Severus Alexander

in full Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander orig. Gessius Bassianus Alexianus

born с AD 209, Phoenicia
died 235, Gaul

Roman emperor (222–235).

At age 14 he succeeded Elagabalus, who had been murdered by the Praetorian Guard. Severus's mother and grandmother both held real power during his reign. A council of senators gave nominal ruling power to the Senate. Civil lawlessness reigned, and Severus's military incompetence led to defeat by the Persians, though their heavy losses forced them to withdraw from Mesopotamia. When he bought peace from the invading Germanic Alemanni, his indignant soldiers murdered him and his mother.

* * *

▪ Roman emperor
also called  Alexander Severus , in full  Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander , original name  Gessius Bassianus Alexianus  or  Alexianus Bassianus 
born 209, Phoenicia [now in Lebanon]
died 235, Gaul

      Roman emperor from AD 222 to 235, whose weak rule collapsed in the civil strife that engulfed the empire for the next 50 years. His maternal grandmother, Julia Maesa, was a sister-in-law of the emperor Septimius Severus (Severus, Septimius) (reigned 193–211).

      In 218 the legions in Syria proclaimed as emperor Alexander's 14-year-old cousin, Elagabalus (Heliogabalus), who was persuaded (221) to adopt Alexander as his heir. In March 222 the Praetorian Guard—probably prompted by Julia Maesa and Alexander's mother, Julia Mamaea—murdered Elagabalus. Alexander succeeded to power without incident. During his reign the real authority was held by his grandmother (until her death in 226) and his mother. The appointment of a regency council of 16 senators provided the Senate with nominal ruling power.

      Under this regime large sections of the civilian and military populace lost faith in the government at Rome and lapsed into lawlessness. In 224 the Praetorian Guards went so far as to murder their commander, Domitius Ulpianus (Ulpian), the chief minister of state and a distinguished jurist, in the presence of the emperor and his mother. Another member of the council, the historian Cassius Dio, had to open the year of his second consulate (229) outside Rome to avoid being murdered by the guard.

      But it was his incompetence as a military leader that was Alexander's undoing. In 230 and 231 the Persian king Ardashīr I invaded the Roman province of Mesopotamia (in modern Iraq). Alexander launched a three-pronged counteroffensive (232) and was defeated when the force under his personal command failed to advance. But the heavy losses suffered by the Persians forced them to withdraw from Mesopotamia, thereby giving Alexander—because he had maintained control of Mesopotamia—an excuse to celebrate a triumph at Rome in 233. Shortly afterward the emperor was called to the Rhine (at Mainz in modern Germany) to fight the invading Germanic tribe of the Alemanni. When, on advice from his mother, he ended these operations by buying peace from the Germans, his army became indignant. Early in 235 the soldiers murdered Alexander and his mother and proclaimed Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus as emperor. Alexander was deified after Maximinus's death in 238.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Severus Alexander — Louvre Severus Alexander (* 1. Oktober 208 in Arca Caesarea, Arqa im heutigen Libanon; † im März 235 in der Nähe von Mogontiacum) war von 222 bis zu seinem Tod römischer Kaiser. In älterer Literatur wird er oft Alexa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • SEVERUS, ALEXANDER° — (Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus; 208), Roman emperor 222–35 C.E. Relations between the Severi and the Jews were notably favorable, and in this framework one Severus, the son of Antoninus mentioned in talmudic literature has been identified… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Severus Alexander — Severus Alexạnder,   Marcus Aurelius, als römischer Kaiser Alexạnder Severus, Alexander (Herrscher, Römisches Reich) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Severus, Alexander — • An article by Thomas J. Shahan on the emperor who was born at Acco in Palestine in 208, and murdered by his mutinous soldiers at Sicula on the Rhine Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • SEVERUS Alexander — Alexander SEVERUS praenomine Aurelius, Imperator Romanus, Urbe Arcenâ genitus, Varii filius ex Mammaea, Heliogabali consobrinus, post huius mortem accipit Imperium, iam mortuô Macrino Caesar a Senatu appellatus. Dominum se appellari vetuit; E XVI …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Александр Север Марк Аврелий (Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander) — (208—235), римский император с 222, из династии Северов. В 231—232 вёл успешную войну с Персией. Был убит солдатами, недовольными введением суровой воинской дисциплины …   Большой Энциклопедический словарь

  • Alexander Severus — 26th Emperor of the Roman Empire Bust of Severus Alexander Reign 222 – 18 / 19 March 235 …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Severus — Severus Alexander Louvre Severus Alexander (* 1. Oktober 208 in Arca Caesarea, Arqa im heutigen Libanon; † wohl 19. März 235 wahrscheinlich in Mainz Bretzenheim) war von 222 bis zu seinem Tod römischer Kaiser. In älterer Literatur wird er oft… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Severus —     Alexander Severus     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Alexander Severus     Roman emperor, b. at Acco in Palestine, 208, murdered by his mutinous soldiers at Sicula on the Rhine. 235 (Sicklingen near Mainz). He was the son of Genessius Marcianus… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Alexander III. (Makedonien) — Alexander der Große. Hellenistisch, 2. bis 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr., griechischer Marmor. Alexander der Große (Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας; Aléxandros ho Mégas) bzw. Alexander III. (* 20. Juli 356 v. Chr. in Pella (Makedonien); † …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.