Aquilia Severa


After divorcing Julia Paula, Elagabalus shocked the Roman world by announcing he was to marry a Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa.  This was a unique occurrence, as the usual punishment for a Vestal Virgin breaking her 30 year vow of celibacy was to be buried alive.  Possibly due to the disgust aroused by this marriage, he quickly divorced Severa, but returned to her for the final few months before his assassination.   Her own attitude towards the marriage is unclear, although some contemporary sources indicate that she was forced to marry against her will.  Others allege rape, though some modern historians contend that there was a certain amount of genuine affection between the two.  Cassius Dio, however, wrote that Elagabalus had a more stable relationship with his (male) chariot driver than with any of his wives.  Toned silver denarius, with reasonable portrait.  the reverse depicts Concordia.