Emperor Septimius Severus ruled Rome from 193 A.D. to 211 A.D. Where he is listed on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History. Before accepting the status as emperor, Septimius Severus performed public services in Rome. He became a senator under Marcus Aurelius. He also was in charge of civil duties such as fixing roads, and he served in the courts. Roman historians claim that his public career advanced after the Plague had swept through Rome killing many people including wise and capable Roman administrators. He was able to serve in Africa and Spain as a governor. Severus even became a tribune of the Plebians and was elected as a candidate for the emperor.
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The Soldier King
Eventually, Severus was given command of legions by Commodus, and this happened in 191. Commodus was assassinated later that year, and Pertinax, who was a high ranking military, and senator became the next emperor. He was killed by the Praetorian Guard after serving 3 months in office. Pertinax marked the beginning of the Year of the Five Emperors. Severus’ soldiers then wanted him to be emperor and Severus didn’t mind the honor.
He went back to Rome to claim the empire. A general named Didius Julianus had somehow managed to pay off certain officials to become the next emperor after Pertinax. The Senate condemned his actions and had him executed. This was when Septimius Severus took control of Rome. He dismissed the current Praetorian Guard and placed his own soldiers into its ranks. He also executed the men responsible for Pertinax’s death.
There were other Roman legions who proclaimed their generals to be emperor. Pescennius Niger of Syria was given this honor by his soldiers. Septimius told a British governor named Clodius Albinus that he would be the next Caesar if he were to die, before moving against Niger to defeat him at the Battle of Issus. He then set out to defeat anyone who had supported Niger. He also battled another general named Albinus and defeated him as well. By 197 A.D. he was emperor, and no one was left to challenge him.
Roman Government under Emperor Septimius Severus
Once he became Emperor he was not popular with the Senate because his actions had turned Rome into a military dictatorship. He was popular with the people, and he had managed to stop the corruption that occurred during Commodus’ reign. He persecuted Christians and Jews when they did not worship him as emperor. He did this by default since he was only following established emperor worship policies already set in place. He held military campaigns in Africa, Britain and Parthia as well as many other parts of the empire and they were usually successful though he lost ten of thousands of soldiers. Septimius Severus died in 211 after he became ill his son Caracalla continued his campaigns but eventually stopped and settled for peace.
Septimius Severus was born to a wealthy family in 208 A.D. His father was named Publius Septimius Geta and mother was Fulvia Pia. His father was a provincial and he had two cousins who served as consuls under the former emperor Antoninus Pius. He also had an older brother and a younger sister.
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