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Severus Alexander

Bust of Severus Alexander from Ryakia. Museum of Dion (Greece). Photo Jona Lendering.
Bust of Severus Alexander from Ryakia (Museum of Dion)
Severus Alexander: emperor of the Roman world (222-235).


  • 1 October 208: Marcus Bassianus Alexianus 
  • 26 (?) June 221: Marcus Aurelius Alexander Caesar 
  • 14 March 222: Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander 
  • 230: Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Magnus
  • February 235: lynched by soldiers
Successor of: Heliogabalus


Early career:

  • 208 Born in Arca Caesarea (Phoenicia)
  • 213-214 Frater Arvalis?
  • 217-218 Dynastic crisis (reign of Macrinus)
  • 218 Begin of reign of Heliogabalus
  • 221 Adopted by Heliogabalus

Main deeds:

  • 222 Consul (with Heliogabalus); Heliogabalus and Julia Soaemias murdered; Alexander becomes emperor
  • 223 Ulpian, the praetorian prefect, murdered
  • 224 In the east, the Parthian king Artabanus V is dethroned
  • 226 Consul II (with Gaius Aufidius Marcellus II); marriage to Sallustia Orbiana, daughter of the praetorian prefect Lucius Seius Sallustius; the rebel Ardašir captures the capital of the Parthian Empire, Ctesiphon, and is the first ruler of the Sasanian dynasty
  • 227 Seius Sallustius tries to become emperor, but is killed; the empress Orbiana is sent into exile
  • 229 Consul III (with Cassius Dio II)
  • 230 The Persians invade Mesopotamia and besiege Nisibis
  • 231 Severus Alexander leaves Rome and goes to the east; end of the usurpation of Uranius in Emesa
  • 232 Arrives in Syria, stays in Antioch; negotiations fail
  • 233 Alexander inconclusively fights against the Persians but the status quo is restored; celebrates triumph in Rome; meanwhile, the Alamanni become restless and destoy the limes in the Black Forest.
  • 234 Alexander goes to the Rhine, where he wants to fight against the Germanic tribes; attempts negotiations first
  • 235 Alexander and Julia Mamaea murdered in Mainz by soldiers of II Parthica and II Primigenia
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Coin of Julia Mamaea. Valkhof Museum, Nijmegen (Holland). Photo Marco Prins.
Coin of Julia Mamaea (Valkhof
Museum, Nijmegen)

New legions: IIII Italica

Baths of Caracalla (completed; Rome); Baths of Severus Alexander (Rome); Arch of Severus Alexander (Dougga)

Succeeded by: Maximinus Thrax

Contemporary events:

  • 226 A Roman merchant named "Qin Lun" reaches Hanoi and meets the Chinese emperor Sun Quan
  • 230/231 Origen, exiled from Alexandria, settles in Caesarea
  • 232 The relics of Thomas are transferred to Edessa
  • 235 Death of Hippolytus of Rome
  • 235 Origen's edition of the Septuagint
  • During this reign: death of Tertullian


This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.

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