Volusia Cornelia

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Volusia Cornelia,[1] also known as Cornelia Volusia[2] was a noble Roman woman who lived in the Roman Empire in the 1st century.

Family Background[edit]

Volusia was a Roman of Patrician status. She was a daughter and among one of the children born to the Politician Quintus Volusius Saturninus from his wife Nonia Torquata.[3] She was born and raised in Rome. Her Cognomen Cornelia, she inherited from paternal grandmother Cornelia Lentula, the daughter of the consul of 3 BC, Lucius Cornelius Lentulus[4] from the Patrician gens Cornelia.

Inscriptional Evidence[edit]

Volusia is known through various surviving inscriptional evidence. The evidence reveals she was a wealthy, distinguished woman[5] of the Senatorial class.[6] She owned a private luxurious villa in Nemi which was first owned by the Roman emperor Caligula.[7] In an area of the villa, Volusia restored a theatre.[8] The theatre was used to entertained guests that happened to be at the villa, such as family members, friends sharing a vacation, neighboring villa-owners and notables invited to dinner.[9] After the theatre was restored, her deed was recorded in a monumental inscription.[10] which has decorative handles.[11] The inscription was placed in a part of the villa for all to see. One branch of the Volusii family had a praedium in the area of Nemi and a fistulae bearing the name of Volusia was also found.[12]

The inscription which is dated from the mid-1st century[13] reads in Latin which is translated in English:

volvsia q. f. cornelia theatrvm
vetvstate corrvptvm restitvit et excolivit
Volusia Cornela, daughter of Quintus, restored and decorated the theatre damaged by age.[14]

The plaque is on display at the National Museum of Rome. She was also a donor at the Sanctuary of Diana at Nemi.[15]

The below funeral inscription is dedicated to Elate the hairdresser of Volusia. The Latin inscription which is found in Rome reads in English:

To the Departed Spirits.
Elate, hairdresser of Cornelia Volusia
lived twenty years. Hellanicus (made this)
for a well-deserving wife. (Corpus of Latin inscriptions 6.7296, Rome)[16]

Marriage & Issue[edit]

Volusia married the wealthy Roman Senator Marcus Licinius Scribonianus Camerinus.[17] Camerinus came from a family that was of distinction which had fame and lineage.[18] Camerinus was one of the sons born to Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi, consul of 64 from his wife, Sulpicia Praetextata daughter of the suffect consul in 46, Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus Peticus.[19][20] The paternal grandparents of Camerinus were Roman Politician Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi and Scribonia.[21] Volusia with Camerinus had a daughter called Licinia Cornelia Volusia Torquata.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History, p.196
  2. ^ Biographischer Index der Antike, p.249
  3. ^ Genealogy of Volusius Saturninus by D.C. O’Driscoll
  4. ^ Levick, Tiberius the Politician, p. 53
  5. ^ Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, p. 280
  6. ^ Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, p. 63
  7. ^ Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History, p.196
  8. ^ Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History, p.196
  9. ^ Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History, p.p.196-7
  10. ^ Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History, p.196
  11. ^ The World of Class - Images of Class: Patrons - Volusia Cornelia
  12. ^ Marzano, Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History, p.196
  13. ^ The World of Class - Images of Class: Patrons - Volusia Cornelia
  14. ^ Green, Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia, p. 263
  15. ^ The World of Class - Images of Class: Patrons - Volusia Cornelia
  16. ^ Joshel, Slavery in the Roman World, p. 143
  17. ^ Genealogy of Volusius Saturninus by D.C. O’Driscoll
  18. ^ Rudich, Political Dissidence Under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation
  19. ^ Rudich, Political Dissidence Under Nero: The Price of Dissimulation
  20. ^ Romeins Imperium – Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi translated from Dutch to English
  21. ^ Romeins Imperium – Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi translated from Dutch to English
  22. ^ Genealogy of Volusius Saturninus by D.C. O’Driscoll

Sources[edit]