SEPTIMUS SEVERUS: AN AFRICAN BORN EMPEROR OF ROME

RUNOKO RASHIDI

In 193 C.E. Septimius Severus became emperor of Rome. It was just four years earlier, in 189 C.E., that Victor I, an African, became pope. Four years after Septimius became emperor, in 197 C.E., Tertullian’s Apologia was published.


In 203, ten years after Septimius became emperor of Rome, the exceptionally brave St. Perpetua (an African woman) and her companions were martyred. In addition, by the end of the second century of the Christian Era more than one third of all of the members of the Roman Senate were born in Africa and Africans were dominant in Rome's intellectual life.


This dynasty, known to historians as the Severan Dynasty, began with the accession to the throne of Septimius Severus in 193 C.E. Septimius spent much of his reign ruling the Roman Empire on the move. Six years after becoming emperor, around 199 C.E., after conquering the Parthian capital of Ctesiphon, Septimius journeyed to Egypt, becoming the first Roman emperor to visit for more than sixty years.

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