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Portrait of Severus Alexander on a Silver Denarius
Portrait of Severus Alexander on a Silver Denarius
Pax on Reverse of Severus Alexander Silver Denarius
Pax on Reverse of Severus Alexander Silver Denarius
Severus Alexander
AD 222 - 235
Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander

Cousin and heir of his despised predecessor Elagabalus, whose ignomous murder in 222 (along with his motherís) was triggered by a rumour of Severus Alexanderís death.
After being raised to the imperial purple, Severus Alexander was by all accounts an effective and competent peacetime emperor, in large part due to the influence of his perceptive and intelligent mother. Under his reign, taxes were reduced, the standard of the coinage improved and patronage of the arts encouraged.
Unfortunately, as a wartime leader, he was hopelessly out of his depth. Unable to enforce military discipline, and earning the contempt of his men in demonstrating weakness by trying to buy off marauding barbarians instead of fighting them, he and his mother were murdered by his own soldiers on the Frontier of the Rhine in 235 AD. Maximinus, a Roman soldier of humble and barbaric origins, was elected in his place, and what followed was a period of enormous political and economic instability, war and usurpation that was to plague the Empire for most of the rest of the century until the reign of Diocletian.

Roman Emperors Portrait Gallery
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