Empress of Rome
Born: c.149, Rome, Roman Empire (Present-day Rome, Italy)
Died: c.181, Capri, Roman Empire (Present-day Capri, Italy)
Full Name: Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla
Lucilla was Emperor Commodus’s Elder Sister. She was also the daughter of Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger, and the wife of Lucius Verus. In 161, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus became co-emperors of the Roman Empire. Soon after, Lucius and Lucilla married, making Lucilla empress.
Lucius and Lucilla married when he was around thirty-three and she was between fourteen and sixteen years old. Also, legally speaking, he was her uncle but not biologically related. Roman family relationships among the elite were really confusing to say the least.
In 169, Lucius Verus died, leaving Marcus Aurelius the sole Emperor. Then, in 180, Marcus Aurelius also died. Commodus ascended to the throne after Marcus’s death.
By this time, Lucilla had remarried. Lucilla’s second husband was Tiberius Claudius Pompeianus. She had a daughter with her first husband and a son with her second (though a second source states Lucilla had three children with her first husband Lucius, two of whom died in infancy).
Lucilla was accused of trying to kill her brother Commodus after he ascended to the throne. Lucilla was sent into exile where she was later executed alongside her daughter and cousin, both co-conspirators.
In the 2000 film Gladiator, the love interest of Russell Crowe’s character is loosely based on Lucilla's real life story; emphasis on loosely.