Septimius Severus


The Roman Empire has been considered throughout time as one of the largest and most imposing in world history . To do this, they had to go through the command of the various people emperors and prominent figures , among them we find Septimius Severus , the first member of the dynasty of the Severi .


Personal information

  • When he was born: 4/11/145 AD
  • Where he was born: Leptis Magna, Libya
  • When he died: 02/04/211 AD
  • Where he died: Eboracum, UK

Who was Septimius Severus?

Lucius Septimius Severus was one of the emperors of Rome in the period from April 193 to February 211 . He was of Libyan origin , from Lepcis Magna , and came from a Punic family that had risen to the rank of senator and consular .

  • What did
  • Biography of Septimius Severus
  • Death
  • government
  • Septimius Severus and Christianity
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Importance
  • Acknowledgments
  • Works of Septimius Severus
  • Phrases
  • Presence in popular culture
  • Curiosities

What did

Septimius Severus was one of the Roman emperors that belonged to the family of the severe and thanks to their hard work, managed to restore the order of the crisis that was produced after the murder of Comfortable . A man who managed to establish a government full of victories in the military field and who was characterized by his military dictatorship in the Roman people.

Biography of Septimius Severus

Septimius Severus was born in Leptis Magna a 11 April of the year 146 AD . He came from a wealthy and respectable family with Punic ancestry . His father was Publio Septimio Geta , and his mother Fulvia Pía, of whom he had Italian descent, and on his father’s side, Punic. He had siblings: the older brother, Publio Septimio Geta and the younger sister, Septimia Octavilla . He received an education in Africa and then moved to Rome , where he began his political career .

He was appointed as a senator in 172 by Marco Aurelio and in 190 he was appointed as ambassador . He was recommended by his uncle Gaius Septimius Severus and received from the Emperor Marcus Aurelius the right to enter the senatorial state . Being part of the senatorial circle was a condition for starting the cursus honorum and participating in the proceedings of the Senate. At the end of the year 169 of the Christian era , Severus reached an age that allowed him to be a quaestor . On December 5, he took office and was officially admitted to the Senate . In the year173 AD, Gaius Septimius Severus, was appointed proconsul of the province of Africa . Later, Septimius went to Rome and became the tribune of the plebs , with the distinction of being the emperor’s candidate .

He married Julia Domna. The marriage turned out to be happy and successful, and he always had his wife’s opinion. Two children were born from their marriage: Lucio Septimio Bassiano and Publio Septimio Geta.


He died on February 4, 211 AD during a trip to Great Britain . On his deathbed he advised his sons: “Live in harmony, enrich the soldiers and, furthermore, you can despise everyone.”


During his government, he was characterized mainly by his victories in the military field and by having significantly strengthened the power of the Empire against the Senate , this made him lose the political power and the jurisdiction of its members. It gave a special favor to the equestrian order and increased the payment of the soldiers . It enabled the legionaries constrict marriage and could then move to live with their families in the camps.

He regulated the collection of the annona and eliminated several senators from the provincial courts, leaving these later under the control of the prefect of the praetorium. He managed to increase the empire’s income through confiscations and created the box known as Private Ratio , which was totally separate from the fiscus . He established a principle of tolerance with Christians, although this changed notably after his campaigns in the East. At the end of his rule, he spent his last years fighting various invasions from the Germanic tribes.with his sons Basiano and Geta .

Septimius Severus and Christianity

Despite the fact that at the beginning of his term, Septimius was lenient towards Christians , this situation changed with the passage of time and this is how a great persecution against them began, causing a large number of deaths , prisoners , burned people and beheaded . He used the persecution as a pretext to deal with the plague and famine that once ravaged the empire.

Many historians mention that, although he was not against the Christians from a personal point of view, they little by little gained power and made many people become faithful. In 202 , Septimius decided to enact a law prohibiting the spread of Christianity and Judaism . This was, on a universal level, the first decree of its kind.

Physical characteristics

There is no exact description of their physical characteristics but in their busts you can see a man of tall stature , with a good muscular complexion , curly hair , who also used a beard and mustache .


Septimius Severus was a man very adaptable to most of the social situations that were presented to him. From a young age, he proved to be a very ambitious man who liked to fight to achieve his goals. He was an extremely intelligent , skilled man and he rose carefully in the Senate as he was also very cautious .


Although Septimius Severus was not one of the best known Roman emperors, he was one of the most important in Roman history . He was a very capable person , a successful administrator, and an excellent general who succeeded in reforming the government of Rome and was highly successful on the battlefield . Under Severus, the Roman Empire was able to reach its greatest extent and thanks to this a dynasty was successfully founded .


The Arch of Septimius Severus was built in his honor , a triumphal arch located in Rome that represents his victories and his glory in his military victories with his sons. A denarius was also made with his face in his honor as well as several busts .

Works of Septimius Severus

Among his main works are the following:

  • He founded the dynasty of the Severi .
  • He carried out several successful battles against the Parthian Empire, bringing Mesopotamia back to Roman control .
  • He executed many senators whom he regarded as corrupt and conspirators.
  • He dissolved the Praetorian Guard and changed it to a personal guard in order to have total control of politics and its security.
  • It turned Rome into a kind of military dictatorship .
  • He managed to embellish the southern face of the Palatine by building the Septizodium, a work dedicated to the main stars.
  • He expanded the imperial palace and built the Baths of Caracalla.
  • He modified the governmental organization of the Roman empire, gave the praetorian prefects the duty of taking charge of the courts of appeal, and the free distribution of olive oil was instituted .


Among its main phrases are the following:

  • Keep the peace, enrich the soldiers and make fun of the rest.
  • It is in my power to do with you what I want and when I want. Helpless and prostrate, you stand before us, victims of our desires.
  • I promise you and I solemnly swear and I publicly proclaim that if any of you are within a hundred miles of Rome, they will pay for it with their head.

Presence in popular culture

His character can be found in popular culture in several of the films that have been filmed to tell the story of Rome and its emperors. One of them is ” The Fall of the Roman Empire ” where the events surrounding his life are narrated. Some books like ” Desperta Ferro “ also narrate the life and work of Septimio Severo.


Some curiosities about Septimius Severus are mentioned below:

  • Septimius Severus was the first African emperor of Rome.
  • The Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum is about 23 meters high and 25 meters wide.
  • He visited Rome for the first time in 163 AD during the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucio Vero.
  • He managed to expand and reinforce the African border , even expanding the presence of Rome in the Sahara.

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