Are there any known accounts of Caracalla's lovers or mistresses after
Fulvia Plautilla mentioned by ancient historians?

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Short Answer

For Caracalla (reigned 198 to 217), Cassius Dio, Herodian and the Historia Augusta do not make any mention of lovers, or of children resulting from any such liaisons other than the child resulting from his marriage to Fulvia Plautilla.

Given his character and position of power, Caracalla could have bedded any woman he desired. Evidently, these ancient historians considered none of his possible lovers (or any children by them) to be worth mentioning.

Of interest, though, is a story Herodian relates of a proposed marriage to a Parthian princess, but this was apparently simply a ruse to defeat the Parthians. Also, after Caracalla's death, there was a claim made by his scheming aunt that the emperor was the father of one of her grandchildren.


Caracalla did have a daughter with his wife Fulvia Plautilla. They were strangled on his orders after he had exiled them.

According to Herodian, Caracalla did propose marriage to the daughter of King Artabanus IV of Parthia, but this appears to have been nothing more than a trick to slaughter a lot of Parthians. At first, the marriage proposal was rejected but eventually the king agreed:

Artabanus [IV] was won over; addressing Caracalla as his future son-in-law, he promised him his daughter in marriage.

Herodian continues the story thus (I'm just quoting the 'highlights'):

Caracalla entered the barbarians' land as if it were already his....Caracalla pretended to be delighted by the barbarians' attentions....Abandoning their horses and laying aside their quivers and bows, the whole populace came together to drink and pour libations.....Then the signal was given, and Caracalla ordered his army to attack and massacre the spectators....Naturally they did not have their quivers and bows with them; what need for weapons at a wedding?

Also of interest was the plot by Caracalla's aunt Julia Maesa to proclaim one of her grandchildren emperor by claiming the boy was the son of Caracalla. Pat Southern, in 'The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine' (2001) relates the story thus:

Julia Maesa’s two daughters, Julia Soaemias and Julia Mammaea, each had a young son, and Maesa was determined that the elder boy should be Emperor. She persuaded the soldiers that the true father of Soaemias’ son Varius Avitus Bassianus was Caracalla

The senate accepted the truth of these claims and Caracalla's successor, Macrinus was driven from power. The boy, who was around 14 years old at his accession in 218, became the emperor Elagabalus. He has gone down in history as one of Rome's most controversial emperors and was assassinated when he was just 18.

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