Ennia Thrasylla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ennia Thrasylla,[1] also known as Ennia Naeva or Ennia Naevia,[2][3] Ennia the wife of Macro,[4] Ennia[5] and Eunia (about 15[6]-38,[7] Ennia in Greek Greek: Έννίας, Ennia Thrasylla in Greek Greek: Έννία Θράσυλλα) was a Roman noblewoman who lived in the 1st century in the Roman Empire.[8]

Family background[edit]

Ennia was of Latin, Greek, Armenian and Median descent. She was the daughter and known child of Lucius Ennius from his unnamed wife[9][10] and perhaps had a brother called Lucius Ennius who was the father of Lucius Ennius Ferox, a Roman Soldier who served during the reign of the Roman emperor Vespasian[11] from 69 until 79.

Her father Lucius Ennius, was a Latin Roman Eques,[12][13] who originally may have come from the Roman province of Creta et Cyrenaica, as he was a contemporary to the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius who ruled from 14 until 37. Lucius Ennius was a relative of Quintus Ennius, a Poet that lived during the Roman Republic and Manius Ennius a Roman Soldier, that served with Germanicus in 14 on the Rhine River.

The unnamed wife of Ennius who was the mother of Ennia, was a Roman noblewoman from Alexandria, in the Roman Province of Egypt who was of Greek, Armenian and Median descent. She was the daughter and oldest child, born to Thrasyllus of Mendes and his wife, Aka II of Commagene.[14][15] Thrasyllus was an Egyptian Greek Grammarian, Literary Commentator who served as the astrologer and became the personal friend of the Roman emperor Tiberius,[16] while Aka II was a Princess of Armenian, Greek and Median descent from the Kingdom of Commagene.[17] Her maternal uncle was Tiberius Claudius Balbilus,[18] hence was a paternal cousin to Claudia Capitolina who would later marry into the Kingdom of Commagene.

As Ennia by birth, her nomen is Ennius while her Cognomen Thrasylla is the female name of the ancient Greek name Thrasyllus.[19] She inherited the Cognomen, Thrasylla from her maternal grandfather, as evidently she is a granddaughter of Thrasyllus.[20] Little is known on early life and life prior to marriage.

Marriage and imperial connections[edit]

By 31, Ennia married the Roman Vigiles Prefect Quintus Naevius Cordus Sutorius Macro,[21] also known Naevius Sutorius Macro or simply Macro.[22] After the downfall, death of the Praetorian Prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus in Rome in 31, Macro was appointed by Tiberius to replace Sejanus.[23] Macro now being the head Praetorian prefect of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, had become very ambitious[24] in his role. Through his position, Ennia and Macro began to have considerable influence.

As Ennia’s husband being Prefect wielded considerable influence, this led to Ennia and Macro, befriending and coming into favor with Tiberius’ great-nephew and heir, Caligula. In 34, Caligula lost his first wife during childbirth as his wife and their child, didn’t survive the birth.[25] In the tragic circumstance that Caligula was experiencing, it wouldn’t be a surprise for him, to turn to another woman for comfort and Ennia was on hand to provide it. The precise circumstances of Ennia and Caligula’s affair are obscure.[26] Ennia’s affair with Caligula occurred on the island of Capri, where her grandfather presided[27] with Tiberius.[28] Caligula developed a close sexual relationship with Ennia[29] in which she became one of Caligula’s mistresses.[30]

Suetonius states that Caligula seduced Ennia; however Tacitus states that Macro induced Ennia to pretend to love Caligula. Ennia and Macro worked together as a team to assure their future position[31] and sources vary as to Macro’s role in and the possible approval of Ennia having an affair with Caligula to ensure that Macro remained in favor with him.[32]

After Ennia and Caligula’s affair in Capri in 34, he swore to marry Ennia if he became Emperor putting his oath in writing. Caligula may have done this, to secure the support of Macro and to expand the sphere of influence for Macro and Ennia.[33] Caligula’s interaction between Ennia and Macro benefited him immensely in which assisted him in succeeding Tiberius as Roman emperor, when he died in early 37.

Caligula ruled as Roman emperor from 37 until 41. Ennia and Macro, proved very instrumental in the early days of Caligula’s reign.[34] For his support to Caligula, Macro was appointed by Caligula as the Prefect of Egypt.[35] In 38 when Ennia, Macro with their children were leaving the Italian mainland to head to Egypt for Macro to serve his prefectship, they fell out of favor with Caligula.[36] Before their departure, they were given an imperial order to kill themselves.[37][38] Macro was able to leave enough money to provide an amphitheatre for his home town of Alba Fucens.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  2. ^ According to the Roman Histories of Suetonius & Cassius Dio
  3. ^ Adams, The Roman Emperor: Gaius 'Caligula' and His Hellenistic Aspirations, p.136
  4. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.44
  5. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.79
  6. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.261
  7. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.196
  8. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  9. ^ Levick, Tiberius: The Politician, p.p.137&230
  10. ^ Genealogy of daughter of Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus & Aka II of Commagene at rootsweb
  11. ^ Coleman-Norton, Ancient Roman Statutes, p.151-2
  12. ^ Levick, Tiberius: The Politician, p.p.137&230
  13. ^ Tacitus, Annals, Book III, 70
  14. ^ Levick, Tiberius: The Politician, p.p.137&230
  15. ^ Genealogy of daughter of Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus & Aka II of Commagene at rootsweb
  16. ^ Holden, A History of Horoscopic Astrology, p.26
  17. ^ Beck, Beck on Mithraism: Collected Works With New Essays, p.42-3
  18. ^ Royal genealogy of Aka II of Commagene at rootsweb
  19. ^ The name derives from the Greek thrasy – meaning bold
  20. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  21. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  22. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.196
  23. ^ Levick, Tiberius: The Politician, p.137
  24. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.196
  25. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.34
  26. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.34
  27. ^ Levick, Tiberius: The Politician, p.137
  28. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  29. ^ Adams, The Roman Emperor: Gaius 'Caligula' and His Hellenistic Aspirations, p.136
  30. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.44
  31. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  32. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.338
  33. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  34. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.196
  35. ^ Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, p.113
  36. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.196
  37. ^ Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, p.196
  38. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.242
  39. ^ Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power, p.79

Sources[edit]

  • Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome
  • P. Robinson Coleman-Norton & F. Card Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, The Lawbook Exchange Limited, 1961
  • B. Levick, Tiberius: The Politician, Routledge, 1999
  • A.A. Barrett, Caligula: The Corruption of Power (Google eBook), Routledge, 2002
  • M. Zimmerman, G. Schmeling, H. Hofmann, S. Harrison & C. Panayotakis (eds.), Ancient Narrative, Barkhuis, 2002
  • R. Beck, Beck on Mithraism: Collected Works With New Essays, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2004
  • J.H. Holden, A History of Horoscopic Astrology, American Federation of Astrology, 2006
  • G.W. Adams, The Roman Emperor: Gaius 'Caligula' and His Hellenistic Aspirations, Universal-Publishers, 2007
  • M. Lightman & B. Lightman, A to Z of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, Infobase Publishing, 2008
  • M. Bunson, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire, Infobase Publishing, 2009
  • Genealogy of daughter of Tiberius Claudius Thrasyllus & Aka II of Commagene at rootsweb
  • Royal genealogy of Aka II of Commagene at rootsweb

See also[edit]