Vibia Sabina (83–136/137) was a Roman Empress, wife and second cousin once removed to Roman Emperor Hadrian. She was the daughter of Matidia (niece of Roman Emperor Trajan) and suffect consul Lucius Vibius Sabinus.
Rome, Roman Empire
|Father||Lucius Vibius Sabinus|
Sabina married Hadrian in 100, at the empress Plotina's request. Hadrian succeeded her great uncle in 117. Sabina's mother Matidia (Hadrian's second cousin) was also fond of Hadrian and allowed him to marry her daughter.
Sabina accumulated more public honors in Rome and the provinces than any imperial woman had enjoyed since the first empress, Augustus’ wife Livia. Indeed, Sabina is the first woman whose image features on a regular and continuous series of coins minted at Rome. She was the most traveled and visible empress to date. In 128, she was awarded the title of Augusta.
Sabina is described in the poetry of Julia Balbilla, her companion, in a series of epigrams on the occasion of Hadrian's visit to Egypt in November of 130 CE. In the poems, Balbilla refers to Sabina as "beautiful" and "lovely."
Sabina is rumored to have had an affair with Suetonius, a historian who was Hadrian's secretary, in the year 119, which resulted in his dismissal as the Emperor's secretary. Meanwhile, her husband was thought to be more sexually interested in his favourite Antinous and other male lovers, and he and Sabina had no children.
Vibia Sabina died before her husband, some time in 136 or early 137. There is a strong ancient tradition that Hadrian treated his wife little better than a slave, and may have driven her to suicide. Hadrian's stone elegy for his wife "depicts the apotheosis, or divine ascent of Sabina in accordance with her posthumous deification on the order of Hadrian."
- Vibia Aurelia Sabina (170-died before 217), great-greatniece to Vibia Sabina
Nerva–Antonine family treeEdit
Nerva–Antonine family tree
Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree.
- Brennan, Corey (2018). Sabina Augusta. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190250997.
- Historia Augusta 11.3
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). . Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Opper, Thorsten. Hadrian: Empire and Conflict, Harvard University Press, 2008, p. 205. ISBN 0-674-03095-8
- Annelise Freisenbruch, Caesars’ Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire (London and New York: Free Press, 2010), 170.