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9 sunt. fuit praeterea in luliano haec amentia, ut per
magos pleraque faceret, quibus putaret 4 vel odium

10 populi deleniri vel militum arma compesci. nam et
quasdam non convenientes Romanis sacris hostias im-
molaverunt et carmina profana incantaverunt, et ea
quae ad speculum dicunt 5 fieri, in quo pueri prae-
ligatis oculis incantato vertice respicere dicuntur,

11 lulianus fecit, tuncque puer vidisse dicitur et adven-
tum Severi et luliani decessionem.

1 habui P. 2 consuluisset P ; contulisset Peter. 3 man-
datamque Ursinus ; tantamque P. 4 putaret Egnatius ;
uitaret P. s ducunt P.

1 This name appears in the inscription cited ahove (see note
to c. i. 4) and on some of his coins ; see Cohen iii'- 5 , p. 398 f.,
nos., 1, 3, 7, etc.

z i.e. to Severus, ofiering him a share of the empire.

3 See note to Hadr., ix. 5.

364



DIDIUS JULIANUS VII. 3-11

himself of the following: "I vote that Didius
Julianus be declared emperor," Julianus prompted
"Say also Severus," the name of his grandfather and
great-grandfather, which he had added to his own. 1
However, there are some who say that Julianus never
planned to slaughter the senate, because it had passed
so many decrees in his favour.

After the senate had passed this decree, Didius
Julianus forthwith despatched 2 one of the prefects,
Tullius Crispinus, and he also created a third prefect 3
in the person of Veturius Macrinus, whom Severus
had already notified by letter that he was to be
prefect. Nevertheless, the people avowed and
Severus suspected that this peace was merely a
strategem and that Tullius Crispinus, the prefect of
the guard, was commissioned to murder Severus.
Finally, in accordance with the general wish of his
soldiers, Severus declared that he would rather be
Julianus' enemy than colleague ; he at once, moreover,
wrote to a great number of men at Rome, and secretly
sent proclamations, which were posted up. Julianus,
furthermore, was mad enough to perform a number of
rites with the aid of magicians, such as were calculated
either to lessen the hate of the people or to restrain the
arms of the soldiers. For the magicians sacrificed cer-
tain victims that are foreign to the Roman ritual 4 and
chanted unholy songs, while Julianus performed rites,
which took place, so we are told, before a mirror, into
which boys are said to gaze, after bandages have been
bound over their eyes and charms muttered over their
heads. And in this performance one lad, it is said, saw
the arrival of Severus and the retirement of Julianus.

4 According to Dio, Ixxiii. 16, 5, he sacrificed a number of
children.

365



DIDIUS JULIANUS

VIII. Et Crispinus quidem, cum occurrissetpraecur-
soribus Severi, lulio Laeto auctore a Severe iiiteremp-

2 tus est. deiecta sunt etiam consulta senatus. lulianus
convocato senatu quaesitisque sententiis, quid facto

3 opus esset, certi nihil comperit a senatu. sed postea
sponte sua gladiatores Capuae iussit armari per Lollia-
num Titianum, et Claudium Fompeianum e Tarraci-
nensi ad participatum evocavit, quod et gener impera-
toris fuisset et diu militibus praefuisset.- sed hoc ille
recusavit, senem se et debilem luminibus respondens.

5 transierant et ex Umbria milites ad Severum. et
praemiserat quidem litteras Severus, quibus iubebat
interfectores Pertinacis servari.

6 Brevi autem desertus est ab omnibus lulianus et
remansit in Palatio cum uno de praef'ectis suis Geniali

yet genero Repentino. actum est denique ut luliano
senatus auctoritate abrogaretur imperium. et abroga-
tum est, appellatusque statim Severus imperator, cum
fingeretur quod veiieno se 1 absumpsisset lulianus.

8 missi tameii a senatu, quorum cura per militem
gregarium in Palatio idem lulianus occisus est fidem

9 Caesaris implorans, hoc est Severi. filiam suam
potitus imperio dato patrimonio emancipaverat.

1 se P ; om. by Peter.

1 See c. vii. 4.

2 He was very old and in poor health. During the reign of
Pertinax he remained at Rome and attended meetings of the
senate, but when Pertinax was killed, he withdrew to his
country estate ; see Dio, Ixxiii. 3.

3 See c. vi. 4 and note.

4 Acting on this order the soldiers of the guard seized the
murderers and informed the consul of the fact ; see Dio, Ixxiii.
17, 3.

5 Of. c. hi. 6.

366



DIDIUS JULIANUS VIII. 1-9

VIII. And as for Crispinus, 1 he met with Severus'
advance-guard and was put to death by Severus on
the advice of Julius Laetus. The decrees of the
senate, moreover, were torn down, and when Julianus
called a meeting of the senate and asked their
opinions as to what should be done, he could get
nothing definite out of them. Presently, however,
on his own responsibility he ordered Lollianus
Titianus to arm the gladiators at Capua, and called
Claudius Pompeianus from his estate at Tarracina 2
to share the empire with him, because he had been
an emperor's son-in-law and had long been in com-
mand of troops. Claudius, however, refused on the
ground that he was now old and his eye-sight was
weak. The soldiers in Umbria had meanwhile
deserted to Severus, 3 and Severus had sent on letters
in advance in which he ordered the murderers of
Pertinax to be kept under guard. 4

In a short time Julianus was deserted by all and
left alone in the Palace with one of his prefects,
Genialis, and with Repentinus, his son-in-law. 5
Finally, it was propose'd that the imperial power be
taken away from Julianus by order of the senate. 6
This was done, and Severus was forthwith acclaimed
emperor, while it was given out that Julianus had
taken poison. Nevertheless, the senate despatched
a delegation and through their efforts Julianus was
slain in the Palace by a common soldier, while be-
seeching the protection of Caesar, that is to say,
Severus. He had emancipated 7 his daughter when he
got control of the empire and had presented her with
her patrimony, but this, together with the name

6 A description of this meeting is given in Dio, Ixxiii. 17, 4.
See note to Pert., xi. 12.

367



DIDIUS JULIANUS

quod ei cum Augustae nomine statim sublatum est.
10 corpus eius a Severo uxori Manliae Scantillae ac filiae
ad sepulturam est redditum et in proavi monumenta
translatum miliario quinto Via Labicana.

IX. Obiecta sane sunt luliano haec : quod gulosus
fuisset, quod aleator, quod armis gladiatoriis exer-
citus esset, eaque omnia senex fecerit, cum antea
numquam adulescens his esset vitiis iiifamatus. obi-
ecta est etiam superbia, cum ille etiam in imperio

2 fuisset humillimus. fuit autem contra humanissimus
ad convivia, benignissimus ad subcriptiones, modera-
tissimus ad libertatem.

3 Vixit annis quinquaginta sex mensibus quattuor.
imperavit mensibus duobus diebus quinque. repre-
hensum in eo praecipue, quod eos, quos regere
auctoritate sua debuerat, regenclae rei publicae sibi
praesules ipse fecisset.

1 This road ran S.E. from the city, joining the Via Latino,
at Toleria. It took its name from the town of Labici, on the
northern slope of the Alban hills.

2 See c. iii. 9 and note.

8 Sixty years, according to Dio, Ixxiii. 17, 5 ; this figure is



368



DIDIUS JULIANUS VIII. 10 IX. 4

Augusta, was at once taken away from her. His
body was, by order of Sever us, delivered for burial
to his wife, Manlia Scantilla, and to his daughter,
and it was laid in the tomb of his great-grandfather
by the fifth mile-stone on the Labican Way. 1

IX. These charges were brought against Julianus :
that he had been a glutton and a gambler ; that he
had exercised with gladiatorial arms ; and that he had
done all these things, moreover, when advanced in
years, and after escaping the stain of these vices in
his youth. The charge of pride was also brought
against him, although he had really been very unassum-
ing as emperor. 2 He was, moreover, very affable at
banquets, very courteous in the matter of petitions,
and very reasonable in the matter of granting liberty.

He lived fifty-six years 3 and four months. He
ruled two months and five d^iys. 4 This particularly
was held to his discredit : that men whom he ought
to have kept under his own governance he appointed
as his officials for governing the state.

usually regarded as more correct than that given in the bio-
graphy; accordingly, he- was born in 133.

4 Sixty-six days, according to Dio, I.e. Accordingly, he
was killed on 1st June, 193.



369



SEVERUS

AELII SPARTIANI

I. Interfecto Didio luliano Severus Africa oriundus

2 imperium obtinuit. cui civitas Lepti, pater Geta,
maiores equites Roman! ante civitatem omnibus
datam ; mater Fulvia Pia, patrui magni l Aper et
Severus consulares, avus paternus Macer, maternus 2

3 Fulvius Pius fuere. ipse natus est Erucio Claro bis et

4 Severo consul ibus, VI idus Apriles. in prima pueritia,
priusquam Latinis Graecisque litteris imbueretur,
quibus eruditissimus fuit, nullum alium inter pueros
ludum nisi ad iudices exercuit, cum 3 ipse praelatis
fascibus ac securibus ordine puerorum circumstante 4

5 sederet ac iudicaret. octavo decimo anno publice
declamavit. 5 postea studiorum causa Romam venit,

J magni Aper Madvig, Peter" 3 ; magnaper P ; Marcus Aper
Peter 1 . 2 So Casaubon ; maternus Macer patemus P, Peter.
3 eumP l . 4 circumstantes P 1 . ^adclamauit P.



1 His full name was P. Septimius Geta, according to an
inscription found at Cirta in Africa; see C.I.L., viii. 19493.

2 Citizenship was granted to all the free inhabitants of the
Empire, except the Dediticii and the Latini Tuniani, by an
edict of Caracalla, Severus' son, in 212.

3 Aper was consul in some year under Pius; Severus ia
perhaps to be identified with the Severus who was consul in
155.

370



SEVERUS

. BY

AELIUS SPARTIANUS

I. ON the murder of Didius Juliaiius, Severus, a native
of Africa, took possession of the empire. His native
city was Leptis, his father was Geta ; l his ancestors
were Roman knights before citizenship was made
universal. 2 Fulvia Pia was his mother, Aper and
Severus, both of consular rank, 3 his great-uncles.
His father's father was Macer, his mother's father
Fulvius Pius. He himself was born six days be fore 8 Apr.,
the Ides of April, 4 in the first consulship of Severus 146
and the second of Erucius Clarus. While still a child,
even before he had been drilled in the Latin and
Greek literatures (with which he was very well
acquainted), he would engage in no game with the
other children except playing judge, and on such
occasions he would have the rods and axes borne
before him, and, surrounded by the throng of children,
he would take his seat and thus give judgments.
In his eighteenth year he delivered an oration in
public. Soon after, in order to continue his studies,
he came to Rome ; and with the support of his kins-

4 His birthday was the llth April, according to Dio, Ixxvi.
17,4, and this date is confirmed by the Calendar of Philocalus
(see C.I.L., i 2 , p. 262) and by inscriptions set up on this day ;
see C.I.L., xi. 1322 ; adv. 168 and 169.

371



SEVERUS

latum clavum a divo Marco petiit et accepit, favente
sibi Septimio Severe adfini suo, bis iam consular!.

6 Cum Romam venisset, hospitera nanctus qui
Hadriani vitam imperatoriam eadera hora legeret,

7 quod sibi omen futurae felicitatis arripuit. habuit
et aliud omen imperii : cum rogatus ad cenam im-
peratoriam palliatus venisset, qui togatus venire
debuerat, togam praesidiariam ipsius imperatoris ac-

8 cepit. eadem nocte somniavit lupae se uberibus ut

9 Remum inhaerere vel Romulum. sedit et in sella
imperatoria temere a ministro posita, ignarus quod

10 non liceret. dormienti etiam in stabulo serpens
caput cinxit et sine noxa expergefactis et adclamanti-
bus familiaribus, abiit. 1

II. luventam plenam furorum, nonnumquam et cri-

2 minum habuit. adulterii causam dixit absolutusque
est a luliano proconsule, cui et in proconsulatu suc-
cessit et in consulatu collega fuit et in imperio item

3successit. quaesturam diligenter egit omisso tribu-
natu 2 militari. post quaesturam sorte Baeticam ac-
cepit ftque inde Africam petiit, ut mortuo patre rem

4 domesticam componeret. sed dum in Africa est,

1 habuit P. 2 omisso tribunatu Hirschfeld, Golisch,

Peter 2 ; omnis sortibus natu P.



1 See note to Cow., iv. 7. 2 See Hadr., xxii. 2.

8 It ia impossible to know who is meant here. The bio-
grapher is certainly wrong in identifying him with Didius
Julianus, who was proconsul of Africa after Pertinax and
shortly before his own elevation to the throne; see Did. Jul.,
ii. 3.

372



SEVERUS I. 6 II. 4

man Septimius Severus, who had already been con-
sul twice, he sought and secured from the Deified
Marcus the broad stripe. 1

Soon after he had come to Rome he fell in with
a stranger who at that very moment was reading the
life of the Emperor Hadrian, and he snatched at this
incident as an omen of future prosperity. He had
still another omen of empire : for once, when he
was invited to an imperial banquet and came wearing
a cloak, when he should have worn his toga,^ he was
lent an official toga of the emperor's own. And that
same night he dreamed that he tugged at the udders
of a wolf, like Remus and Romulus. He sat down,
furthermore, in the emperor s chair, which a servant
had carelessly left accessible, being quite unaware
that this was not allowed. And once, while he was
sleeping in a tavern, a snake coiled about his head,
and when his friends awoke from their sleep and
shouted at it, it departed without doing him any harm.

II. His early manhood was filled with follies and
not free from crime. He was charged with adultery,
but pleaded his own case and was acquitted by the
proconsul Julian us, 3 the man who was his immediate
predecessor in the proconsulship, his colleague in the
consulship, and likewise his predecessor on the
throne. Omitting the office of tribune of the soldiers,
he became quaestor and performed his duties with
diligence. At the expiration of his quaestorship he
was allotted the province of Baetica, 4 and from here
he crossed over to Africa in order to settle his

4 He was quaestor in Rome and was then allotted to serve as
quaestor (properly proquaestor) of the senatorial province of
Hispania Baetica. Such double quaestorships appear fre-
quently in inscriptions.

373



SEVERUS

pro Baetica Sardinia ei attributa est, quod Baeticara

5 Mauri populabantur. acta igitur quaestura Sardini-

6 ensi legationem proconsulis Africae accepit. in qua
legatione cum eum quidam municipum suorum Lepti-
tanus l praecedentibus fascibus ut antiquum contu-
bernalem ipse plebeius amplexus esset, fustibus eum
sub eiusmodi elogio 2 praeconis cecidit : " Legatum
populi Romani homo plebeius temere amplecti noli ".

Tex quo factum ut in vehiculo etiam legati sederent,

8qui ante pedibus ambulabant. tune in quadam
civitate Africana, cum sollicitus mathematicum con-
suluisset, positaque hora ingentia vidisset astrologus,
dixit ei : " Tuam non alienam pone genituram ".

9 cumque Severus iurasset suam esse, omnia ei dixit
quae postea facta sunt.

III. Tribunatum plebis Marco imperatore decern-
ente promeruit eumque severissime exsertissimeque

Segit. uxorem tune Marciam duxit, de qua tacuit in
historia vitae privatae. cui postea in imperio statuas

Sconlocavit. praetor designatus a Marco est non in

J bracketed by Peter 3 . 2 eiusmodi elogi) Hirschfeld;

elogio eiusdem P, Peter.



1 See Marc., xxi. 1. The year was about 172, since Severus
was quaestor probably about the normal age of twenty-five;
see note to Pius., vi. 10. The invasion of the Moors seems to
have made it necessary to administer Baetica as an imperial
province, and Sardinia was accordingly temporarily assigned
to the senate as a substitute.

2 Her name was Paccia Marciana, according to an inscrip-
tion from Africa ; see C.I.L., viii. 19494 = Dessau, Ins. SeL,
440.

*i.e. his autobiography, written after the death of Albinus,

374



SEVERUS II. 5 III. 3

domestic affairs, for his father had meanwhile died.
But while he was in Africa, Sardinia was assigned him
in place of Baetica, because the latter was being
ravaged by the Moors. 1 He therefore served his
quaestorship in Sardinia, and afterwards was appointed
aide to the proconsul of Africa. While he was in this
office, a certain fellow-townsman of his, a plebeian,
embraced him as an old comrade, though the fasces
were being carried before him ; whereupon he had
the fellow beaten with clubs and then ordered a pro-
clamation to be made by the herald to this effect :
"Let no plebeian embrace without due cause a legate
of the Roman people ". On account of this incident,
legates, who had previously gone on foot, thereafter
rode in carriages. About this time, also, being
worried about the future, he had recourse to an
astrologer in a certain city of Africa. The astrologer,
when he had cast the horoscope, saw high destinies in
store for him, but added : " Tell me your own
nativity and not that of another man". And when
Severus swore an oath that it was really his, the
astrologer revealed ' to him all the things that did
later come to pass.

III. He was promoted to be tribune of the plebs by
order of the Emperor Marcus, and he performed his
duties with austerity and vigour. It was then that
he married Marcia, 2 but of her he made no mention
in the history of his life as a private man. 3 After-
wards, however, while emperor, he erected statues in
her honour. In the thirty-second year of his life 178
Marcus appointed him praetor, although he was not

apparently with the purpose of accusing his rivals and clear-
ing himself of charges of cruelty; see c. xviii. 6; Cl. Alb.,
vii. 1 ; Dio, Ixxv. 7, 3.

375



SEVERUS

Candida sed in oompetitorum grege anno aetatis

4 xxxii. tune ad Hispaniam missus somniavit primo
sibi dici, ut teraplum Tarraconense Augusti, quod

5 iam labebatur, 1 restitueret. dein ex altissimi montis
vertice orbem terrarum Romamque despexit, con-
cinentibusprovinciis lyra voce vel tibia, ludosabsens

Sedidit. legioni mi Scythicae dein praepositus est

7 circa Massiliam. post hoc Athenas petiit studiorum
sacrorumque causa et operum ac vetustatum. ubi
cum iniurias quasdam ab Atheniensibus pertulisset,
inimicus his factus minuendo eorum privilegia iam

8 imperator se ultus est. dein Lugdunensem provin-

9 ciam legatus accepit. cum amissa uxore aliam vellet
ducere, genituras sponsarum requirebat, ipse quoque
matheseos peritissimus, et cum audisset esse in Syria
quandam quae id geniturae haberet ut regi iungere-
tur, eandem uxorem petiit, luliam scilicet, et accepit
interventu amicorum. ex qua statim pater factus

IV. est. a Gallis ob severitatem et hoiiorificentiam et
abstinentiam tantum quantum nemo dilectus est.

1 leuabatur P.



1 A certain number of each board of magistrates were not
chosen by the senate but nominated directly by the emperor.
These appointees were calkd technically candidati Caesar is,
and the phrase in Candida (toga) seems to be only a variation
of this expression.

2 See Hadr., xii. 3 and note.

3 In the time of the empire the conduct of the public games
was one of the most important functions of the praetor.

4 There is some error here, for this legion was never
quartered at Marseilles, and from the middle of the first
century on it was stationed in Syria.

376



SEVERUS III. 4 IV.

one of the Emperor's candidates but only one of the
ordinary crowd of competitors. 1 He was thereupon
sent to Spain, and here he had a dream, first that he
was told to repair the temple of Augustus at Tarraco, 2
which at that time was falling into ruin, and then
that from the top of a very high mountain he beheld
Rome and all the world, while the provinces sang
together to the accompaniment of the lyre and
flute. Though absent from the city, he gave games. 3
Presently he was put in command of the Fourth
Legion, the Scythica, stationed near Massilia, 4 and
after that he proceeded to Athens partly in order
to continue his studies and perform certain sacred
rites, and partly on account of the public buildings
and ancient monuments there. Here he suffered
certain wrongs at the hands of the Athenians ; and
on that account he became their foe, and afterwards,
as emperor, took vengeance on them by curtailing
their rights. After this he was appointed to the
province of Lugdunensis as legate. He had mean-
while lost his wife, and now, wishing to take another,
he made inquiries about the horoscopes of marriage-
able women, being himself no mean astrologer ; and
when he learned that there was a woman in Syria
whose horoscope predicted that she would wed a king
(I mean Julia, 5 of course), he sought her for his wife,
and through the mediation of his friends secured her.
By her, presently, he became a father. 6 IV. And
because he was strict, honourable and self-restrained,
he was beloved by the Gauls as was no one else.

5 Julia Domna, the elder daughter of Julius Bassianus,
high-priest of the god Elagabalus at Emesa in Syria.

6 His elder son Bassianus (Caracalla) was born at Lyons on
the 4th April, 186.

377



SEVER US

Dein Pannonias proconsular! imperio rexit. post
hoc Siciliam proconsularem sorte meruit. suscepitque

3 Romae alterum filium. in Sicilia, quasi de imperio
vel vates vel Chaldaeos consul uisset, reus factus, sed l
a praefectis praetorii, quibus audiendus datus fuerat,
iam Commodo in odio veniente, absolutus est calum-

4niatore in crucera acto. consulatum cum Apuleio
Rufino primum egit, Commodo se inter plurimos
designante. post consulatum anno ferme fuit otio-
sus ; dein Laeto suffragante exercitui Germanico 2

5 praeponitur. proficiscens ad Germanicos exercitus
hortos spatiosos comparavit, cum antea aedes brevis-
simas Romae habuisset et unum fundum in Venetia.

6 et ium c in his hortis cum humi iacens epularetur
cum filiis parca cena, pomaque adposita maior filius,
qui tune quinquennis erat, conlusoribus puerulis manu
largiore divideret, paterque ilium reprehendens dixis-
set, " Parcius divide, non enim regias opes possides/'
quinquennis puer respondit, "Sed possidebo " inquit.

7 in Germaniam profectus ita se in ea legatione egit,
ut famam nobilitatam 4 iam ante cumularet.

1 sed Peter ; et P. 2 Germanico Baehrens, Peter 2 ; G&r-

mano P, Peter 1 . s in Venetia Salmasius; et iam Editor;

inuenit etiam P; in uicinia Peter. *nobilitatem P.



1 This item is out of its proper order. He was not
appointed to Pannonia until after his consulship ; see 4.

2 Geta, born in 189, the year, as it seems, of Severus'
consulship ; see Get., iii. 1.

3 Under the regime of Oleander ; see Com., vi. 7 f. ; vii. 1.

378



SEVERUS IV. 2-7

Next he ruled the Paniionias l with proconsular
powers, and after this he drew in the allotment the
proconsular province of Sicily. At Rome, mean-
while, he was presented with a second son.- While
he was in Sicily he was indicted for consulting
about the imperial dignity with seers and astrologers,
but, because Commodus was now beginning to be
detested, 3 he was acquitted by the prefects of the
guard to whom he had been handed over for trial,
while his accuser was crucified. He now served his
first consulship, having Apuleius Rufinus 4 for his ? 189
colleague an office to which Commodus appointed
him from among a large number of aspirants. After
the consulship he spent about a year free from public
duties ; then, on the recommendation of Laetus, he
was put in charge of the army in Germany. 5 Just as
he was setting out for Germany, he acquired elabo-
rate gardens, although he had previously kept only
an unpretentious dwelling in the city and a single
farm in Venetia. And now, when he was reclining
on the ground in these gardens, partaking of a frugal
supper with his children, his elder son, who was then
five years old, divided the fruit, when it was served,
with rather a bounteous hand among his young play-
mates. And when his father reproved him, saying :
" Be more sparing ; for you have not the riches of
a king," the five-year-old child replied : " No, but I
shall have ". On coming to Germany, Severus con-
ducted himself in this office in such a manner as to
increase a reputation which was already illustrious.

4 His name is given as Vitellius in Get., iii. 1.

5 An error for Pannonia (cf. 2), for he was acclaimed
emperor at Carnuntum (see c. v. 1); see al^o Dio, Ixiii. 14, 8
and Herodian, ii. 9, 2.

379



SEVERUS

V. Et hactenus rem militarem privatus egit. dehinc
a Germanicis legionibus, ubi auditum est Commodum
occisum, lulianum autem cum odio cunctorum im-
perare, multis hortantibus repugnans imperator est

2appellatus apud Carnuntum idibus Augustis. qui
etiam sestertia, quot l nemo umquam principum,



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