Vibia Sabina

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Roman imperial dynasties
Nervo-Trajanic Dynasty
Busto de Vibia Sabina (M. Prado) 01.jpg
Bust of Vibia Sabina (Prado, Madrid).
Nerva
Children
   Natural - (none)
   Adoptive - Trajan
Trajan
Children
   Natural - (none)
   Adoptive - Hadrian
Hadrian
Children
   Natural - (none)
   Adoptive - Lucius Aelius
   Adoptive - Antoninus Pius

Vibia Sabina (83–136/137) was a Roman Empress, wife and second cousin, once removed, to Roman Emperor Hadrian. She was the daughter to Salonina Matidia (niece of Roman Emperor Trajan), and suffect consul Lucius Vibius Sabinus. After her father’s death in 84, Sabina, along with her half-sisters, went to live with their grandmother's mother, Marciana, and were raised in the household of Trajan with his wife Pompeia Plotina.

She married Hadrian in 100, at the Roman Empress Pompeia Plotina's request, for Hadrian to succeed her great uncle, in 117. Sabina's mother Matidia (Hadrian's second cousin) was also fond of Hadrian and allowed him to marry her daughter.

Sabina was strong and independent and her beliefs in marriage didn't sit well with the Emperor. Sabina is rumored to have had an affair with Suetonius, a historian (and Hadrian's secretary), in the year 119.[1] Meanwhile her husband was thought to be more sexually interested in his favourite Antinous, and he and Sabina had no children of their own, though they adopted two sons. In 128, she was awarded the title of Augusta. Vibia Sabina died before her husband, some time in 136 or early 137.[2] Hadrian's stone elegy for his wife "depicts the apotheosis, or divine ascent of Sabina in accordance with her posthumous deification on the order of Hadrian."[3]

Namesake[edit]

Denarius of Sabina

Vibia Aurelia Sabina (170-died before 217), daughter and youngest child of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Roman Empress Faustina the Younger was a great, great niece to Vibia Sabina. Her name was bestowed in honor of Sabina and her father.

Another statue of Vibia Sabina.

Nerva–Antonine family tree[edit]

  • (1) = 1st spouse
  • (2) = 2nd spouse (not shown)
  • (3) = 3rd spouse
  • Darker purple indicates Emperor of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty; lighter purple indicates designated imperial heir of said dynasty who never reigned
  • dashed lines indicate adoption; dotted lines indicate love affairs/unmarried relationships
  • small caps = posthumously deified (Augusti, Augustae, or other)


Q. Marcius Barea Soranus Q. Marcius Barea Sura Antonia Furnilla M. Cocceius Nerva Sergia Plautilla P. Aelius Hadrianus
Titus
(r. 79-81)
Marcia Furnilla Marcia Trajanus Pater Nerva
(r. 96–98)
Ulpia Aelius Hadrianus Marullinus
Julia Flavia Marciana G. Salonius Matidius Trajan
(r. 98–117)
Plotina P. Acilius Attianus P. Aelius Afer Paulina Major L. Julius Ursus Servianus
Lucius Mindius
(2)
Libo Rupilius Frugi
(3)
Matidia L. Vibius Sabinus
(1)
Antinous Hadrian (r. 117–138) Paulina
Minor
Matidia Minor Suetonius Sabina
M.
Annius Verus
G. Fuscus Salinator I Julia Serviana Paulina
Rupilia Faustina Boionia Procilla G. Arrius Antoninus
L. Caesennius Paetus L. Ceionius Commodus Appia Severa G. Fuscus Salinator II
Arria Antonia Arria Fadilla T. Aurelius Fulvus
L. Caesennius Antoninus Lucius
Commodus
Fundania Plautia Ignota Plautia G. Avidius
Nigrinus
Antoninus Pius
(r. 138–161)
M. Annius Verus Domitia Lucilla Fundania M. Annius Libo FAUSTINA Lucius Aelius
Caesar
Avidia Plautia
Cornificia MARCUS AURELIUS
(r. 161–180)
FAUSTINA Minor G. Avidius Cassius Aurelia Fadilla LUCIUS VERUS
(r. 161–169)
(1)
Ceionia Fabia Plautius Quintillus Q. Servilius Pudens Ceionia Plautia
Cornificia Minor M. Petronius Sura COMMODUS
(r. 177–192)
Fadilla M. Annius Verus Caesar T. Claudius Pompeianus (2) Lucilla M. Plautius Quintillus Junius Licinius Balbus Servilia Ceionia
Petronius Antoninus L. Aurelius Agaclytus
(2)
Aurelia Sabina L. Antistius Burrus
(1)
Plautius Quintillus Plautia Servilla G. Furius Sabinus Timesitheus Antonia Gordiana Junius Licinius Balbus
Furia Sabina Tranquillina GORDIAN III
(r. 238-244)
Royal titles
Preceded by
Pompeia Plotina
Empress of Rome
117–136
Succeeded by
Annia Galeria Faustina

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ url=http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Historia_Augusta/Hadrian/1*.html#11.3 Historia Augusta, 11.3
  2. ^ Opper, Thorsten. Hadrian: Empire and Conflict, Harvard University Press, 2008, p. 205. ISBN 0-674-03095-8
  3. ^ Annelise Freisenbruch, Caesars’ Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire (London and New York: Free Press, 2010), 170.

Further reading[edit]

  • (French) Minaud, Gérard, Les vies de 12 femmes d’empereur romain - Devoirs, Intrigues & Voluptés , Paris, L’Harmattan, 2012, ch. 7, La vie de Sabine, femme d’Hadrien, p. 169-188.

External links[edit]

Media related to Vibia Sabina at Wikimedia Commons