Sun Gods and Blood: The Severan Dynasty and the Civil War of 193 AD. Part 1.
Septimus Severus was a North African general who went on to rule Rome in what was an exciting and dangerous time. His life and legacy left a significant mark on the empire.
First, a little background – Septimus Severus was born around 145 AD to a wealthy family in the area of Leptis Magna, in North Africa. Several of his family were senators and as a result, he was well connected.
He was small in height – but had an amazing beard (though, I am biased), and married Julia Domna (women like beards, I think?). She was Syrian, specifically Emesan, and the daughter of the high priest in the cult of Heliogabal, the Emesan Sun cult. They eventually would have two sons, Caracalla (188 AD) and Geta (189 AD) both of which would later govern Rome.
He had a successful military career and had great ambition. He held successive positions with increased authority and responsibility: Consul in Rome, Governor of Pannonia Superior and eventually held 3 Legions under his command.
New Years Eve, 193 AD.
The so-called Golden Age of Rome was finished – Emperor Commodus Was DEAD. Assassinated. His cruelty was over, now Rome would be liberated and freed from the corruption of Commodus, or would it?
Over the next few months 5 will compete for the throne. Rome is in chaos…
Over the next few weeks, I will share the rest of this fascinating story of civil war. The good man who would be Emperor for 86 days – then murdered, the high bidder who was next, the battle ready generals, and of course the winner of it all, Septimus Severus.