Gaius Julius Fabia Sampsiceramus III Silas

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Gaius Julius Sampsiceramus III Silas (flourished second half of the 1st century & first half of the 2nd century, died 120) was a Syrian Prince and Roman Client Priest King of Emesa.

Silas was a monarch of Assyrian, Greek, Armenian, Median, Berber and Roman ancestry. He was the son of Gaius Julius Alexio, also known as Alexio II, by an unnamed wife.[1] His paternal grandparents were the previous Emesene Monarchs Sohaemus of Emesa and Drusilla of Mauretania the Younger, through whom he was a descendant of the Ptolemaic Greek Queen Cleopatra VII and Roman Triumvir Mark Antony.[2]

Silas was born and raised in Emesa. After his father died in 78, Silas succeeded his father as Priest King of Emesa. Silas ruled as a Priest King from 79 until his death in 120. He was the priest of the Syrian Sun God, known in Aramaic as El-Gebal. Little is known on his life and his reign as Emesene Priest King. What is known about Silas is from surviving inscriptions from Emesa.[3]

There is a noted sepulchral Greek inscription on a monument dated 78/79[4] at Emesa, dedicated by Silas to his family:

Γαΐος Ἰούλιος, Φαβίᾳ, Σαμσιγέραμος ὁ καὶ Σείλας, Γαΐου Ἰουλίου Ἀλεξιῶνος υἱὁς, ζῶν ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ καὶ τοῖς ἰδίοις, ἔτους Οτʹ
Gaius Julius Fabia, Sampsiceramus, also called Silas, son of Gaius Julius Alexio, while still living made this for himself and his family, year 390

The generations after Silas are not recorded sufficiently to present an accurate pedigree.[5] Silas was the father of Gaius Julius Longinus Soaemus[6] by an unnamed wife. Soaemus would succeed Silas as the Emesene Priest King. A descendant of Silas’ is the Emesene high priest Gaius Julius Bassianus, who was the father of the Roman Empress Julia Domna, and another possible descendant was the Syrian Queen of the 3rd century, Zenobia of Palmyra.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cleopatra’s Children and Descendants: credited by Karl Leon Ciccone at Ancient History by Suite101
  2. ^ Cleopatra’s Children and Descendants: credited by Karl Leon Ciccone at Ancient History by Suite101
  3. ^ Birley, Septimius Severus: the African emperor p.71
  4. ^ Temporini and Haase, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im spiegel der neueren Forschung p.219
  5. ^ Cleopatra’s Children and Descendants at Ancient History by Suite101
  6. ^ Settipani, Continuité gentilice et continuité familiale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l’époque impériale
  7. ^ Cleopatra’s Children and Descendants at Ancient History by Suite101

See also[edit]