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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Otacilia Severa (?)

Marcia Otacilia Severa was the wife of Philip the Arab, Roman emperor from 244 to 249. She was from an aristocratic background, her family being regional governors and consuls of the Roman empire. The fact that nothing is known of her life before or after her marriage to Philip indicates the lowly status of women at the time. Like her husband, she had a reputation for being tolerant of Christianity.

The identity of this portrait, which was probably part of a full length statue otriginally, is suggested by comparison to named portraits on coins, so is not certain. She is sometimes thought to be Julia Paula or Julia Soaemias, wife and mother of Elagabalus, emperor 218 to 222

Location of Original: 

Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 825


Purchased from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in 1933


Poulsen: Katalog over Antike Skulpturen Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, 508, pl. LXIV
Hekler: Greek and Roman Portraits, pl. 303
Johansen, F: Catalogue of Roman Portraits in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (1994), vol.III, 60, no.20
Bartman, E: AJA, vol.105 (Jan 2001), no.1, 18


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