Julia Domna was a member of the Severan dynasty of the Roman Empire. Empress and wife of Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus and mother of Emperors Geta and Caracalla, Julia was among the most important women ever to exercise power behind the throne in the Roman Empire.
Julia was from a Syrian family, thought to be of Arab descent, of the city of Emesa. She was the youngest daughter of the high-priest Gaius Julius Bassianus and her eldest sister was Julia Maesa. Her ancestors were Priest Kings of the famous temple of Baʿal. The family had enormous wealth and was promoted to Roman senatorial aristocracy.
In the late 180s, Julia married future Emperor Septimius Severus, usually considered to be of Punic background. The marriage proved to be a happy one and Severus cherished his wife and her political opinions, since she was very well read and keen on philosophy. Together, they had two sons, Lucius Septimius Bassianus (Caracalla) in 188 and Publius Septimius Geta in 189.