The history Of African descent, Roman Emperor from 193 to 211 AD, Septimius Severus founded a personal dynasty and converted the government into a military monarchy. His reign marks a critical stage in the development of the absolute despotism that characterized the later Roman Empire. Historian Dion Cassius describes him as a "short, thin, very lively and taciturn man". A few interesting facts about his reign: A marble bust of Septimius Severus (sold 266,500 USD by Christie's in 2011) * Severus replaced the Praetorian Guard with a new 15,000-man guard from his own Danubian legions. * To justify his usurpation, he declared himself the adoptive son of the emperor Marcus Aurelius and claimed descent from the emperor Nerva. * According to Historia Augusta, Julia Domna came to Severus' attention on the back of a prophecy; he was told about a Syrian woman whose horoscope predicted that she would marry a king. * He won the soldiers’ support by increasing their pay and permitting them to marry. To prevent the rise of a powerful military rival, he reduced the number of legions under each general’s control. At the same time Severus ignored the Senate, which declined rapidly in power. * His birthplace Leptis Magna was endowed with remarkable monuments: Severus forum, Severan basilica, port facilities. Theatre of Leptis Magna Arch of Septimius Severus in Leptis Magna * In 208 AD, Severus, accompanied by Caracalla and his younger son, Geta, led an army to Britain to subdue the parts of the island not under Roman rule. Severus succumbed to disease at Eboracum (York, England), February 4th, at the age of 65. With the exception of the rule of Macrinus (217–218), Severus’s descendants remained in power until 235 AD. The coinage The main expenses of the budget of the Roman State remain the salary of the military and the defense. From the time of Severus, the military system is destabilized by wars, by the increase in the number of soldiers (he created 3 legions) and by the increase in the legionary pay, doubled by the same Septimius Severus around 197 AD. The only possible solution, monetary debasement, made it possible to have liquidity and a circulating monetary mass of greater value than what was possible to produce with the stock of metal available. Septimius Severus denarius 201 AD Rome 19mm 2.05g FVNDATOR PACIS RIC 265 The silver Denarius was the denomination in every day use in much of the Empire. These coins were the primary vehicles of propaganda and communication to the citizens of Rome, which explains why there are no less than 1,063 different known reverses! Some of these reverses are pompous, some elegant, some fascinating… and all very self-serving! However, while he was minting a sensational array of fascinating coins, he was also devaluing them by reducing the silver weight and purity dramatically. At the beginning of his reign in 193 AD, the silver denarius contained about 2.46 grams of silver. By 211, the denarius only contained about 1.82 grams of silver; this was the most important devaluation of currency since the Emperor Nero. Septimius Severus Ae27 Macedon Thessalonica Varbanov 4341 Ex @Theodosius Collection In the meantime, the production of bronze coinage (sestertii and dupondii) slows down considerably. This reduced production was sufficient to supply Italy and North Africa but no longer reaches the western provinces. In the Balkans and in the East, the relay is then ensured by the civic workshops which minted very abundant series of coins. I know we have many fans of Septimius Severus here on CT. So please show me your coins of the African Emperor !