Mamaea of Emesa
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Daughter of Sampsigeramus II, Priest-King of Emesa and Iotapa of Commagene
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About Mamaea of Emesa
- Wikipedia, Royal Family of Emesa
Julia Mamaea also known as Mamaea was a princess from the Syrian Roman Client Emesene Kingdom who lived in the 1st century.
Family Background & Early Life
Mamaea was a monarch of Assyrian, Armenian, Greek and Median ancestry. The name Mamaea is a name of Semitic origins, while her first name Julia refers to her being as a Roman citizen. She was a daughter and one of the four children born to the Priest King Sampsiceramus II who ruled the Emesene Kingdom from 14 until 42 and his wife, Queen Iotapa. She had two brothers: Azizus and Sohaemus who served as Emesene Priest Kings, and had a sister called Iotapa who married the Herodian Prince Aristobulus Minor. Her paternal grandfather was the former Emesene Priest King Iamblichus II, while her maternal grandparents were the former Commagenean Monarchs Mithridates III of Commagene and his cousin-wife Iotapa. She was born and raised in Emesa, Syria. Little is known on her early life.
Marriage to Polemon II of Pontus
At an unknown date perhaps after the early 50s, Mamaea married the Roman Client King Polemon II of Pontus, a Prince of Anatolian Greek and Roman descent. Polemon II married Mamaea as his second wife, as he was previously married to the Herodian Princess Berenice. Through her marriage to Polemon II, Mamaea became a Roman Client Queen of Pontus, Colchis and Cilicia. The circumstances that lead Polemon II to marry Mamaea are unknown.
The relationship between Polemon II and Mamaea is unknown. Mamaea marrying Polemon II is only known through surviving evidence. Her name and identity is revealed from surviving bronze coinage. Surviving coinage that was issued from Polemon II and Mamaea is extremely rare, as only three specimens are known. On surviving coinage, shows her royal title in Greek ΙΟΥΛΙΑΣ ΜΑΜΑΙΑΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ (of Julia Mamaea the Queen) or ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΙΟΥΛΙΑΣ ΜΑΜΑΙΑΣ (of Queen Julia Mamaea). These coins can be dated from the second half of Polemon II’s reign from 60 until 74.
In the city of Laodicea Catacecaumene an Imperial Freedman Procurator called Glycerinus who had associations with the Imperial estates in the city had set up and dedicated an inscription to Julia Mamaea. This inscription is dated before the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who reigned from 117 until 138. After this moment, no more is known of Mamaea.
Mamaea bore Polemon II two sons who were Polemon and Rheometalces. Her sons that she bore to Polemon II are known from a restored surviving inscription from Amphipolis Greece, that is commemorating Polemon II, Polemon and Rheometalces is dated from the second half of the 1st century.