When taking a look at the Empress of Rome, we know that she supported learning and encouraged the interests of philosophers, artists, and writers. She especially took a liking to the Pythagoreans and is reported to have commissioned the skill of Philostratus for the writing of the biography of Apollonius of Tyana, who was a Pythagorean philosopher at the time”¦
History states that Julia was in the thick with philosophers, as well as mathematicians , which usually meant (at this time) , that she was close to astrologers. This is an example of how Julia still embraced some of her ancient Syrian traditions and ways , this one in particular in regards to the Syrian way of wisdom.
At this time, astrology played an important role in a variety of ancient cultures. People paid attention to the influence that the stars and planetary signs had over their lives. Even Julia’s marriage is said to have been dictated by the stars. Sadly, there are no real records that show the prowess of Julia the philosopher. Her link to philosophy is showcased through the writing of scholars who note her association with the lot.
In 217 CE, Julia is said to have passed away of breast cancer, yet others believed that she starved herself to the point of death following the murder of her youngest son. Another belief is that Julia was killed by the order of the Emperor Maximus. However, the information that we know now about how food intake is affected during the final stages of breast cancer , there is a high chance that Julia died of breast cancer.
The Fate of Her Sons
The same year that the two brothers assumed power , Geta was killed by soldiers that followed the orders of Caracalla. This put Caracalla as the sole emperor, but it was hard for him to win over his mother as their relations became strained.
Despite her feelings, she still accompanied Caracalla during his campaign against the Parthian empire, which took place in 217. It was this journey that Caracalla was assassinated. Briefly, Macrinus would succeed and serve as emperor for 14 months. This marked a first, as Macrinus assumed power without having a membership into the senatorial class and was the first emperor of Moorish descent. Although some will say that Julia passed away from breast cancer, others are convinced it was the death of her second son that pushed Julia over the line.
All in all, Julia became one of the most recognizable historians during her lifetime. She also earned the reputation of becoming quite significant in terms of the power she exercised while taking her place at the throne during the Roman Empire. To learn more about this ancient figure , the “History of Rome” written by Dio Cassius depicts life during the 3rd century and how the details of her life intertwine with the ins and outs of Rome.