Lucius Septimius Severus

Picture: The Severan Tondo, c. 199, Septimus Severus and his family – Julia Domna, Caracalla and Geta, whose face is erased. 


The man from North Africa who became Emperor of Rome and ruler of England (193 / 211 A.D)

For four centuries the Romans ruled Britain.  Lucius Septimius Severus the founder of the Severn Dynasty was the first Roman Emperor to be born in Africa at Leptis Magna, (modern day Tripoli, North Africa) of Romanised Punic stock. Declared Emperor by the army in 193 A.D., he spent the early years of his reign securing his position against his rivals.

Once established, Septimius Severus proved to be an able administrator, carrying out many reforms, and showing a particularly close interest in the army and the law. He restored order to the empire after a turbulent period, making safe the eastern frontier. His final years were spent in Britain, trying to restore order in the north of the province, by securing the border against the Celtic tribes of Scotland who were always raiding England. He died in York while planning a major campaign against them.

Source: Chambers Dictionary of World History – p843 (2nd Edition) 1994

Also see, Roman Britain P421-422, The Oxford Companion to Black British History.

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