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Friday, April 29, 2016

Episode B31 - Perish in Blood

Synopsis:  Severus confronts Albinus at Lugdunum, then launches a war against the Parthians.  At the pinnacle of his power, the oracle of Zeus Belos reveals his family’s fate.

“The youth of Severus had been trained in the implicit obedience of the camps, and the riper years spent in the despotism of military command.  His haughty and inflexible spirit could not discover, or would not acknowledge, the advantage of preserving an intermediate power, however imaginary, between the Emperor and the army.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
“Here is one man who overthrew three Emperors after they were already ruling, and got the upper hand of the Praetorians by a trick…He prevailed over them all by his courage.  It is not possible to name another like Severus.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book 3, Chapter 7
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (provinces):
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (cities):

Friday, April 15, 2016

Episode B30 - Mater Castrorum

Synopsis:  Severus defeats Niger and wages a limited Eastern campaign.  While Julia Domna is hailed as Mother of the Camps, Caracalla’s elevation to Caesar prompts a second civil war.

“There used to be an oracle about Hannibal’s death.
‘The soil of Libyssa would cover Hannibal’s body.’
The later emperor of the Romans, Severus,
Who was a descendant of the Libyans, he put upon this man’s
Tomb a white piece of marble to honor the commander Hannibal.”  
- John Tzetzes, Chiliades (or Book of Histories), Book 1, 801 - 805

Friday, April 1, 2016

Episode B29 - 193

Synopsis:  After Pertinax and his successor are killed in the same year, Severus’s claim to the Empire is contested by two rivals. 

"Pertinax was one of those men to whom no exception can be taken, but he ruled only for an exceedingly brief space of time and was then put out of the way by the soldiers.” – Cassius Dio, Rome, Book 73
“The Pannonian army was at that time commanded by Septimius Severus, a native of Africa, who, in the gradual ascent of private honors, had concealed his daring ambition.” - Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
Bloodline Family Tree (c. 193AD):