28 January 198 – 8 April 217
PredecessorSeptimius Severus
Born4 April 188, Lugdunum, Gaul
Died8 April 217 (aged 29), On the road between Edessa and Carrhae
SpouseFulvia Plautilla
FatherSeptimius Severus
MotherJulia Domna

His Story

Caracalla was called Bassianus by birth. As emperor he called himself Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Caracalla was the eldest son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna and brother of Geta whom he positively hated.

He got the nickname from his habit of wearing a long Gallic cloak of that name.

In 196 AD, he was given the title CAESAR by his father and after his victory over Clodius Albinus it was clear that he would succeed him.

Already in 198 AD he took over the regency together with his father and accompanied him on campaigns to Gaul and Britannica. After the death of his father, he initially ruled together with his brother Geta, whom he murdered a short time later in Rome.

Relying entirely on the army, Caracalla established a reign of terror without equal.

In the mayhem that followed, Caracalla’s men went on a killing spree of anyone suspected of being a Geta sympathizer. In the massacre, it’s estimated up to 20.000 people lost their lives.

He undertook campaigns against the Alemanni and Caipen and bloodily suppressed a mutiny in Alexandria in 215 AD. In preparation for a new campaign of extermination against the people in the east, he was stabbed to death in 217 AD by his guard prefect Macrinus.

Two historically significant events were associated with the name Caracalla: the granting of civil rights to all free inhabitants of the Roman Empire, the so-called CONSTITUTlO ANTONINIANA, which had mainly fiscal reasons, and the construction of the famous thermal baths in Rome.

The emperor himself never entered these baths, as he had not stayed in Rome since the murder of his brother.

Caracalla married Plautilla, daughter of Plautianus, a notorious favorite of his father Severus, since 202 AD. When Plautianus fell into disgrace, the emperor drove the proud Plautilla into exile, where she was presumably murdered after the death of Severus.

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