|Empress of Rome|
Emblem of the Roman Empire
|First empress||Livia (27 BC)|
|Last empress||Maria (1439 AD)|
This is a list of women who were Roman Empress, i.e. the wife of the Roman Emperor, the ruler of the Roman Empire.
The Romans had no single term for the position: Latin and Greek titles such as Augusta (derived from the first emperor Augustus), Caesarissa or Kaisarissa (derived from Julius Caesar), basilissa (Greek βασίλισσα), the female form of basileus, and Autokratorissa, the female form of autocrat, were all used. In the third century, Augustae could also receive the titles of Mater castrorum (mother of the army camps) and Mater patriae (mother of the fatherland). Another title of the Byzantine Empresses was "Eusebestatē Augousta" (Most Pious Augusta); they were also called Kyria (Lady) or Despoina (δέσποινα), the female form of "despotes". Due to the practice of dividing the Roman empire under different Emperors, there were periods when there were more than one Roman empress. All the Roman empresses are listed with some co-empresses. Not all empresses were titled Augusta, and not all Augustas were empresses since the emperor's sister or mistress could bear that title (see also List of Augustae). Some Caesarissas and Despoinas that never were empresses are included, since the titles were quite similar to Empress; however, in the Eastern Roman Empire these titles are often more equivalent to the modern term "Crown Princess".
The Western Roman Empire produced no known empresses regnant, though the obscure Ulpia Severina probably ruled in her own right for some time after the death of her husband Aurelian. The Eastern Roman Empire had three official empresses regnant: Irene, Zoe and Theodora. There never was a male Emperor consort (i.e. a husband of an empress-regnant); however, some husband and wife couples, notably Justinian and Theodora, were simultaneous co-regnants.
Roman empress sections
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