Publia Fulvia Plautilla, 202-205 AD


ID Number: AC14-0403
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Publia Fulvia Plautilla, 202-205 AD
Country or State: Roman Empire
Head of State/Ruler: Caracalla (Full Name: Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus), 22nd Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign: 198–211 (with Severus), 209 – 4 February 211 (with Severus and Geta), February – December 211 (with Geta), December 211 – 8 April 217 (alone)
Currency: Denarius
Face Value:  
Subject/Theme: Publia Fulvia Plautilla (first and only wife of Caracalla)
Obverse: Plautilla Bust Right
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Pietas standing facing right and holding a child in left arm
Reverse Legend: PIETAS AVGG
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Silver (Ag)
Diameter: ~18.0 mm (irregular)
Weight: 3.1 grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: RIC 367; RSC 16
State of Conservation: Extremely Fine (XF)

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Publia Fulvia Plautilla, Fulvia Plautilla or Plautilla was a Roman Princess, briefly Roman Empress and the only wife to Roman Emperor Caracalla. Caracalla was her paternal second cousin.

Plautilla was born and raised in Rome. She belonged to the gens Fulvius of ancient Rome. The Fulvius family was of plebs origin, came from Tusculum, Italy and had been active in politics since the Roman Republic. Her mother was named Hortensia; her father was Gaius Fulvius Plautianus; the Commander of the Praetorian Guard, consul, maternal first cousin and close ally to Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (the father of Caracalla). She also had a brother, Gaius Fulvius Plautius Hortensianus.

Severus and Plautianus arranged for Plautilla and Caracalla to be married in a lavish ceremony in April 202. The forced marriage proved to be very unhappy; Caracalla despised her. According to Cassius Dio, Plautilla had a profligate character.

According to numismatic evidence, Plautilla bore Caracalla a daughter (whose name is unknown) in 204. In the same year, her father-in-law ordered the erection of the Arch of Septimius Severus, which honors Septimius Severus, Severus’ wife, Empress Julia Domna, Caracalla, Plautilla and her brother-in-law Publius Septimius Geta.

On January 22, 205 Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was executed for treachery and his family properties were confiscated. Plautilla and her daughter were exiled by Caracalla to Sicily and then to Lipari. They were treated very harshly, and were eventually strangled on Caracalla's orders after the death of Septimius Severus on February 4, 211.