Septimius Severus

Septimius Severus

9 April 193 – 4 February 211
PredecessorDidius Julianus
SuccessorCaracalla and Geta
Born11 April 145, Leptis Magna, Africa
Died4 February 211 (aged 65), Eboracum, Britain
SpousePaccia Marciana
Julia Domna
FatherPublius Septimius Geta
MotherFulvia Pia

His Story

Septimius Severus was one of the most influential and powerful Roman emperors who reigned from 193 to 211 AD. He was also the first emperor who came from Africa, a province that was rich in culture and commerce. In this blog post, we will explore his life, achievements and legacy.

Septimius Severus was born on April 11, 145 or 146 AD in Leptis Magna, a prosperous city in Tripolitania (now Libya). His father was a wealthy landowner and his mother was a noblewoman of Punic origin. He had two cousins who were senators and consuls, which gave him access to the elite circles of Roman society. He received a good education and learned Latin, Greek and Punic languages.

He started his political career under the emperor Marcus Aurelius, who appointed him as a quaestor (financial officer) in 173 AD. He then rose through the ranks of the Roman administration, holding various offices such as praetor (judge), legate (governor) and consul (chief magistrate). He also distinguished himself as a military commander, leading campaigns against the barbarians on the Danube and the Parthians in the east.

In 187 AD, he married Julia Domna, a Syrian princess who was also a descendant of the priest-kings of Emesa. They had two sons, Caracalla and Geta, who would later become co-emperors with their father. Septimius Severus was loyal to the emperor Commodus, who rewarded him with the governorship of Upper Pannonia (now Austria and Hungary) in 191 AD.

However, after Commodus was assassinated on December 31, 192 AD, a civil war broke out among several claimants to the throne. Septimius Severus was one of them, being proclaimed emperor by his troops on April 13, 193 AD. He marched on Rome, where he defeated and killed Didius Julianus, who had bought the imperial title from the Praetorian Guard. He then eliminated his other rivals, Pescennius Niger in Syria and Clodius Albinus in Gaul, by 197 AD.

Septimius Severus consolidated his power by replacing the Praetorian Guard with his own loyal soldiers, executing many senators who had supported his enemies, and granting more privileges and pay to the army. He also declared himself the adoptive son of Marcus Aurelius and claimed descent from Nerva, two respected emperors of the past. He made his son Caracalla his co-emperor in 198 AD and his son Geta in 209 AD.

He embarked on several military campaigns to expand and secure the borders of the empire. He conquered Mesopotamia (now Iraq) from the Parthians in 197 AD, making it a new province. He also fought against the Garamantes in Africa, the Arabs in Arabia Petraea, and the Britons in Britain. He strengthened and fortified the frontier defenses, such as Hadrian’s Wall and Limes Arabicus.

He was also interested in culture and religion. He patronized arts and sciences, building monuments, temples and public works throughout the empire. He respected all religions and cults, especially those of his native Africa and his wife’s Syria. He promoted the worship of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), a solar deity that symbolized his power and victory.

He died on February 4, 211 AD in York (now England), where he had been campaigning against the Caledonians (now Scots). He was 65 years old and had ruled for almost 18 years. He was buried in Rome, in a magnificent mausoleum that he had built for himself and his family. His sons succeeded him as joint emperors, but they soon fell into conflict and Geta was murdered by Caracalla in 212 AD.

Septimius Severus left behind a strong and prosperous empire that he had enlarged and defended with skill and courage. He also founded a dynasty that lasted for over 40 years, until the death of his grandson Alexander Severus in 235 AD. He was revered by later emperors as an example of a successful ruler who combined military might with civil administration. He was also admired by many Africans as their first emperor who brought glory to their land.

Add Your Comment

Numiscurio © 2023. All Rights Reserved /  Powered by 3W WebServices
Privacy Policy / Terms of Use