Flavia Domitilla (saint)

Flavia Domitilla was daughter of Domitilla the Younger by an unknown father. She married her cousin, the consul Titus Flavius Clemens.

In Roman literature

Quintilian [Quintilian, [http://honeyl.public.iastate.edu/quintilian/4/intro.html#2 "Institutio Oratoria," iv. 1, § 2] ] reports that he had been entrusted with the tutelage of two of Domitian's grandsons. These should be the children of this Domitilla and Clemens.

Suetonius states that Domitian designated Clemens' children his successors whilst they were still very young, before their parents' fall, and renamed them Titus and Vespasian. [Suetonius, [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Domitian*.html#15 "Life of Domitian", 12] ]

Dio reports [ [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/67*.html#14 "Epitome" of Cassius Dio, 67.4] ] ::Domitian slew, along with many others, Flavius Clemens the consul, although he was a cousin and married to Flavia Domitilla, who was also a relative of the emperor's. The charge brought against them both was that of atheism (αθεοτση), a charge on which many others who drifted into Jewish ways were condemned. Some of these were put to death, and the rest were at least deprived of their property. Domitilla was merely banished to Pandateria (Ventotene).

Suetonius also states that Domitilla's steward Stephanus was involved in the final, successful plot against Domitian. [ [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Domitian*.html#17 "Domitian", 17] ]

In Jewish tradition

According to the Talmud, both she and her husband converted to Judaism, after having contact with the great Rabbincal Sage Rabbi Akiva (Akiba ben Joseph). This may integrate with the tradition of her as a Christian (see below).

As a Christian saint

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Flavia Domitilla
birth_date=1st century
feast_day=May 12
venerated_in=Greek Orthodox Church
(formerly) Roman Catholic Church

death_place=Pontia or Pandateria
major_shrine=Santi Nereo e Achilleo

Flavia Domitilla is a saint in the Greek Orthodox Church, which celebrates her feast day on 12 May. She was for some time treated also as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, which honoured her on 12 May together with Saints Nereus and Achilleus, in whose church of Santi Nereo e Achilleo in Rome, her supposed relics were housed. Her name was not linked with theirs in the Tridentine Calendar of Pope Pius V. It was added in 1595, and was removed in 1969 on the grounds that the honours paid to her had no basis in tradition. ["Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana), p. 123]

Eusebius of Caesarea ["Historia Ecclesiae", III, 18; Chron. ad an. Abrahami, 2110] , the spurious acts of Nereus and Achilles, and St. Jerome [Ep., CVIII, 7.] represent Flavia Domitilla as the niece, not the wife of the consul Flavius Clemens, and say that her place of exile was Pontia, an island also situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea. These statements have given rise to the opinion that there were two Domitillas (aunt and niece) who were Christians, and latter generally referred to as Flavia Domitilla the Younger. Lightfoot has shown that this opinion, adopted by Tillemont and De Rossi and still maintained by many writers (among them Allard and Duchesne), is derived entirely from Eusebius who was led into this error by mistakes in transcription, or ambiguity of expression, in the sources which he used. He mentions only the conversion of Domitilla, saying that she was the daughter of Clemens' sister, and that she was deported to the island of Pontia (compare also his "Chronicle," year 98). Eusebius must refer to some other Flavia Domitilla.

When Domitian had decreed that in 30 days, the Senate would confirm an edict to kill all Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire, Domitilla convinced her husband to stand up for the Jews. When there were 5 days left until the edict would be voted on by the Senate, she convinced him to commit suicide in order to postpone the Senate vote, in hopes that God would bring a miracle in the extra time. Since Clemens was the Roman Consul, if he were to die, another Consul would have to be elected before the Senate could pass any decisions. It took a long time to elect a new Consul, so this was one way he could help save the Jews. Domitian executed Titus Flavius Clemens the next day. She had two sons by him, whom Domitian made his own heirs, but they died as young teenagers. The plan worked, and her steward Stephanus was able to assassinate Domitian before the decree was finalized. She was banished by her uncle Domitian to the island Pandataria, where she died mourning her husband.



*Heinrich Grätz, Die Jüdischen Proselyten im Römerreiche, pp. 28 et seq.
*idem, Gesch. 3d ed., iv. 403
*Lebrecht, in Geiger's Jüd. Zeit. xi. 273
*Berliner, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, p. 39
*Kraus, Roma Sotterranea, p. 41, Freiburg-in-Breisgau, 1873
*Reinach, Fontes Rerum, Judaicaram, i. 195
*Prosopographia Imperii Romani, ii. 81.

External links

* [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=198&letter=F&search=Flavia%20Domitilla Jewish Encyclopaedia]
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06098b.htm Catholic Encyclopaedia]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flavia Domitilla — may refer to: Domitilla the Elder, the wife of the Roman Emperor Vespasian Domitilla the Younger, Vespasian s only daughter Flavia Domitilla (saint), daughter of Domitilla the Younger This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the… …   Wikipedia

  • Flavia Domitilla — Sainte Domitille en compagnie de St Maur et St Grégoire (Pierre Paul Rubens) Flavia Domitilla ou sainte Domitille, est une membre de la famille impériale romaine des Flaviens, morte après 95, considérée comme une héroïne du judaïsme et vue comme… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Saint Flavia — may refer to:*Flavia Domitilla (saint) *Flavia (saint)ee also* Saint Placidus (martyr) …   Wikipedia

  • Domitilla — f Italian and English: name used by Roman Catholics in honour of a 2nd century saint, Flavia Domitilla, who was a member of the Roman imperial family. She was the great niece of the Emperor Domitian, and her name represents a diminutive form of… …   First names dictionary

  • Domitilla the Younger — Roman imperial dynasties Flavian dynasty Denarius depicting Flavia Domitilla the Younger Chronology …   Wikipedia

  • Flavia (name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Flavia imagesize=200 caption=The Ancient Roman name Flavia was used for Princess Flavia in The Prisoner of Zenda . pronunciation=FLAH vee uh gender = Female meaning = golden, blonde; the feminine form of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Flavia — (Géo Flaive) Flavia Domitilla, de la famille impériale des Flavii, épouse de saint Flavius Domitien, martyrisée sur ordre de son cousin l empereur Domitien, exilée à Ponza avec sa nièce Flavia, ainsi que saint Nérée et saint Achillée, puis… …   Dictionnaire des saints

  • Saint Clément — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Pour les articles homonymes, voir Clément et Saint Clément. Saint Clément désigne plusieurs saints chrétiens : Le plus connu est Clément de Rome,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius —     Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancratius     The commemoration of these four Roman saints is made by the Church on 12 May, in common, and all four… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla, and Pancras — Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Domitilla, and Saint Pancras Domitilla, with Saints Nereus and Achilleus, by Nicclò Circignani Honored in Roman Catholic Church Major shrine …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.