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Roman Women

All throughout the history of the Roman Empire, women played an important role.  Sometimes running the empire itself when the emperor was too young.  Such was the case during the Severan period.  This collection is being assembled to show all of the various portraits and hairstyles which graced Roman coins from the beginning of the Empire with Livia, wife of Augustus, to it's end with Zenonis, Wife of Basiliscus.  Although the Roman Empire ends with Anastasius in 493, Zenonis, in 476 was the last female I could find for the period.

Featured below, you will find some wonderful drawings by Jasper Burns (are all copyright owned by Jasper Burns).  These drawings were featured on the cover of various issues of The Celator and his book "Great Women of Imperial Rome: Mothers and Wives of the Caesars" published by Routledge. As with nearly every image on my site, clicking on an image will open a window with a larger version.

Livia (Julia Augusta and earlier was Livia Drusilla) - Wife of Octavian.  58 BC-29 AD

Antonia - Daughter of Marc Antony and Octavia, Wife of Nero Claudius Drusus.  36 BC-37 AD

Agrippina Senior (Vipsania Agrippina) - Wife of Germanicus.  14 BC-33 AD

Agrippina Junior (Julia Agrippina) - Wife of Claudius.  15-59

Domitia (Domitia Longina) - Wife of Domitian.  c.50-55-c.140-150 (Yes, 90 to 100 years!)

Plotina (Pompeia Plotina) - Wife of Trajan.  c.70 - 129

Sabina (Vibia Sabina) - Wife of Hadrian.  Died in 136.

Faustina I (Annia Galeria Faustina) - Wife of Antoninus Pius.  c.98-141

Faustina II (Annia Galeria Faustina) - Wife of Marcus Aurelius.  127-176

Julia Domna - Wife of Septimius Severus.  c.170-217

Julia Mamaea (Julia Avita Mamaea) - Mother of Severus Alexander.  Died in 235.

Helena (Flavia Julia Helena or Saint Helena) - Wife of Constantius I, Mother of Constantine I.  c.248-330

List of Roman women and their relations, along with images (when available) to display the various hairstyles popular at the time

Coin or Art Example Common Name Portraiture Description Full Name Regnal Dates (if any and if known) Relation
Julia Daughter of Augustus
Livia Wife of Augustus
Livilla Wife of Gaius Caesar and Drusus
Antonia Wife of Nero Claudius Drusus
Agrippina Senior Wife of Germanicus
Caesonia Fourth wife of Caligula
Drusilla Daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina Senior
Drusilla Minor Daughter of Caligula and Caesonia
Julia Livilla Daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina Senior
Claudia Antonia Daughter of Claudius
Valeria Messalina Third wife of Claudius
Agrippina Junior 50-59 Wife of Claudius
Claudia Octavia 54-62 First wife of Nero
Poppaea 62-65 Second wife of Nero
Claudia Neronis Daughter of Nero and Poppaea
Statilia Messalina 66-68 Third wife of Nero
Vitellia Daughter of Vitellius
Domitilla the Elder Wife of Vespasian
Domitilla II Daughter of Vespasian and Domitilla the Elder
Julia Titi 79-90/91 Daughter of Titus
Domitia 82-96 Wife of Domitian
Plotina 105-122? Wife of Trajan
Marciana 105-114? Sister of Trajan

Louvre Museum

Matidia Died c.119 Niece of Trajan
Mother of Sabina
Sabina Draped bust right, hair waved, rising into crest on top above diadem, knotted in queue, falling down back of neck 128-136? Wife of Hadrian
Sabina Draped bust right, hair coiled and piled on top of head behind metal tiara 128-136? Wife of Hadrian
Sabina Diademed, veiled, draped bust right 128-136? Wife of Hadrian
Faustina I Draped bust right, hair elaborately waved in several loops around head, braided, drawn up and coiled on top 138-140/141 Wife of Antoninus Pius
Faustina II Draped bust right, hair waved and coiled at lower back of head in small bun 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II Draped bust right, hair waved and coiled at middle back of head in large bun 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II Draped bust right, hair waved and coiled at middle back of head in large bun, string of pearls underlying the bottom coil up to forehead wave 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II Draped bust right, hair waved and coiled at middle back of head in large bun 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II Draped bust right, hair waved and coiled at lower back of head in small bun, circlet of pearls above side waves 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II Draped bust right, hair weaved and coiled at lower back of head in large bun 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Faustina II Veiled, draped bust right, hair weaved and coiled at lower back of head in small bun 147-175/176 Wife of Marcus Aurelius
Lucilla Draped bust right, hair weaved and coiled at lower back of head in small bun, wave of hair along bottom, small lock falling on neck 164-182/183 Wife of Lucius Verus
Crispina Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows and tucked in round coil at back 172-182/183 Wife of Commodus
Titiana 193 Wife of Pertinax
Manlia Scantilla April-June, 193 Wife of Didius Julianus
Didia Clara Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows and tucked at back of head in weaved bun pattern, lock of hair falling across neck April-June, 193 Daughter of Didius Julianus
Julia Domna Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows and tucked at back of head in weaved bun pattern, one separate long braid following the bottom of upper weaves 193-217 Wife of Septimius Severus
Julia Domna Draped bust on crescent right, hair weaved in rows, long plait along the bottom and tucked in very small bun at the back of head, stephane in hair 193-217 Wife of Septimius Severus
Plautilla Draped bust right, hair coiled in ridges and fastened in large two-coil bun at back, ear exposed Fulvia Plautilla 202-205 Wife of Caracalla
Plautilla Draped bust right, hair coiled in ridges and fastened in large bun at base of head, ear exposed Fulvia Plautilla 202-205 Wife of Caracalla
Plautilla Draped bust right, hair coiled in ridges covering ear and fastened in small bun at base of head Fulvia Plautilla 202-205 Wife of Caracalla
Julia Maesa Draped bust right, hair braided in straight lines and tucked into small bun at base of head 218-224/225 Sister of Julia Domna
Julia Maesa Draped bust right, hair braided in straight lines and tucked into large bun at back of head 218-224/225 Sister of Julia Domna
Julia Soaemias Draped bust right, hair braided in straight lines and tucked at back of neck 218-222 Mother of Elagabalus
Julia Paula Draped bust right, hair braided in thick coils, top coils looped into large bun at back of head 219-220 First wife of Elagabalus
Julia Paula Draped bust right, hair braided in straight lines and tucked at back of neck 219-220 First Wife of Elagabalus
Aquilia Severa Draped bust right, hair brushed in straight lines, small plait at the bottom and fastened at back of head 220-222 Second and fourth wife of Elagabalus
Annia Faustina 221 Third wife of Elagabalus
Julia Mamaea Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows and tucked at base of head 222-235 Mother of Severus Alexander
Julia Mamaea Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows and tucked at base of head, stephane in hair 222-235 Mother of Severus Alexander
Orbiana 225-227 Wife of Severus Alexander
Paulina Wife of Maximinus I (Thrax)
Tranquillina 241-244 Wife of Gordian III
Otacilia Severa Draped bust right on crescent, hair weaved in straight lines and rows with long plait carried up the back of head, stephane in hair 244-249 Wife of Philip I
Herennia Etruscilla Draped bust right on crescent, hair waved and tucked at back of neck, stephane in hair 249-253? Wife of Trajan Decius
Herennia Etruscilla Draped bust right on crescent, hair in straight lines with long plait carried up the back of head, stephane in hair 249-253? Wife of Trajan Decius
Cornelia Supera 253 Wife of Aemilian
Mariniana Wife of Valerian I
Salonina Draped bust right on crescent, hair weaved in rows with long plait carried up the back of head and tucked under stephane Cornelia Salonina 254-268 Wife of Gallienus
Dryantilla 260 Wife of Regalianus
Zenobia Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows with braid along bottom at back of neck, stephane in hair 267-272 Mother of Vabalathus
Severina Draped bust right on crescent, hair in straight lines with long plait carried up the back of head, tucked under stephane Ulpia Severina 274-275 Wife of Aurelian
Severina Draped bust right on crescent, hair brushed in straight lines and tucked under Ulpia Severina 274-275 Wife of Aurelian
Magnia Urbica Draped bust right on crescent, hair brushed in straight lines, plait carried up the back to top of head and running under stephane 283-285 Wife of Carinus
Galeria Valeria Draped bust right, hair weaved in rows at front, straight in back, pulled up in long plait running under stephane 293?-311 Wife of Galerius
Galeria Valeria Bust facing, head right, hair weaved in rows and curled around side of head at base of neck, wearing embroidered robes with two necklaces, stephane in hair 293?-311 Wife of Galerius
Galeria Valeria Laureate, draped bust right, hair weaved in rows and braided in loops at base of neck, stephane under laurel 293?-311 Wife of Galerius
Helena Plain-diademed, mantled bust right, wearing necklace, hair brushed straight back, small curls along forehead to ear, long plait after last forehead curl carried up the back of head and ending at diadem 324-328/330 Wife of Constantius I
Mother of Constantine I
Helena Pearl-diademed, mantled bust right, wearing necklace, hair brushed straight back, small curls along forehead to ear, loop braid at base of head carried up in long plait to top of diadem and back down again tucked under bottom of diadem 324-328/330 Wife of Constantius I
Mother of Constantine I
Helena Pearl-diademed, mantled bust right, wearing pearl necklace, Magnia Urbica fashion hair style, diadem as broad band decorated with a single string of pearls 324-328/330 Wife of Constantius I
Mother of Constantine I
Theodora Second wife of Constantius I
Constantia 313-324 Wife of Licinius I
Fausta Bare head, mantled bust right, wearing necklace, hair waved in rows and tucked into small bun at back of head 324-326 Second wife of Constantine I
Aelia Flaccilla Pearl-diademed, draped bust right with necklace, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under diadem 379-386/388 Wife of Theodosius I
Galla Placidia 421-450 Daughter of Theodosius I
Eudoxia Pearl-diademed, draped bust right, wearing pearl necklace and earrings, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under diadem, hand of God holding wreath above head 400-404 Wife of Arcadius
Aelia Pulcheria Pearl-diademed, draped bust right with necklace and earrings, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under diadem 414-453 Wife of Marcian

Sister of Theodosius II

Aelia Eudocia Pearl-diademed, draped bust right with necklace and earrings, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under forehead jewel, hand of God wearing bracelet crowning from above 423-460 Wife of Theodosius II
Honoria 426?-450? Sister of Valentinian III
Licinia Eudoxia 439-490 Wife of Valentinian III

Wife of Petronius Maximus

Aelia Verina 457-484 Wife of Leo I
Aelia Euphemia 467-472? Wife of Anthemius
Alypia 467?-472? Wife of Ricimer
Aelia Ariadne 474?-515 Wife of Zeno

Wife of Anastasius

Aelia Zenonis 475-476 Wife of Basiliscus

Statue of St. Helena, who is believed to have found the true Cross of Christ, within what is now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This ancient church is built over what is believed to be the site of Christ's death and resurrection.