Lollia Paulina (died c. 49 CE) was a Roman Empress for six months in CE 38 as the third wife and consort of the Emperor Caligula. Outside of her short term as an Empress, she was a noble Roman woman who lived in the 1st century Roman Empire.
Lollia Paulina's father was Marcus Lollius Paulinus, who was a formal consul, and her mother was Volusia Saturnina, a sister of senator and consul Lucius Volusius Saturninus. Her maternal grandmother was a distant relative to Emperor Tiberius. Her father's maternal uncle was senator and consul Marcus Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus and paternal grandfather was the general Marcus Lollius Paulinus. Paulina's younger sister was Lollia Saturnina who was married to the consul Decimus Valerius Asiaticus and by whom she had a son. Paulina became rich after inheriting her relative's estates.
Paulina's first husband, Publius Memmius Regulus, was suffect consul in CE 31 and a Roman Governor. Tacitus describes him as a man of 'dignity, who was a person of influence and good name'. Regulus died in CE 62.
In CE 38, Paulina was with Regulus at the province he was governing when Caligula ordered her to leave her husband upon overhearing a remark about her grandmother's beauty — Paulina was forced to divorce Regulus and marry Caligula, becoming his third wife and Empress that same year. Caligula divorced her after six months of marriage, ostensibly because she was infertile, and forbade her to sleep with or associate with another man.
Sometime later, Paulina became a rival to Caligula's sister Agrippina the Younger and was considered a choice for fourth wife of Caligula's uncle, the Emperor Claudius, following the death of Claudius's third wife, the Empress Valeria Messalina. In CE 49, Agrippina, then married to Claudius, had Paulina charged with sorcery. Without a hearing, Paulina's property was confiscated and she was sent into exile.
Tacitus reported that Paulina was forced to commit suicide under the watch of a colonel of the Guards, and implied that this was done under Agrippina's orders.
Lollia Paulina is mentioned in Pliny the Elder's Natural History as an example of Roman ostentation, reportedly for wearing a large share of her inheritance to a dinner party in the form of jewelry worth some 40 million sesterces. Pliny's complaint was made in the context of Rome spending enormous amounts for importing India's 'useless' pepper and pearls, as worn by Lollia Paulina even around her shoes. A sepulchre was not erected in her honor until the reign of the Emperor Nero.
- Aut. E. Groag, A. Stein, L. Petersen - e.a. (edd.), Prosopographia Imperii Romani saeculi I, II et III, Berlin, 1933-x, L 308. (PIR2)
- Prof. Menachery, George, quoted in Kodungallur, 1987, 2000.
- Ancient Library 1904
- Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
- Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome
- Robert Graves, I, Claudius
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