Caracalla was Roman emperor from 198 to 217. He was a member of the Severan dynasty, the elder son of Emperor Septimius Severus and Empress Julia Domna.
Edict of Caracalla
Caracalla’s reign became notable for the Edict of Caracalla, which granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Roman Empire.
Rome was in a difficult financial situation and needed to pay for the new pay raises and benefits that were being conferred on the military.
So, one important purpose for Caracalla issuing the edict was the desire to increase state revenue.
The edict widened the obligation for public service and gave increased revenue through the inheritance and emancipation taxes that only had to be paid by Roman citizens.
The provincials also benefited from this edict because they were now able to think of themselves as equal partners to the Romans in the empire.
In 213, a confederation of Germanic tribes called Alemanni invaded the province of Raetia. Caracalla left Rome and marched north to the German frontier to deal with the Alamanni.
During the campaign of 213–214, Caracalla successfully defeated some of the Germanic tribes while subduing others through diplomacy.
While there, Caracalla also strengthened the frontier fortifications of Raetia and Germania Superior to prevent any further barbarian invasions for another twenty years.
Baths of Caracalla
In 211 AD, Caracalla started the construction of the Baths. Though the bath was built during the reign of Caracalla, it is possible that his father was responsible for their planning.
In 216 AD, a partial inauguration of the baths took place, but the outer perimeter of the baths was not completed until the reign of Severus Alexander.
These large baths were typical of the Roman practice of building complexes for social and state activities in large densely populated cities.
The baths covered around 50 acres (or 202,000 square metres) of land and could accommodate around 1,600 bathers at any one time. They were the second largest public baths built in ancient Rome.
It had swimming pools, exercise yards, a stadium, steam rooms, libraries, meeting rooms, fountains, and other amenities, all of which were enclosed within formal gardens.
The interior spaces were decorated with colorful marble floors, columns, mosaics, and colossal statuary.