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Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
(/səˈvɪərəs/; Latin: Lucius Septimius Severus Augustus;[4] 11 April 145 – 4 February 211), also known as Severus, was Roman emperor
Roman emperor
from 193 to 211. Severus was born in Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna
in the Roman province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the cursus honorum—the customary succession of offices—under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax
in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors.[5] After deposing and killing the incumbent emperor Didius Julianus, Severus fought his rival claimants, the Roman generals Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Niger was defeated in 194 at the Battle of Issus in Cilicia.[5] Later that year Severus waged a short punitive campaign beyond the eastern frontier, annexing the Kingdom of Osroene as a new province.[6] Severus defeated Albinus three years later at the Battle of Lugdunum in Gaul.[7] After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged another brief, more successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon
in 197 and expanding the eastern frontier to the Tigris.[8] Furthermore, he enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus
Limes Arabicus
in Arabia Petraea.[9] In 202, he campaigned in Africa and Mauretania
against the Garamantes; capturing their capital Garama and expanding the Limes Tripolitanus
Limes Tripolitanus
along the southern frontier of the empire.[10] Late in his reign he travelled to Britain, strengthening Hadrian's Wall and reoccupying the Antonine Wall. In 208 he invaded Caledonia (modern Scotland), but his ambitions were cut short when he fell fatally ill in late 210.[11] The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
reached its greatest extent under his reign,[12][13] encompassing an area of 2 million square miles[12] (5.18 million square kilometers). Severus died in early 211 at Eboracum
(today York, England),[2] succeeded by his sons Caracalla
and Geta. With the succession of his sons, Severus founded the Severan dynasty, the last dynasty of the empire before the Crisis of the Third Century.


1 Early life

1.1 Family and education 1.2 Public service 1.3 Marriages

2 Rise to power 3 Emperor

3.1 War against Parthia 3.2 Relations with the Senate and People 3.3 Military reforms 3.4 Reputed persecution of Christians 3.5 Military activity

3.5.1 Africa (202) 3.5.2 Britain (208)

3.6 Death (211)

4 Assessment and legacy 5 Severan family tree 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Family and education[edit] Born on 11 April 145 at Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna
(in present-day Libya) as the son of Publius Septimius Geta
Publius Septimius Geta
and Fulvia Pia,[1] Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
came from a wealthy and distinguished family of equestrian rank. He had Italian Roman ancestry on his mother's side and descended from Punic
- and perhaps also Libyan - forebears on his father's side.[14] Severus' father, an obscure provincial, held no major political status, but he had two cousins, Publius Septimius Aper and Gaius Septimius Severus, who served as consuls under the emperor Antoninus Pius (reigned 138-161). His mother's ancestors had moved from Italy
to North Africa: they belonged to the gens Fulvia, an Italian patrician family that originated in Tusculum.[15] Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
had two siblings: an older brother, Publius Septimius Geta, and a younger sister, Septimia Octavilla. Severus's maternal cousin was Praetorian prefect and consul Gaius Fulvius Plautianus.[16] Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
grew up in the town of Leptis Magna. He spoke the local Punic
language fluently, but he was also educated in Latin
and Greek, which he spoke with a slight accent. Little else is known of the young Severus' education, but according to Cassius Dio the boy had been eager for more education than he had actually got. Presumably Severus received lessons in oratory: at age 17 he gave his first public speech.[17] Public service[edit]

Bronze head of Septimius Severus, from Asia Minor, c. 195-211 AD, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

Sometime around 162 Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
set out for Rome
seeking a public career. At the recommendation of his relative Gaius Septimius Severus, the emperor Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
(reigned 161-180) granted him entry into the senatorial ranks.[18] Membership of the senatorial order was a prerequisite to attain positions within the cursus honorum and to gain entry into the Roman Senate. Nevertheless, it appears that Severus' career during the 160s met with some difficulties.[19] It is likely that he served as a vigintivir in Rome, overseeing road maintenance in or near the city, and he may have appeared in court as an advocate.[19] At the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
he was the State Attorney (Advocatus fisci).[20] However, he omitted the military tribunate from the cursus honorum and had to delay his quaestorship until he had reached the required minimum age of 25.[19] To make matters worse, the Antonine Plague
Antonine Plague
swept through the capital in 166.[21] With his career at a halt, Severus decided to temporarily return to Leptis, where the climate was healthier.[21] According to the Historia Augusta, a usually unreliable source, he was prosecuted for adultery during this time but the case was ultimately dismissed. At the end of 169 Severus was of the required age to become a quaestor and journeyed back to Rome. On 5 December, he took office and was officially enrolled in the Roman Senate.[22] Between 170 and 180 the activities of Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
went largely unrecorded, in spite of the fact that he occupied an impressive number of posts in quick succession. The Antonine Plague
Antonine Plague
had severely thinned the senatorial ranks, and with capable men now in short supply, Severus' career advanced more steadily than it otherwise might have. After his first term as quaestor, he was ordered[by whom?] to serve a second term in the province of Baetica (in present-day southern Spain) under Publius Cornelius Anullinus,[23] but circumstances prevented Severus from taking up the appointment. The sudden death of his father necessitated a return to Leptis Magna to settle family affairs. Before he was able to leave Africa, Mauri tribesmen invaded southern Spain. Control of the province was handed over to the Emperor, while the Senate gained temporary control of Sardinia
as compensation. Thus, Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
spent the remainder of his second term as quaestor on the island of Sardinia.[24] In 173 Severus' kinsman Gaius Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
was appointed proconsul of the Africa Province. The elder Severus chose his cousin as one of his two legati pro praetore.[25] Following the end of this term, Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
travelled back to Rome, taking up office as tribune of the plebs, with the distinction of being candidatus of the emperor.[26] Marriages[edit]

Julia Domna, Glyptothek, Munich.

with Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Caracalla
and Geta

Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
was already in his early thirties at the time of his first marriage. In about 175, he married a woman from Leptis Magna named Paccia Marciana.[27] It is likely that he met her during his tenure as legate under his uncle. Marciana's name reveals that she was of Punic
or Libyan origin but virtually nothing else is known of her. Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
does not mention her in his autobiography, though he later commemorated her with statues when he became Emperor. The Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
claims that Marciana and Severus had two daughters but their existence is nowhere else attested. It appears that the marriage produced no surviving children, despite lasting for more than ten years.[26] Marciana died of natural causes around 186.[28] Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
was now in his forties and still childless. Eager to remarry, he began enquiring into the horoscopes of prospective brides. The Historia Augusta relates that he heard of a woman in Syria who had been foretold that she would marry a king, and therefore Severus sought her as his wife.[27] This woman was an Emesan Syrian
woman named Julia Domna. Her father, Julius Bassianus, descended from the royal house of Samsigeramus and Sohaemus, and served as a high priest to the local cult of the sun god Elagabal.[29] Domna's older sister was Julia Maesa, later grandmother to the future emperors Elagabalus
and Alexander Severus. Bassianus accepted Severus' marriage proposal in early 187, and the following summer he and Julia were married.[30] The marriage proved to be a happy one and Severus cherished his wife and her political opinions, since she was very well-read and keen on philosophy. Together, they had two sons, Lucius Septimius Bassianus (later nicknamed Caracalla, b. 4 April 188) and Publius Septimius Geta
Publius Septimius Geta
(b. 7 March 189).[30] Rise to power[edit]

The Severan Tondo, c. 199, Severus, Julia Domna, Caracalla
and Geta, whose face is erased. (Antikensammlung Berlin)

In 191 Severus was made governor of Pannonia Superior
Pannonia Superior
by Commodus
at the advice of Quintus Aemilius Laetus, prefect of the Praetorian Guard.[31] However, Commodus
was assassinated the following year. Pertinax
was acclaimed emperor, but he was then killed by the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
in early 193. In response to the murder of Pertinax, Severus was proclaimed Emperor at Carnuntum[32] by his legion XIV Gemina. Nearby legions, such as X Gemina at Vindobona, soon followed.[32] Having assembled an army, Severus hurried to Italy. Pertinax's successor in Rome
was Didius Julianus, who had bought the emperorship in an auction. Julianus was condemned to death by the Senate and killed,[33] and Severus took possession of Rome
without opposition. He executed Pertinax's murderers and dismissed the rest of the Praetorian Guard, filling its ranks with loyal troops from his own legions.[34] The legions of Syria, however, had proclaimed Pescennius Niger emperor. At the same time, Severus felt it was reasonable to offer Clodius Albinus, the powerful governor of Britannia
who had probably supported Didius against him, the rank of Caesar, which implied some claim to succession. With his rearguard safe, he moved to the East and crushed Niger's forces at the Battle of Issus. While campaigning against Byzantium
he ordered the covering of the tomb of his fellow Carthaginian
with fine marble.[35] The following year was devoted to suppressing Mesopotamia
and other Parthian vassals who had backed Niger. When afterwards Severus declared openly his son Caracalla
as successor, Albinus was hailed emperor by his troops and moved to Gallia. Severus, after a short stay in Rome, moved northwards to meet him. On 19 February 197, in the Battle of Lugdunum, with an army of about 75,000 men, mostly composed of Pannonian, Moesian and Dacian legions and most likely a number of Auxiliaries, Severus defeated and killed Clodius Albinus, securing his full control over the Empire. Emperor[edit] War against Parthia[edit]

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 210 after the conquests of Severus. Depicted is Roman territory (purple) and Roman dependencies (pink).

bust of Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
at Musei Capitolini, Rome.

minted in 193 by Septimius Severus, to celebrate XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix, the legion that proclaimed him emperor.

In early 197 Severus departed Rome
and travelled to the east by sea. He embarked at Brundisium
and probably landed at the port of Aegeae in Cilicia,[36] travelling to Syria by land. He immediately gathered his army and crossed the Euphrates.[37] Abgar IX, King of Osroene
but essentially only the ruler of Edessa since the annexation of his kingdom as a Roman province, handed over his children as hostages and assisted Severus' expedition by providing archers.[38] At this time King Khosrov I of Armenia, also sent hostages, money and gifts.[39] Severus travelled onwards to Nisibis, which his general Julius Laetus had prevented from falling into enemy hands.[40] Afterwards, Severus returned to Syria for a time to plan a much more ambitious campaign. The following year he led another, more successful campaign against the Parthian Empire, reportedly in retaliation for the support given to Pescennius Niger. The Parthian royal city of Ctesiphon
was sacked by the legions and the northern half of Mesopotamia
was annexed to the Empire. However, like Trajan
nearly a century before, he was unable to capture the fortress of Hatra
even after two lengthy sieges. During his time in the east he also expanded the Limes Arabicus, building new fortifications in the Arabian Desert
Arabian Desert
from Basie to Dumatha.[9] Relations with the Senate and People[edit] Severus' relations with the Senate were never good. He was unpopular with them from the outset, having seized power with the help of the military, and he returned the sentiment. Severus ordered the execution of a large number of Senators on charges of corruption and conspiracy against him and replaced them with his own favourites. Although his actions turned Rome
more into a military dictatorship, he was popular with the citizens of Rome, having stamped out the rampant corruption of Commodus's reign. When he returned from his victory over the Parthians, he erected the Arch of Septimius Severus
Arch of Septimius Severus
in Rome. According to Cassius Dio,[41] however, after 197 Severus fell heavily under the influence of his Praetorian Prefect, Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, who came to have almost total control of most branches of the imperial administration. Plautianus's daughter, Fulvia Plautilla, was married to Severus's son, Caracalla. Plautianus's excessive power came to an end in 204, when he was denounced by the Emperor's dying brother. In January 205, Caracalla
accused Plautianus for plotting to kill him and Severus. The powerful prefect was executed while he was trying to defend his case in front of the two emperors.[42] One of the two following praefecti was the famous jurist Aemilius Papinianus. However, executions of senators did not stop: Cassius Dio records that many of them were put to death, some after being formally tried.[43] Military reforms[edit] Upon his arrival at Rome
in 193, Severus discharged the Praetorian Guard,[34] which had murdered Pertinax
and had then auctioned the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
to Didius Julianus. Its members were stripped of their ceremonial armour and forbidden to come within 100 miles of the city on pain of death.[44] Severus replaced the old guard with 10 new cohorts recruited from veterans of his Danubian legions.[45] Around 197,[46] he increased the number of legions from 30 to 33, with the introduction of the three new legions I, II, and III Parthica, and he garrisoned Legio II Parthica at Albanum, only 20 kilometers from Rome.[45] He gave his soldiers a donative of a thousand sesterces (250 denarii) each,[47] and raised the annual wage for a soldier in the legions from 300 to 400 denarii.[48] Reputed persecution of Christians[edit] At the beginning of Severus' reign, Trajan's policy toward the Christians was still valid, that is, Christians were only to be punished if they refused to worship the emperor and the gods, but they were not to be sought out.[49] Therefore, persecution was inconsistent, local, and sporadic. Faced with internal dissidence and external threats, Severus felt the need to promote religious harmony by promoting syncretism,[50] and by possibly issuing an edict[51] that punished conversion to Judaism and Christianity.[52] A number of persecutions of Christians occurred in the Roman Empire during the reign of Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
and are traditionally attributed to Severus by the early Christian community.[53] This is based on the decree mentioned in the Augustan History,[51] an unreliable mix of fact and fiction.[54] Early church historian Eusebius
describes Severus as a persecutor,[55] but the Christian apologist Tertullian states that Severus was well disposed towards Christians,[56] employed a Christian as his personal physician and had personally intervened to save several high-born Christians known to him from "the mob".[54] Eusebius' description of Severus as a persecutor likely derives merely from the fact that numerous persecutions occurred during his reign, including those known in the Roman martyrology as the martyrs of Madaura and Perpetua and Felicity
Perpetua and Felicity
in the Roman province of Africa, but these were probably as the result of local persecutions rather than empire-wide actions or decrees by Severus.[57] Military activity[edit] Africa (202)[edit]

The expansion of the African frontier during the reign of Severus (medium tan). Severus even briefly held a military presence in Garama in 203 (light tan).

In late 202 Severus launched a campaign in the province of Africa. The legate of Legio III Augusta
Legio III Augusta
Quintus Anicius Faustus had been fighting against the Garamantes
along the Limes Tripolitanus
Limes Tripolitanus
for five years, capturing several settlements from the enemy such as Cydamus, Gholaia, Garbia, and their capital Garama – over 600 km south of Leptis Magna.[58] During this time the province of Numidia
was also enlarged: the empire annexed the settlements of Vescera, Castellum Dimmidi, Gemellae, Thabudeos, Thubunae and Zabi.[59] By 203 the entire southern frontier of Roman Africa had been dramatically expanded and re-fortified. Desert nomads could no longer safely raid the region's interior and escape back into the Sahara. Britain (208)[edit] In 208 Severus travelled to Britain with the intention of conquering Caledonia. Modern archaeological discoveries have made the scope and direction of his northern campaign better understood.[60] Severus probably arrived in Britain possessing an army over 40,000, considering some of the camps constructed during his campaign could house this number.[61] He strengthened Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
and reconquered the Southern Uplands
Southern Uplands
up to the Antonine Wall, which was also enhanced. Severus built a 165-acre camp south of the Antonine Wall
Antonine Wall
at Trimontium, probably assembling his forces there. Severus then thrust north with his army across the wall into enemy territory. Retracing the steps of Agricola of over a century previous, Severus rebuilt and garrisoned many abandoned Roman forts along the east coast, including Carpow, which could house up to 40,000 soldiers.

ring with portraits of Septimus Severus and Julia Domna, a testimony to Indo-Roman relations
Indo-Roman relations
of the period.

An interesting story from around this time is when Severus' wife, Julia Domna, criticised the sexual morals of the Caledonian women, the wife of Caledonian chief Argentocoxos replied: "We fulfill the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest".[62] Cassius Dio's account of the invasion reads "Severus, accordingly, desiring to subjugate the whole of it, invaded Caledonia. But as he advanced through the country he experienced countless hardships in cutting down the forests, levelling the heights, filling up the swamps, and bridging the rivers; but he fought no battle and beheld no enemy in battle array. The enemy purposely put sheep and cattle in front of the soldiers for them to seize, in order that they might be lured on still further until they were worn out; for in fact the water caused great suffering to the Romans, and when they became scattered, they would be attacked. Then, unable to walk, they would be slain by their own men, in order to avoid capture, so that a full fifty thousand died. But Severus did not desist until he approached the extremity of the island. Here he observed most accurately the variation of the sun's motion and the length of the days and the nights in summer and winter respectively. Having thus been conveyed through practically the whole of the hostile country (for he actually was conveyed in a covered litter most of the way, on account of his infirmity), he returned to the friendly portion, after he had forced the Britons to come to terms, on the condition that they should abandon a large part of their territory."[63] By 210, Severus' campaigning had made significant gains, despite Caledonian guerrilla tactics and purportedly heavy Roman casualties. The Caledonians sued for peace, which Severus granted on condition they relinquish control of the Central Lowlands.[60][64] This is evidenced by extensive Severan-era fortifications in the Central Lowlands.[65] The Caledonians, short on supplies and feeling their position becoming desperate, revolted later that year along with the Maeatae.[66] Severus prepared for another protracted campaign within Caledonia. He was now intent on exterminating the Caledonians, telling his soldiers: "Let no-one escape sheer destruction, no-one our hands, not even the babe in the womb of the mother, if it be male; let it nevertheless not escape sheer destruction."[67] Death (211)[edit] Severus' campaign was cut short when he fell fatally ill.[68] He withdrew to Eboracum
and died there in 211. Although his son Caracalla continued campaigning the following year, he soon settled for peace. The Romans never campaigned deep into Caledonia
again: they soon withdrew south permanently to Hadrian's Wall.[69] He is famously said to have given the advice to his sons: "Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men" before he died at Eboracum
(York) on 4 February 211.[70] Upon his death in 211, Severus was deified by the Senate and succeeded by his sons, Caracalla
and Geta, who were advised by his wife Julia Domna.[71] Severus was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian
in Rome. His remains are now lost[citation needed]. Assessment and legacy[edit]

Part of the Imperial Palace complex on the Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
overlooking the Circus Maximus.

Though his military expenditure was costly to the empire, Severus was a strong and able ruler. According to Gibbon, "his daring ambition was never diverted from its steady course by the allurements of pleasure, the apprehension of danger, or the feelings of humanity."[72] His enlargement of the Limes Tripolitanus
Limes Tripolitanus
secured Africa, the agricultural base of the empire where he was born.[73] His victory over the Parthian Empire
Parthian Empire
was for a time decisive, securing Nisibis
and Singara for the Empire and establishing a status quo for Roman dominance in the region until 251.[74] His policy of an expanded and better-rewarded army was criticized by his contemporaries Cassius Dio[75] and Herodianus:[76] in particular, they pointed out the increasing burden (in the form of taxes and services) the civilian population had to bear to maintain the new army. In order to maintain his enlarged military he debased the Roman currency drastically. Upon his accession he decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 81.5% to 78.5%. However, the silver weight actually increased, rising from 2.40 grams to 2.46 grams. Nevertheless, the following year he debased the denarius substantially because of rising military expenditures. The silver purity decreased from 78.5% to 64.5% — the silver weight dropping from 2.46 grams to 1.98 grams. In 196 he reduced the purity and silver weight of the denarius again, to 54% and 1.82 grams respectively.[77] Severus' currency debasement was the largest since the reign of Nero, compromising the long-term strength of the economy.[78] Severus was also distinguished for his buildings. Apart from the triumphal arch in the Roman Forum carrying his full name, he also built the Septizodium
in Rome
and enriched greatly his native city of Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna
(including another triumphal arch on the occasion of his visit of 203). The greater part of the Flavian Palace
Flavian Palace
overlooking the Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus
was undertaken in his reign. Severan family tree[edit]

v t e

Severan family tree

Septimius Macer

Gaius Claudius
Septimius Aper

Lucius Septimius Severus

Publius Septimius Aper

Gaius Septimius Aper

Fulvia Pia

Publius Septimius Geta


Julius Bassianus

Publius Septimius Geta

Septimia Octavilla

Paccia Marciana (1)

Septimius Severus r. (193–211)[i]

Julia Domna (2)

Julia Maesa

Julius Avitus

Fulvia Plautilla

Caracalla r. (197–217)[ii]

Geta r. (209–211)[iii]

Julia Soaemias

Sextus Varius Marcellus

Julia Mamaea

Gessius Marcianus[iv] (2)

Julia Cornelia Paula
Julia Cornelia Paula

Aquilia Severa
Aquilia Severa
(2 and 4)

Elagabalus r. (218–222)[v]

Annia Faustina
Annia Faustina

Sallustia Orbiana

Severus Alexander r. (222–235)[vi]

(1) = 1st spouse (2) = 2nd spouse (3) = 3rd spouse (4) = 4th spouse Dark green indicates an emperor of the Severan dynasty

Notes: Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree.

^ Birley, Anthony R. (1999). Septimius Severus: The African Emperor. London: Routledge. p. i.  ^ Burrell, Barbara (2004). Neokoroi: Greek Cities and Roman Emperors. p. 216.  ^ Burrell, Barbara (2004). Neokoroi: Greek Cities and Roman Emperors. p. 247.  ^ Birley, Anthony R. (1999). Septimius Severus: The African Emperor. London: Routledge. p. 217.  ^ Gibbon, Edward; Smith, William (1889). The Student's Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. p. 45.  ^ Gibbon, Edward; Smith, William (1889). The Student's Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. p. 47. 


Birley, Anthony R. (1999). Septimius Severus: The African Emperor. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415165911.  Gibbon, Edward; Smith, William (1889). The Student's Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 

See also[edit]

Bulla Felix Septimia (gens) Arcus Argentariorum
Arcus Argentariorum
dedicated by the money changers of Rome
to the Severan family.


^ a b Birley (1999), p. 1. ^ a b Birley (1999), p. 187. ^ Paget, James Carleton, Jews, Christians and Jewish Christians in Antiquity, Mohr Siebeck, 2010, p. 398; Goodman, Martin, Rome
& Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilisations, Penguin, 2008, p. 505. ^ In Classical Latin, Severus' name would be inscribed as LVCIVS SEPTIMIVS SEVERVS AVGVSTVS. ^ a b Birley (1999), p. 113. ^ Birley (1999), p. 115. ^ Birley (1999), p. 125. ^ Birley (1999), p. 130. ^ a b Birley (1999), p. 134. ^ Birley (1999), p. 153. ^ Birley (1999), pp. 170–187. ^ a b David L. Kennedy, Derrick Riley (2012), Rome's Desert Frontiers, page 13, Routledge ^ R.J. van der Spek, Lukas De Blois (2008), An Introduction to the Ancient World, page 272, Routledge ^ Birley (1999), pp. 212–213. ^ Adam, Alexander, Classical biography,Google eBook, p.182: FULVIUS, the name of a "gens" which originally came from Tusculum
(Cic. Planc. 8). ^ Birley (1999), pp. 216–217. ^ Birley (1999), pp. 34–35. ^ Birley (1999), p. 39. ^ a b c Birley (1999), p. 40. ^ Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London 1870, v. 3, pg. 117. ^ a b Birley (1999), p. 45. ^ Birley (1999), p. 46. ^ Birley (1999), p. 49. ^ Birley (1999), p. 50. ^ Birley (1999), p. 51. ^ a b Birley (1999), p. 52. ^ a b Birley (1999), p. 71. ^ Birley (1999), p. 75. ^ Birley (1999), p. 72. ^ a b Birley (1999), pp. 76–77. ^ Bunson, Matthew (2002). Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. p. 300.  ^ a b Campbell 1994, p. 40-41. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, LXXIV.17.4 ^ a b Cassius Dio, Roman History, LXXV.1.1-2 ^ Gabriel, Richard A. Hannibal: The Military Biography of Rome's Greatest Enemy, Potomac Books, Inc., 2011 ISBN 1-59797-766-7, Google books ^ Hasebroek (1921), p. 111. ^ "Life of Septimius Severus" in Historia Augusta, 16.1. ^ Birley (1999), p. 129. ^ Hovannisian, The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times, Volume I: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century, p.71 ^ Prosopographia Imperii Romani L 69. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 76, Sections 14 and 15. ^ Birley (1999), pp. 161-162. ^ Birley (1999), p.165. ^ Birley (1999), p. 103. ^ a b Lesley Adkins and Roy A. Adkins, Both Professional Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome, p. 68 ^ George Ronald Watson, The Roman Soldier, p.23 ^ Septimius Severus:Legionary Denarius ^ Kenneth W. Harl, Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, Part 700, p.216 ^ González 2010, p. 97. ^ González 2010, p. 97-98. ^ a b Historia Augusta, Septimius Severus, 17.1 ^ Tabbernee 2007, p. 182-183. ^ Tabbernee 2007, p. 182. ^ a b Tabbernee 2007, p. 184. ^ Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, VI.1.1 ^ (in Latin) Tertullian, Ad Scapulam, IV.5-6 ^ Tabbernee 2007, p. 185. ^ Birley (1999), p. 153. ^ Birley (1999), p. 147. ^ a b Birley, (1999) p. 180. ^ W.S. Hanson "Roman campaigns north of the Forth-Clyde isthmus: the evidence of the temporary camps" ^ Cassius Dio "Roman History: Epitome of Book LXXVII" University of Chicago. Retrieved 24 July 2008. ^ " Cassius Dio — Epitome of Book 77". Penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-07.  ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History: Epitome of Book LXXVII.13. ^ Birley (1999) pp. 180–82. ^ Birley (1999) p. 186. ^ Dio Cassius (Xiphilinus) 'Romaika' Epitome of Book LXXVI Chapter 15. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 77, Sections 11–15. ^ Birley (1999), pp. 170–187. ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 77, Section 15. ^ "Life of Septimius Severus" in Historia Augusta, Section 19. ^ Gibbon, Edward (1776). The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. p. 96.  ^ Kenneth D. Matthews, Jr., Cities in the Sand. The Roman Background of Tripolitania, 1957 ^ Erdkamp, Paul (2011). A Companion to the Roman Army. p. 251.  ^ Cassius Dio, Roman History LXXV.2.3 ^ Herodianus, History of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
III.9.2-3 ^ Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate" ^ Kenneth W. Harl, Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, Part 700, p.126


Birley, Anthony R. (1999) [1971]. Septimius Severus: The African Emperor. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415165911.  Grant, Michael (1985). The Roman Emperors. ISBN 0760700915.  Grant, Michael (1996). The Severans: The Changed Roman Empire. ISBN 0415127726.  Settipani, Christian (2000). Continuité Gentilice et Continuité Familiale dans les Familles Sénatoriales Romaines à l'Époque Impériale: Mythe et Réalité. Oxford: Unit for Prosographical Research, Linacre College, University of Oxford. ISBN 9781900934022.  Daguet-Gagey, Anne (2000). Septime Sévère: Rome, l'Afrique et l'Orient. Biographie Payot (in French). Paris: Payot. ISBN 9782228893367.  Cooley, Alison (2007). "Septimius Severus: The Augustan Emperor". In Swain, Simon; Harrison, Stephen; Elsner, Jas. Severan Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521859820.  Hasebroek, Johannes (1921). Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Kaisers Septimius Severus. Heidelberg: C Winter. OCLC 4153259.  Hovannisian, R.G. (2004) [1997]. The Armenian People From Ancient to Modern Times. 1: The Dynastic Periods: From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781403964212.  Lichtenberger, Achim (2011). Severus Pius Augustus: Studien zur sakralen Repräsentation und Rezeption der Herrschaft des Septimius Severus und seiner Familie (193–211 n. chr.). Impact of Empire. 14. Leiden; Boston: Brill. ISBN 9789004201927.  González, Justo L. (2010). The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. 1.  Tabbernee, William (2007). Fake Prophecy and Polluted Sacraments: Ecclesiastical and Imperial Reactions to Montanism (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae). Brill. ISBN 978-9004158191.  Campbell, Brian (1994). The Roman Army, 31 BC - AD 337: A Sourcebook. 

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Life of Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
( Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
at LacusCurtius: Latin text and English translation) Books 74, 75, 76, and 77 of Dio Cassius, covering the rise to power and reign of Septimius Severus Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
on Ancient History Encyclopedia Book 3 of Herodian De Imperatoribus Romanis Online encyclopedia of Roman Emperors Arch of Septimius Severus
Arch of Septimius Severus
in Rome Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
in Scotland Arch of Septimius Severus
Arch of Septimius Severus
in Lepcis Magna Coins issued by Septimius Severus  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Septimius Severus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  THE LIFE AND REIGN OF THE EMPEROR LUCIUS SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS, in BTM Format

Septimius Severus Severan dynasty Born: 11 April 146 Died: 4 February 211

Regnal titles

Preceded by Didius Julianus Roman Emperor 193–211 with Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger
(rival 193–194), Clodius Albinus
Clodius Albinus
(rival 193–197), Caracalla
(198–211), Publius Septimius Geta
Publius Septimius Geta
(209–211) Succeeded by Caracalla, Publius Septimius Geta

Political offices

Preceded by Lucius Fabius Cilo, and Marcus Silius Messala Consul of the Roman Empire 194 with Clodius Albinus Succeeded by Publius Julius Scapula Tertullus Priscus, and Quintus Tineius Clemens

Preceded by Annius Fabianus, and Marcus Nonius Arrius Mucianus Consul of the Roman Empire 202 with Caracalla Succeeded by Titus
Murrenius Severus, and Gaius Cassius Regallianus as Suffect consuls

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

(whole empire) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) with Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
I Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
and Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 36952961 LCCN: n82000920 ISNI: 0000 0001 0830 3370 GND: 118764659 SELIBR: 294570 SUDOC: 029794846 BNF: cb12134416p (data) ULAN: 500115