Geta: The Son Of Septimius


This article will focus on the Roman Emperor Geta. Including Geta’s early life, time as emperor, being the son of Septimius, his relationship with his brother Caracalla, and a bit about Geta’s denarius.

Early Life

Geta was born on the 7th of March, 189 CE. He was the second son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. During his birth and early life, Septimius was still only a Provincial governor. He was also the younger brother of Caracalla.

Historians paint the early relationship between him and his brother Caracalla as volatile. Whenever they were together, they would argue. When they would travel together, they would stay in separate accommodations and eat at different times to avoid each other.

Our opinion of Geta is that he was the nicer of the two brothers. It’s possible he was reacting to Caracalla’s treatment of him throughout their childhood. We base this opinion on Geta’s actions later in life.


Roman Emperor Geta

Geta became co-emperor officially in 209 CE. He wouldn’t gain more independence as an emperor until his father died. After Septimius’s death, he and his brother were proclaimed joint Emperors in 211 CE. Even though his reign was short and shared with his father or brother, Geta showed great potential to be a good leader for Rome.

Geta’s Character

Geta was favored over Caracalla in various areas of society. This would fuel a lot of Caracalla’s jealousy. Geta seemed to be the more respected ruler. He came across as educated and refined, whereas Caracalla was rougher and preferred to be seen as a soldier. This made senators prefer dealing with the younger of the two brothers.


Brother Rivalry

As stated earlier, he was the younger brother of Caracalla. However, this was not a relationship of brotherly love. Caracalla would bribe officials and soldiers to gain favor over his younger brother. He wasn’t able to persuade all of the soldiers since the majority were loyal to Geta.

Their hate for each other reached a breaking point. They decided to live on opposite ends of the city to avoid each other. Their mother often tried to mediate between them, with little progress achieved.

roman emperor geta son of septimius
A Denarius showing Roman Emperor Getas’s portrait.

During the Festival of Saturnalia, Caracalla tried to assassinate Geta in December 211 CE. He found out about it, and as a result, increased the number of bodyguards protecting him.

Getas Death

A week later on the 26th of December 211 CE, Caracalla asked his mother, Julia Domna, to arrange a private meeting with Geta. Geta arrived alone. This was a fatal mistake as a guard that arrived with Caracalla rushed in and killed Geta in front of Caracalla and their mother. With the assassination of Geta, Caracalla would become the sole Emperor of Rome in late December 211 CE.

Following his assassination, Caracalla called for a “Damnatio memorial.” This translates into English as “condemnation of memory.” Caracalla would have the statues, portraits, and written names destroyed, essentially having Geta struck from the historical record.

Caracalla would try to remove and melt down all coins bearing Geta’s portrait. However, He would not successfully destroy all of the coins, making it possible for you to collect the younger son of Septimius Severus denarius to this very day.


Roman Denarius

Each coin has a unique history attached to it. Coin collectors love the Roman Denarius. We carry Roman Denarius from various periods in the Roman Republic/Empire. Click the link below to see if we have a Roman Emperor Geta denarius in stock.

Silver Ancient Coins geta denarius
This denarius displays the portrait of Roman Emperor Geta.

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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