Flavius Valerius Severus (or rarely Severus II) (died February 307) was a Western Roman Emperor from 306 to 307.
Officer in the Roman army
Severus was of humble birth, born in the Illyrian provinces around the middle of the third century AD. He rose to
become a senior officer in the Roman army, and as an old friend of Galerius, that emperor ordered that Severus be
appointed Caesar of the Western Roman Empire, a post that he succeeded to on 1 May 305. He thus served as deputy-
emperor to Constantius I (Constantius Chlorus), Augustus of the western half of empire.
On the death of Constantius I in the summer of 306, Severus was promoted to Augustus by Galerius himself, in
opposition to the acclamation of Constantine I (Constantius' son) by his own soldiers. When Maxentius, the son of
the retired emperor Maximian, revolted at Rome, Galerius sent Severus to suppress the rebellion. Severus moved from
his capital, Mediolanum, towards Rome, at the head of an army previously commanded by Maximian. Fearing the arrival
of Severus, Maxentius offered Maximian the co-rule of the empire. Maximian accepted, and when Severus arrived under
the walls of Rome and besieged it, his men deserted him and passed to Maximian, their old commander. Severus fled
to Ravenna, an impregnable position: Maximian offered to spare his life and treat him humanely if the latter
surrendered peaceably, which he did in March or April 307. Despite Maximian's assurance, Severus was nonetheless
displayed as a captive and later imprisoned at Tres Tabernae. When Galerius himself invaded Italy to suppress
Maxentius and Maximian, the former ordered Severus's death: he was executed (or forced to commit suicide) on 16
A Roman emperor (A.D. 306-307). He was proclaimed Caesar by
Galerius in 306, and was soon afterwards sent against
Maxentius, who had assumed the imperial title at Rome. The
expedition, however, was unsuccessful; and Severus, having
surrendered at Ravenna, was taken as a prisoner to Rome, and
compelled to put an end to his life. See Maxentius.