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  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: March 2008

1 - The Severan dynasty



Septimius Severus was born in Lepcis Magna in Africa in 145. The character of Severus' regime was inevitably influenced by the bloodshed, confiscations and terror associated with civil war, and by his dependence on the army. In the Severan era, of the equestrian procurators known to have military experience, about 57 per cent still had held one or more posts in the traditional equestrian militia. The proportion of ex-centurions and tribunes of the guard promoted to procuratorial posts remained roughly similar to that in the second century. The Severan army fought two civil wars, two difficult campaigns in the east, and a costly war in Britain while remaining a powerful effective force, loyal to the dynasty at the accession of Caracalla and Geta, and even after the murder of Geta. Severus himself became a worthy commander-in-chief. He recruited three new legions in Italy, perhaps for the war against Albinus.

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