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Plautilla

Wife of Caracalla

Plautilla was the daughter of Plautian, Septimius Severus' powerful and ambitious praetorian prefect. She was wed to the Roman emperor Caracalla in a marriage arranged by her father in A. D. 202 because he wanted to promote his ambitions even further by having a daughter who would someday be empress.

Plautilla did not love Caracalla and he reciprocated by spurning and neglecting his wife. Plautilla even went so far as to make the mistake of scorning the young emperor - to - be. At first, they barely tolerated each other but later, they would not even be seen in each other's presence.

Plautian, in the meantime, was becoming ever more openly ambitious and careless about hiding it. He arrogantly had statues erected in his honor and had his enemies hunted down and killed. He competed openly with Caracalla for power and influence to the point where Caracalla came to loathe the obnoxious praetorian prefect.

In 205, Plautian was accused of a plot to murder Severus and Caracalla. Caracalla would have slain the hated praetorian prefect with his own hand, but his father forbade him to do so. Instead, Caracalla ordered a guard to run him through, and this time Severus did nothing to stop his son.

Plautilla was exiled to the island of Lipari soon afterward. In 211, Septimius Severus died in the British garrison town of York. With the passing of Severus, any little protection Plautilla might have had against the violence and hatred of her former husband was mow gone. Caracalla was emperor and he shortly sent an assassin to murder Plautilla in A. D. 212


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