Seius Sallustius († 227 in Rome) was from 225 to 227 the father-in-law of the Roman emperor Severus Alexander (222-235). In 227 he was defeated in a power struggle with the emperor's mother and was executed.
Identity and name
The origin of Sallustius is unknown. All that has been handed down is that he came from a noble, presumably senatorial family, which apparently had no political influence. It has not yet been possible to identify this family.
The name of Alexander's father-in-law is not recorded in any contemporary source. The Historia Augusta , an unreliable late antique source, calls him Macrianus or Macrinus. There are no inscriptions. The gentile name Sallustius , like Seius, is only inferred from the name of his daughter. Another indication is the mention of a usurper named Sallustius by the late antique author Polemius Silvius . This Sallustius is probably Alexander's father-in-law; Polemius mistakenly puts his rebellion in the reign of Emperor Elagabal . In reality, Seius Sallustius was not a usurper because - as far as is known - he did not want to overthrow Alexander and did not claim the dignity of emperor for himself.
Gnaeus or Lucius were considered as the first name of Seius Sallustius , both without sufficient justification. Various possible forms of names have been considered in research: Sallustius Macrinus , Gnaeus Sallustius Macrinus , Lucius Seius , Lucius Seius Sallustius , Lucius Seius Herennius Sallustius Macrinus and Lucius Sallustius Herennius Seius .
According to one hypothesis, Alexander's father-in-law is identical or related to Quintus Sallustius Macrinianus, who was governor in Mauritania at the time of Emperor Septimius Severus , or to his son of the same name. This could explain the name given in the Historia Augusta .
Sallustius received imperial historical importance through the marriage of his daughter Sallustia Orbiana to the emperor Severus Alexander. The marriage was arranged by Julia Mamaea , the mother of the emperor. Presumably, Sallustius appeared harmless because of his lack of political weight and was therefore predestined in Mamaea's eyes to be the emperor's father-in-law.
When the wedding was celebrated in 225, Severus Alexander was seventeen years old. His wife received the title Augusta as empress .
The Historia Augusta , whose account of this period is legendary and has been classified as implausible by research, reports that Alexander's father-in-law Macrianus (or Macrinus) received the title Caesar . This would have designated him as the emperor's successor. According to an outdated hypothesis, this Macri (a) nus was the father of a first wife of the emperor before his marriage to Orbiana. According to the current state of research, however, it can be assumed that Orbiana was Alexander's only wife and that his father-in-law was not elevated to Caesar .
There was a power struggle between Julia Mamaea, who in fact continued to exercise power despite her son's majority, and the ambitious Sallustius. Hence the marriage did not last long; Mamaea forced its dissolution in 227. Sallustius sought support from the Praetorian Guard . With her help he hoped to assert himself and to oust Mamaea from her position as the de facto ruler of the state. However, this project found no support from the Praetorians. Sallustius was arrested and executed, and his daughter Orbiana was exiled to Africa.
The main source is the report of the contemporary historian Herodian , who does not mention the names of Alexander's father-in-law and wife and has embellished his description with literature. His interpretation is not shared by current research. He claims Alexander loved his wife and honored his father-in-law. Mamaea provoked the conflict out of jealousy because she did not grant her daughter-in-law the title of empress. She treated the young woman's father so haughtily that he fled to the Praetorian barracks. There he complained about Mamaea's unbearable presumption. She was upset about this and therefore ordered his execution. Alexander actually stood on the side of his wife and father-in-law, but did not dare to contradict his mother.
The author of the Historia Augusta offers a different representation of the conflict that has no source value. In doing so, he refers to a work by the Athenian historian Dexippus , which has now been lost , but this reference is not credible. According to the version of the Historia Augusta , Alexander made his father-in-law Caesar . The honored one later intended to insidiously murder the emperor. After his overturning plan was exposed, he was executed.
- Robert Lee Cleve: Severus Alexander and the Severan Women . University of California, Los Angeles 1982, pp. 246-252 (dissertation)
- Matthäus Heil : Severus Alexander and Orbiana. An imperial marriage . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , Vol. 135, 2001, pp. 233–248
- Robert Lee Cleve: Severus Alexander and the Severan Women , Los Angeles 1982, pp. 248, pp. 282f. Note 243; Matthäus Heil: Severus Alexander and Orbiana. An imperial marriage . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 135, 2001, pp. 233–248, here: 245f.
- Macrianus is the predominant form in the handwritten tradition.
- Polemius Silvius, Laterculus 1.31, ed. by Theodor Mommsen : Polemii Silvii laterculus a. ProzXLIX . In: Monumenta Germaniae Historica , Auctores antiqussimi Vol. 9, Berlin 1892, p. 521.
- Matthäus Heil: Severus Alexander and Orbiana. An imperial marriage . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 135, 2001, pp. 233–248, here: 238.
- Matthäus Heil: Severus Alexander and Orbiana. An imperial marriage . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 135, 2001, pp. 233–248, here: 239–244.
- Markus Handy: Die Severer und das Heer , Berlin 2009, p. 59f. However, Matthäus Heil: Severus Alexander and Orbiana are skeptical . An imperial marriage . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 135, 2001, pp. 233–248, here: 245.
- Robert Lee Cleve: Severus Alexander and the Severan Women , Los Angeles 1982, pp. 246-248.
- Historia Augusta , Severus Alexander 49.3.
- Tadeusz Kotula represented the hypothesis of an earlier marriage of the emperor: The two wives of Severus Alexander: resonance of a political split? In: Gerhard Wirth (ed.): Romanitas - Christianitas. Research on the history and literature of the Roman Empire. Dedicated to Johannes Straub on his 70th birthday on October 18, 1982 , Berlin 1982, pp. 293–307, here: 296–303. Kotula said that the first woman, not known by name, was African and was banished to Africa by Mamaea after the marriage was dissolved. Then Mamaea chose her son Orbiana as her new wife.
- Matthäus Heil: Severus Alexander and Orbiana. An imperial marriage . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 135, 2001, pp. 233–248, here: 237–244. Heil shows that an entry in the Feriale Duranum , which was previously considered evidence of the alleged elevation to Caesar , is not conclusive. Markus Handy expresses his approval: Die Severer und das Heer , Berlin 2009, p. 59.
- Robert Lee Cleve: Severus Alexander and the Severan Women , Los Angeles 1982, pp. 251f.
- Herodian 6: 1, 9f.
- François Paschoud : L'Histoire Auguste et Dexippe . In: Giorgio Bonamente, Noël Duval (ed.): Historiae Augustae Colloquium Parisinum , Macerata 1991, pp. 217–269, here: 233–237.
- Historia Augusta , Severus Alexander 49.3f. See the presentation in the Historia Augusta Elisabeth Wallinger: Die Frauen in der Historia Augusta , Vienna 1990, pp. 110–113.
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Father-in-law of the Roman emperor Severus Alexander|
|DATE OF BIRTH||2nd century|
|DATE OF DEATH||227|
|Place of death||Rome|