Severus Alexander

Severus Alexander in Roman Biography

Se-ve'rus, [Fr. Severe, sa'vaiR',] (Alexander,) a Roman emperor, born in Phoenicia about 205 A.D., was a son of Gessius Marcjanus and Julia Mammaea. In 221 he was adopted by his cousin Elagabalus, then emperor, who also gave him the title of Caesar. He was called M. Aurelius Alexander before his accession to the throne. Elagabalus soon became jealous, and made several unsuccessful efforts to destroy Alexander. He succeeded Elagabalus in March, 222 A.D , and assumed the name 0/ Severus. During the first nine years he reigned in peace, and applied himself to the reform of abuses. The King of Persia having renewed hostilities, Severus marched across the Euphrates, defeated the Persians in 232, and returned to Rome. He was preparing to repel an irruption of the Germans, when he was killed by his mutinous troops in 235 A.D. He was greatly distinguished for his wisdom, justice, clemency, and other virtues. See Gibbon, '* Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire :" Tili.emont, " Histoire des Empereurs ;" Lampridius, "Alexander Severus."

Read More

Alexander Severus in Wikipedia

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (1 October 208 – 18 March 235), commonly known as Alexander Severus, was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235. He was the last emperor of the Severan dynasty. Alexander Severus succeeded his cousin Elagabalus upon the latter's assassination in 222, and was ultimately assassinated himself, marking the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century - nearly fifty years of civil wars, foreign invasion, and collapse of the monetary economy. Alexander Severus was the heir apparent to his cousin, the eighteen-year-old Emperor who had been murdered along with his mother by his own guards-and as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river. He and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa, who had arranged for Elagabalus' acclamation as emperor by the famed Third Gallic Legion. A rumor of Alexander's death circulated, triggering the assassination of Elagabalus. As emperor, Alexander's peace time reign was prosperous. In military conflict against the rising Sassanid Empire, there are mixed accounts, though the Sassanid threat was checked. However, when campaigning against Germanic tribes of Germania, Alexander Severus apparently alienated his legions by trying diplomacy and bribery, and they assassinated him...

Read More

Sevērus, Marcus Aurelius Alexander in Harpers Dictionary

, usually called Alexander Sevērus. A Roman emperor (A.D. 222-235), the son of Gessius Marcianus and Iulia Mamaea, and first cousin of Elagabalus. He was born at Arcé, in Phœnicia, in the temple of Alexander the Great, to which his parents had repaired for the celebration of a festival, on the 1st of October, A.D. 205. His original name appears to have been Alexianus Bassiānus, the latter appellation having been derived from his maternal grandfather. Upon the elevation of Elagabalus, he accompanied his mother and the court to Rome, a report having been spread abroad that he also, as well as the emperor, was the son of Caracalla. In 221 he was adopted by Elagabalus and created Caesar. The names Alexianus and Bassianus were laid aside, and those of M. Aurelius Alexander substituted; M. Aurelius in virtue of his adoption; Alexander in consequence, as was asserted, of a direct revelation on the part of the Syrian god. On the death of Elagabalus, on the 11th of March, A.D. 222, Alexander ascended the throne, adding Severus to his other designations, in order to mark more explicitly the descent which he claimed from the father of Caracalla. After reigning in peace some years, during which he reformed many abuses in the State, he was involved in a war with Artaxerxes, king of Persia, who had lately founded the new Empire of the Sassanidae on the ruins of the Parthian monarchy. Alexander gained a great victory over Artaxerxes in 232; but he was unable to prosecute his advantage in consequence of intelligence having reached him of a great movement among the German tribes. He celebrated a triumph at Rome in 233, and in the following year (234 A.D.) set out for Gaul, which the Germans were devastating; but before he had made any progress in the campaign, he was waylaid by a small band of mutinous soldiers, instigated, it is said, by Maximinus, and slain, along with his mother, in the early part of 235, in the thirtieth year of his age and the fourteenth of his reign. Alexander Severus was distinguished by justice, wisdom, and clemency in all public transactions, and by the simplicity and purity of his private life. His life is written by Lampridius. See Porrath, Der Kaiser Alexander Severus (1876).

Read More