Severus Alexander

Elagabalus – May 16, 218 AD

Upon the assassination of Caracalla in April 217, the Praetorian Prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus became the next Roman emperor. To help protect himself and his family, Macrinus exiled the remaining members of the Severan dynasty to their estate in Syria, except Julia Domna, who was forced to stay in Rome, where she starved herself to death. When they arrived in Emesa, Julia Maesa, the grandmother, began plotting with Gannys, the tutor of her eldest grandson, Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus, to overthrow Macrinus and his son Marcus Opellius Diadumenianus. Bassianus was born the son of Sextus Varius Marcellus and Julia Soaemias Bassiana in c.203. As part of the plot with Maesa, Soaemias claimed Bassianus was actually the illegitimate son of her cousin, former emperor Caracalla. Being the el...

Let The Games Begin! – April 21-23, 248 AD

Traditionally, the date of the founding of Rome by Romulus is April 21, 753 BC. Marcus Julius Verus Philippus was the emperor of Rome in 248 AD when the 1000th anniversary arrived and celebrated with three days of festivities from April 21-23. The Greek historian, Gaius Asinius Quadratus, wrote a 15-volume work entitled “Chilieteris” (“Millenium”), chronicling the city from the founding to the reign of Severus Alexander, and intended to follow through to the reign of Philip, but died before it could be completed. The celebration took place throughout the city in the forms of theatrical performances, ludi saeculares, and spectacular games in the Colosseum. Gordian III had collected exotic animals for his anticipated triumphal parade over the Persians, but since he failed to defeat them and ...

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