Septimius Severus: Father of The Severan Dynasty

Roman Emperor Septimius Severus Roman Denarius


This article will focus on the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus. He became Emperor in the year 193 CE. He was the Father of Caracalla and Geta as well as the Husband of Julia Domna. This article will cover his early life, How he became Emperor of Rome, his decisions and character, The Severan Dynasty, his death, and a little bit about the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus denarius.

Early Life

Septimius Severus was born on the 11th of April, 145 CE. He was born at Leptis Magna, which was located in what is modern-day Libya. He would spend most of his early years in Leptis Magna. This led to him being fluent in Punic, Latin, and Greek.

Because of where he was born, Septimius had no political standing within the Empire. He would have to work hard in order to climb the ranks of Roman political power. Even though his family was considered wealthy and influential, this didn’t help Septimius Severus as he made his long political climb to Emperor of Rome.


Roman Emperor Septimius Severus

Septimius started his public career in the year 162 CE. Over the years, his career advanced through the standard offices of a public official. During the last year of Emperor Commodus’s reign, Septimius Severus was appointed governor of what would include Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and Slovenia.

After The assassination of Commodus and the Praetorian Guards’ assassination of Pertinax, this started what would become known as the “Year of the Five Emperors”. During this time, Septimius’s legion called for him to be emperor, and two other legions from the area joined in with Septimius’s legion. With this support, Septimius Severus made his way to Rome to claim the title of Emperor.


Decision and Character

Septimius Severus had good relations with the Empire’s citizens throughout his reign. Even though historians consider him more of a military dictator than a proper emperor, he enriched the soldiers and the citizens. This was just one of the many reasons why the ordinary citizens liked him. This was not the case with the Senate. Septimius had extremely poor relations with the Senate. When he gained power, he had numerous senators assassinated under charges of corruption or because they were plotting against him.

Septimius Severus possessed a complex and intriguing personality. Severus was a relentless and shrewd leader known for his ambition and determination. He was highly pragmatic, willing to take decisive action to secure his power and protect the interests of the empire. Severus was a formidable and influential ruler whose legacy profoundly impacted the Roman Empire.


The Severan Dynasty

Septimius Severus was the first Emperor of the Severan Dynasty. The Dynasty would include The Roman Emperors Caracalla, Geta, Elagabalus, and Alexander Severus. The Dynasty had many powerful women as well. The dynasty’s matriarchy included Julia Domna, Julia Soaemias, Julia Mamae, and finally, Julia Maesa.

The Severan Dynasty, which was established by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, lasted for nearly 42 years, from 193 CE to 235 CE. During this time, the dynasty witnessed the reigns of significant emperors. However, the relationship between the Severan Dynasty and the Senate was strained. Septimius Severus had a tumultuous relationship with the Senate, marked by suspicion and animosity. He purged the Senate of perceived threats and consolidated power within the military. This strained the traditional power balance between the emperor and the Senate, and the relationship remained contentious throughout the Severan Dynasty’s existence.

Roman Emperor Septimius, severin dynasty Severus
Statue of Septimius Severus in Antalya, Turkey Jul, 16 2014.

Downfall and Death

In 208 CE, Septimius started a campaign in Britain to take over Caledonia. During the first few years, Septimius and his soldiers had many hardships and losses. They were so unprepared for the landscape they ended up losing soldiers to inept preparation for the journey rather than battles alone.

Sometime in the year 211 CE, Septimius Severus fell ill. This resulted in him pulling back from his campaign to what we know as modern-day York. He would eventually die from the illness in York. That would be the end of Septimius Severus’s campaign in Britain. His final words to his two sons were, “Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn all others,” before he died.


Roman Denarius

Roman gold and silver coins possess numismatic value, making them highly sought after by collectors and history enthusiasts. These ancient treasures offer a captivating glimpse into the grandeur of the Roman Empire and the intricate craftsmanship of its coinage. Each coin carries a unique history and story, bearing the images of emperors, gods, and symbols of power. Owning a Roman coin allows you to hold a tangible piece of antiquity in your hands, connecting you to a bygone era.

Roman Denarius from the reign of Septimius Severus. .

Published by Invest in History Co.

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