Septimius Severus rose to power after the Year of the Five Emperors as the victor of the civil war of 193AD – 197AD.

The Severan dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty that ruled the Roman Empire between 193 and 235, during the Roman imperial period.

Septimius Severus

Septimius Severus, the first ruler of the dynasty, was Roman emperor from 193 AD to 211 AD.
Septimius Severus restored peace following the upheaval of the late 2nd century.
He defeated Parthian Empire and expanded the empire to its greatest physical extent.

Septimius Severus with his wife Julia Domna & son Caracalla

However the dynasty was disturbed by highly unstable family relationships and constant political turmoil, which foreshadowed the imminent Crisis of the Third Century.
Severus died in 211 AD.


Although he intended for his sons to rule together, they proved incapable of sharing power.
This resulted in the murder of Geta by the Praetorian Guard later that year under orders from Caracalla.
Caracalla found administration to be boring, leaving those responsibilities to his mother.
Caracalla’s reign featured domestic instability and external invasions by the Germanic peoples.
On 8 April 217 AD, Caracalla was traveling to visit a temple near Carrhae, in southern Turkey.
After stopping briefly to urinate, Caracalla was approached by a soldier, Justin Martialis, and stabbed to death
After the short reigns and assassinations of their two sons, Caracalla (reign 198 AD – 217 AD) and Geta (reign 209 AD – 211 AD), broke the power of the royal family.
The dynasty’s control over the empire was interrupted by the joint reigns of rival Macrinus (reign 217 AD–218 AD) and his son Diadumenian (reign 218 AD).


Julia Domna’s relatives themselves assumed power by raising Elagabalus (reign 218 AD–222 AD) and then Severus Alexander (reign 222 AD – 235 AD) to the imperial office.
The dynasty’s women ruled the empire, which included Julia Domna, the mother of Caracalla and Geta, and her nieces Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea, the mothers respectively of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander.
These powerful royal women were instrumental in securing their sons’ imperial positions.
Elagabalus was Roman emperor from 218 AD to 222 AD, while he was still a teenager. His short reign was notable for sex scandals and religious controversy.
Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, zealotry and sexual promiscuity.
Due to which in 222 AD, members of the Praetorian Guard attacked and killed Elagabalus and his mother Julia Soaemias.

Severus Alexander

Severus Alexander was a Roman emperor, who reigned from 222 AD until 235 AD. He was the last emperor from the Severan dynasty.
Alexander’s peacetime reign was prosperous. However, Rome was militarily confronted with the rising Sassanid Empire and growing incursions from the tribes of Germania.
Alexander’s 13-year reign was the longest reign of a sole emperor since Antoninus Pius. He was also the second-youngest ever sole legal Roman emperor during the existence of the united empire.
The last emperor of the dynasty Severus Alexander was assassinated together with his mother on 21 March 235 AD, at Moguntiacum (Mainz) while at a meeting with his generals.
During the following 50-year period, the Empire saw the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into Roman territory, civil wars, peasant rebellions and political instability, with multiple usurpers competing for power.
This period was known as the Crisis of the Third Century.

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