A Tourist in Rome - Septimius Severus
|Birth:||April 11, 145 AD|
|Death:||February 4, 211 AD (gout)|
|Emperor:||193 AD - death|
Septimius Severus was the first Roman emperor born in Africa. He siezed power with the support of the army after the brief civil war that followed the fall of Commodus. He increased the power of the military in Rome, creating a militaristic government and more autocratic power, which would change the nature of Rome forever. He built a palace over substructures apparently dating from the time of Domitian on the southern side of the Palatine Hill overlooking the Circus Maximus which can still be seen today from the Circus. After several failed coup attempts, he went on military campaigns in the East and then Britain, where he died from complications of gout, leaving his two sons, Geta and Caracalla as joint emperors. Of course, the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Roman Forum is a memorial to him (and an interesting tidbit about how Caracalla felt about his brother).