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Papianilla's Geni Profile

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Birthdate: (34)
Birthplace: Gaul,Gallo-Roman,,France
Death: circa 474 (26-42)
Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Immediate Family:

Wife of Tonantius Ferreolus, II
Mother of Tonantius Ferreolus, III and Tonantia Ferreola

Occupation: Clarissima Femina, Nicht van Avitus
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Papianilla

Papianilla, clarissima femina. According to Sidonius, a contemporary source, Ferreolus' wife was a partner to her husband and shared his troubles.

Her ancestry is uncertain. She was probably a relative of another Papianilla, wife of Sidonius Apollinaris. Therefore, according to Settipani she was most probably a niece of Avitus (1989 and 1991, pp. 198-9). However, Harries says she was a generation older, perhaps a sister or cousin of Avitus (1994, p.34, n. 30), while Mommaerts and Kelley suggest she might have been a generation younger (1992, pp. 112-13).

In Settipani's reconstruction she was a granddaughter of Pontius Anicilus, either through his son Adelphius, bishop of Limoges or his son Hermogenianus, one of whom married a sister of Avitus whose name is reconstructed as Eparchia.

According to some, she was the daughter of Zénon l'Isaurien, Commander of the Army of the Eastern Empire and later Eastern emperor. Her marriage, in which Emperor Avitus had served as an intermediary, was celebrated in Constantinople and everyone tried to hide the family of his new wife from Tonance. By bringing Papinianille to Narbonne and Arles, Tonance had introduced into the house of his father a Nestorian heretic.


  • Christian Settipani, "Continuite Gentilice et Continuite Familiale Dans Les Familles Senatoriales Romaines A L'epoque Imperiale, Mythe et Realite, Addenda I - III" (juillet 2000- octobre 2002) (n.p.: Prosopographica et Genealogica, 2002).

According to the Wikipedia page of her husband, Tonantius Ferreolus I (Prefect):

He married Papianilla, clarissima femina, born ca 415, a niece of Emperor Avitus (and as such would be the granddaughter of Flavius Julius Agricola, b. c365, Consul of Rome in 421, but uncertain if he is a paternal or maternal grandfather) and the first cousin of another Papianilla, wife of Sidonius Apollinaris, and they had many children, among whom Tonantius Ferreolus. She was a partner who shared his troubles, according to Sidonius.

According to her Wikipedia page:

Papianilla was a Roman noblewoman

She was the wife of Tonantius Ferreolus,[1] another Papianilla, the wife of the poet Sidonius Apollinaris, was a relative of hers.[2]

She had Tonantius Ferreolus and other sons.[3]


1.^ Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina, XXIV 34-38.

2.^ Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistles, II 9.3; VII 12.1.

3.^ Sidonius Apollinaris, Carmina, XXIV 34-38; Epistles, II 9.7.


"Papianilla 1", Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume 2, p. 830.

Les ancêtres de Charlemagne, 1989, Christian Settipani

According to the Wikipedia page of her son, Tonantius Ferreolus II (Senator):

He was the son of Tonantius Ferreolus and wife Papianilla. Papianilla is generally regarded as belonging to the Arvernian family of the Aviti, though in a generation senior to Sidonius' wife of the same name.

According to the Wikipedia page of her possible grandfather, Agricola (Consul 421):

Agricola, full name possibly Julius Agricola (ca. 365 – after 421) was a West Roman statesman who served twice as praetorian prefect and became consul for 421.[1]


He was possibly from Gaul, specifically Narbo.[1]

His relations are unclear: his exact parentage is unknown, as are his immediate descendants.

He was the grandfather of Flavius Magnus, consul in 460.

He may have had a son named Nymphidius. He was also a relative, and perhaps even the father, of the Emperor Avitus (r. 455–456).[1]

He served twice as praetorian prefect. The first tenure was sometime before 418, but the exact circumscription is unknown; it was most probably in the Western half of the Empire however.[1] The second time he served as praetorian prefect of Gaul in 418.

He was then appointed to the consulship for 421, with Fl. Eustathius as his colleague.[2]


1.^ a b c d Martindale & Morris (1980), p. 36

2.^ Martindale & Morris (1980), p. 37


Martindale, John R.; Morris, John (1980), The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire - Volume II, AD 395–527, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521201599

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Papianilla's Timeline

Age 5
Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Age 9
Age 34
Narbonne, Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
August 24, 2001
Age 34