Notes

1. Septimius Severus became one of several candidates for the throne following the assassination of Commodus on 31 December 192. Commodus was initially succeeded by Pertinax, who was murdered in favour of Didius Julianus. Though he required some years, until 197, to eliminate his rivals, including Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus, Septimius Severus dates his reign from his initial declaration as emperor on 9 April 193 and claimed to be the avenger of Pertinax. He was of African ancestry and married into the family of priests of Baal at Emesa. For a recent treatment, see A.R. Birley, Septimius Severus. The African Emperor. 2nd edition (New Haven, 1988). For a family tree, see the Stemmata of Imperial Dynasties.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6. I.e., Elagabalus, who was merely a boy and the son of a sister of Septimius Severus' wife Julia Domna. He was also the high priest of Baal at Emesa and attempted to integrate his god into the Graeco-Roman pantheon by encouraging idols to mate physically. This attempt, unsuccessful as it turns out, was the cause of much merriment at Rome but also contributed to Elegabalus' unpopularity. For a family tree, see the Stemmata of Imperial Dynasties.

7. In general, the women of the Severan dynasty, Syrian by birth, were well-educated and patrons of literature, philosophy and the arts. Julia Domna, for example, is said to have formed a circle of educated individuals around her, including, for example, Apollonius of Tyana. This is unlikely to be true. Nevertheless, Julia Mammaea, mother of Severus Alexander and, in effect, regent (her son was 7 years old at his accession), relied on some of the best legal minds for advice. A very readable account of the female members of the dynasty is G. Turton, The Syrian Princesses. The Women Who Ruled Rome A.D. 193-225 (London, 1974). For a family tree, see the Stemmata of Imperial Dynasties.

8.

9. Eusebius' Defence of Origen is extant. He wrote this work together with his mentor Pamphilus. For Pamphilus, see especially Eusebius' Martyrs of Palestine, Chapter XI.

10.

11.

12. Babylas later became a very famous martyr. In the middle of the fourth century, the presence of his bones was said to have kept an oracle from prophesying; the emperor Julian attempted unsuccessfully to reverse the effect. For Babylas' assumption of the episcopal throne, see Chapter XXIX. or Selections, Chapter XXIX; for his martyrdom, see Chapter XXXIX. or Selections, Chapter XXXIX.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19. Better known to us as Caracalla. In fact, Septimius Severus in 211 was succeeded by both his sons Caracalla and Geta, but the former ensured the demise of his brother within a year. For a family tree, see the Stemmata of Imperial Dynasties.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

26.

27.

28.

29.

30.