Publius Septimius Geta


Publius Septimius Geta

Infobox Roman emperor
title=Emperor of the Roman Empire
name=Geta
full name =Publius Septimius Geta
(from birth to 209);
Caesar Publius Septimius Geta Augustus (from 209 to death)


caption =
reign =209 - February 4 211
(with Severus & Caracalla);
February - December 211 (with Caracalla)
predecessor =Septimius Severus (alone)
successor =Caracalla (alone)
spouse =
spouse 2 =
issue =
dynasty =Severan
father =Septimius Severus
mother =Julia Domna
date of birth =birth date|189|3|7|mf=y
place of birth =Rome
date of death =December 26 211 (age 22)
place of death =
place of burial =|
Severan dynasty


caption=The Severan Tondo

Publius Septimius Geta (March 7, 189–December 26 211), was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death.

Life

Geta was the younger son of Septimius Severus by his second wife Julia Domna. Geta was born in Rome, at a time when his father was only a provincial governor at the service of emperor Commodus.

Geta was always in a place secondary to his older brother Lucius, the heir known as Caracalla. Perhaps due to this, the relations between the two were difficult from their early years. Conflicts were constant and often required the mediation of their mother. To appease his youngest son, Septimius Severus gave Geta the title of "Augustus" in 209. During the campaign against the Britons of the early 3rd century, the imperial propaganda publicized a happy family that shared the responsibilities of rule. Caracalla was his father's second in command, Julia Domna the trusted counsellor and Geta had administrative and bureaucratic duties. Truth was that the rivalry and antipathy between the brothers was far from being improved.

Joint emperor

When Septimius Severus died in York in the beginning of 211, Caracalla and Geta were proclaimed joint emperors and returned to Rome. Geoffrey of Monmouth (a highly unreliable medieval source for the history of Roman Britain) claims that Geta was raised to the kingship of the Britons by the Roman legions still occupying York. The Britons, however, raised Caracalla to the throne because Monmouth states Caracalla was the son of a Briton mother. This contradicts evidence that Geta and Caracalla had the same mother.

Regardless, the shared throne was not a success: the brothers argued about every decision, from law to political appointments. Later sources speculate about the desire of the two of splitting the empire in two halves. By the end of the year, the situation was unbearable. Caracalla tried to murder Geta during the festival of Saturnalia without success. Later in December he arranged a meeting with his brother in his mother's apartments, and had him murdered in her arms by centurions.

Following Geta's assassination, Caracalla damned his memory and ordered his name to be removed from all inscriptions. The now sole emperor also took the opportunity to get rid of his political enemies, on the grounds of conspiracy with the deceased. Contemporary sourcesFact|date=December 2007 refer to numbers of about 20,000 persons of both sexes killed and/or proscribed during this time.

ee also

* Severan dynasty family tree

References

* Dio Cassius lxxvii; "Herodian" iv. I.

External links

* * [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Historia_Augusta/Geta*.html Life of Geta] ("Historia Augusta" at LacusCurtius: Latin text and English translation)


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