Empress Faustina Minor as Juno Regina
Bronze sestertius of Marcus Aurelius, Rome 161-175 CE
Marcia Aurelia Ceionia Demetrias is known only from this inscription which honors her for her patronage to Anagnia, a town in Latium not far from Rome which was an imperial summer retreat during the 2nd century CE. While her inscribed statue base was preserved, the honorary statue that once sat on it was found in fragments and so discarded; a similarly damaged statue with a preserved base was discovered nearby, honoring Marcus Aurelius Sabinianus Euhodus for the same benefactions (compare the two citations for intersting differences). Although her gift was matched by a male family member, Demetrias's civic philanthropy is equivalent to that of other Roman patronesses on the site (see Patronae). Her fourfold name is unusual for a Roman woman, freeborn or freed (see names). It connects her to the imperial families (gens Aurelia and gens Ceionia) of the co-emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus (161-169 CE). Her Greek cognomen associates her with the city of that name, possibly her place of origin. Her epithet stolata femina, which first appears in inscriptions from the Severan period (193-235 CE), defines her as a matrona of local elevated socio-political or economic status. Her relationship to the equally honored imperial freedman Marcus Aurelius Sabinianus Euhodus is unstated in their dedications; traditionally thought to be her father, scholars now argue the was the husband of this Demetrias. Recent scholarship has questioned the identification by the scholar Theodor Mommsen of Demetrias with Marcia, the favored mistress of the emperor Commodus (180-192 CE) who was also his killer (see Cassius Dio, Roman History 73.4). For further reading, see in the Bibliography Flexsenhar III, Hemelrijk (2004, 2015, 2020), Salway (1994), Strong (2016).
|FEMINAE OB DEDICATIONEM|
|THERMARVM QUAS POST MVL-|
|TVM TEMPORIS AD PRISTINAM|
|FACIEM SVIS SVMPTIBVS RESTAV-|
|RAVERVNT S[enatus] P[opulus]Q[ue] ANAGNIN[us]|
|STATVAM PONENDAM CENSVERVNT|
|O[b] CUIUS DEDICATIONIM DEDIT DECVRI-|
|ONIBUS X [=denarios] V, SIVIR[is] X [=denarios] II, popul[o] X [=denarios] SING[ulos]|
|ET EPVLVM SUFFICIENS OMNIB[us].|
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