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Lecture 36

HIST 1061 Lecture 36: The Severan Dynasty

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University of Colorado - Boulder
HIST 1061
Travis Rupp

The Severan Dynasty After Commodus assassination in 192, the year of 6 emperors followed. The Praterorian Guard elected Helvius Pertinax who was quickly assassinated. Didius Julianus bought the position and was executed for buying the position. Servius Septimus was then selected emperor over Niger. Servius was born in Peais Magna (Libya). He was very into the arts and builds the arch of Sepitmious Severous. It is built directly across from the arch of Augustus. On the arch, there is a triumph celebrating one of his victories. Acid rain has essentially destroyed his arch. Septimus also built a massive private bath complex. Across from that he built the Sepizoidium right in front of it. The Sepizoidium is a massive building dedicated to North African culture. Servius adopts himself into the Antonine family and reverses Commodus damnation so he is not associated with a damned emperor. He does not defeat Parthia but he establishes more secure boundaries at Parthia. Parthia would then collapse but not because of Rome but because of the Sasanids. Servius was not aperfect emperor. He deifies Pertinax, an emperor that ruled two months and he let his wife Julia have a huge amount of political power during his reign. He would die in 211. Julia has all of the power after his death. Severus names his son Caracalla emperor after his death. Caracalla is a very stern emperor and assassinated his brother Gata. Gata was literally removed from all art after his death. Caracalla literally removed Gata from the picture. Like Servius, Julia had a huge influence over Caracalla, which is pretty messed up because that means she likely told Caracalla to kill her own son. Caracalla is the fire emperor to instill Roman citizenship for free Empire inhabitants. Caracalla only did this for taxation purposes. By this time, the value of the Roman coin had completely
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