voluptés , Paris, L’Harmattan, 2012, ch. 11, La vie de Cornélia Salonina, femme de Gallien, p. 263-284.

External links[edit]

Media related to Salonina at Wikimedia Commons

Royal titles
Preceded by
Cornelia Supera
Empress of Rome
253–268
Succeeded by
Ulpia Severa
Preceded by
Herennia Etruscilla
Empress-Mother of Rome
260
Succeeded by
Eutropia