People - Ancient Rome: Septimius Severus
Born Lucius Septimius Severus, he was Roman Emperor from 193 to 211.
Septimius Severus in Roman Biography
Severus, [Fr. Severe, sa'vaiR',j(Lucius Septimius,)
a Roman emperor, born at Leptis, in Africa, in 146 A.D.
He was educated at Rome, and, after filling various
offices, became proconsul of Africa. While commander
of the Pannonian legions in Germany, he heard of the
death of Commodus, upon which he hastened to Rome,
and was proclaimed emperor by the army in 193 A.D.
in opposition to Didius Julianus, who was soon after
assassinated. He next marched against Pescennius
Niger, commander of the Syrian legions, who had lately
been proclaimed emperor by his troops. He defeated
Niger at Issus or Cyzicus in 194, after which he waged
war with success against the Parthians. In 197 he
gained a decisive victory over Albinus (a rival claimant
of the throne) near Lyons. He renewed the war against
Parthia in 198, defeated the Parthians, and took Ctesiphon,
their capital. In 208 he led an army to Britain
to subdue the Caledonians, and built a rampart, called
the wall of Severus, extending across the island. He
died at York in 211 A.D., leaving two sons, Caracalla
See Dion Cassius,
History of Rome." books xxiv.-xxvi. :
Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;" "Nouvelle
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Septimius Severus in Wikipedia
Lucius Septimius Severus (11 April 145 – 4 February 211), commonly known as Septimius Severus or Severus, was Roman Emperor from 193 to 211.
Severus was born in Leptis Magna in the province of Africa. As a young man, Severus advanced through the customary succession of offices
under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax in 193 during the so-called Year
of the Five Emperors. After deposing the incumbent emperor Didius Julianus in a bloodless coup, Severus fought his rival claimants, the
generals Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Niger was defeated in 194 at the Battle of Issus, and Albinus three years later at the Battle
After solidifying his rule, Severus waged a brief war against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 197. In 202 he
campaigned in Africa against the Garamantes, briefly taking their capital Garama and expanding the southern frontier of the empire
radically. Late in his reign he fought the Picts in Caledonia and strengthened Hadrian's Wall in Britain. Severus died in 211 at Eboracum,
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...
Sevērus, Lucius Septimius in Harpers Dictionary
A Roman emperor (A.D. 193-211), who was born 146, near Leptis in Africa. After holding various important military commands under M.
Aurelius and Commodus, he was at length appointed commander-in-chief of the army in Pannonia and Illyria. By this army he was
proclaimed emperor after the death of Pertinax (A.D. 193). He forthwith marched upon Rome, where Iulianus had been made emperor by
the Praetorian troops. Iulianus was put to death upon his arrival before the city. (See Iulianus.) Severus then turned his arms
against Pescennius Niger, who had been saluted emperor by the Eastern legions. The struggle was brought to a close by a decisive
battle near Issus, in which Niger was defeated by Severus, and, having been shortly afterwards taken prisoner, was put to death by
order of the latter (194 A.D.). Severus then laid siege to Byzantium, which refused to submit to him even after the death of Niger,
and which was not taken till 196. The city was treated with great severity by Severus. Its walls were levelled with the earth, its
soldiers and magistrates put to death, and the town itself, deprived of all its political privileges, made over to the Perinthians.
During the continuance of this siege, Severus had crossed the Euphrates (195 A.D.) and subdued the Mesopotamian Arabians. He
returned to Italy in 196, and in the same year proceeded to Gaul to oppose Albinus, who had been proclaimed emperor by the troops
in that country. Albinus was defeated and slain in a terrible battle fought near Lyons on the 19th of February, 197. Severus
returned to Rome in the same year; but after remaining a short time in the capital, he set out for the East in order to repel the
invasion of the Parthians, who were ravaging Mesopotamia. He crossed the Euphrates early in 198, and commenced a series of
operations which were attended with brilliant results. Seleucia and Babylon were evacuated by the enemy, and Ctesiphon was taken
and plundered after a short siege. After spending three years in the East, and visiting Arabia, Palestine, and Egypt, Severus
returned to Rome in 202. For the next seven years he remained tranquilly at Rome, but in 208 he went to Britain with his sons
Caracalla and Geta. Here he carried on war against the Caledonians, and erected the celebrated wall, which bore his name, from the
Solway to the mouth of the Tyne. After remaining two years in Britain, he died at Eboracum (York) on the 4th of February, 211, in
the sixty-fifth year of his age and the eighteenth of his reign. His life is written by Spartianus. See Duruy, Septime - Sévère
(Paris, 1878); and Hassebrank, Kaiser Septimius Severus, 2 pts. (1890-91).
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