Domitia Lucilla

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Domitia Lucilla from Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Domitia Lucilla Minor (Minor, Latin for the Younger), sometimes known as Domitia Calvilla or Lucilla (died 155–161), was a noble Roman woman who lived in the 2nd century. She is best known as the mother of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Lucilla was the daughter of Domitia Lucilla Maior (Maior is Latin for the Elder) and the patrician Publius Domitius Calvisius Tullus Ruso[1] and was a niece to Lucanus Domitius. The maternal grandfather of the younger Lucilla, Lucius Catilius Severus served as twice consul and became city Prefect. Lucilla’s father served as consul in AD 109 and the date of his second consulship is unknown.[2][3]

Lucilla through her mother had inherited a great fortune, which included a tile and brick factory near Rome, close to the river Tiber. The factory provided bricks to some of Rome's most famous monuments including the Colosseum, Pantheon and the Market of Trajan, and exported bricks to France, Spain, North Africa and all over the Mediterranean.[4]

Lucilla married Marcus Annius Verus, a praetor, who came from a wealthy senatorial family.[5] Verus' sister Faustina the Elder was a Roman Empress and married the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. Verus was a nephew to Roman Empress Vibia Sabina and his maternal grandmother was Salonina Matidia (niece of Roman Emperor Trajan).

With Verus, they had two children, a son, the future Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121) and a daughter Annia Cornificia Faustina (122/123 – between 152 and 158). In 124, her husband died. Her children were raised by herself and they were adopted by her father-in-law. Marcus Aurelius would later inherit the tile and brick factory.

In Lucilla’s household, the future Roman Emperor Didius Julianus was educated and through her support he was able to start his legal career. Lucilla was a lady of considerable wealth and influence. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius describes her as a ‘pious and generous’ person, who lived a simple life (1.3n). She spent her final years living with her son in Rome.


  1. ^ Geoffrey William Adams (2013). Marcus Aurelius in the Historia Augusta and Beyond. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-0-7391-7638-2. 
  2. ^ Jo-Ann Shelton (2013). The Women of Pliny's Letters. Routledge. pp. 291–. ISBN 978-0-415-37428-6. 
  3. ^ Jacqueline M. Carlon (22 June 2009). Pliny's Women: Constructing Virtue and Creating Identity in the Roman World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 135–. ISBN 978-0-521-76132-1. 
  4. ^ Annelise Freisenbruch (9 November 2010). Caesars' Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire. Simon and Schuster. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-1-4165-8357-8. 
  5. ^ Frank McLynn (20 July 2010). Marcus Aurelius: A Life. Da Capo Press. pp. 14–. ISBN 978-0-306-81916-2. 

External links[edit]

Nerva–Antonine family tree[edit]

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