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Geta - Roman Caesar: 198-209 - Emperor: 209-211 A.D.

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Publius Septimius Geta was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death.

 

Publius Septimius Geta (March 7, 189–December 26, 211), was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death.Publius Septimius Geta Louvre Ma1076.jpg

Geta was the younger son of Septimius Severus by his second wife Julia Domna. Geta was born in Rome, at a time when his father was only a provincial governor at the service of emperor Commodus.

Geta was always in a place secondary to his older brother Lucius, the heir known as Caracalla. Perhaps due to this, the relations between the two were difficult from their early years. Conflicts were constant and often required the mediation of their mother. To appease his youngest son, Septimius Severus gave Geta the title of Augustus in 209. During the campaign against the Britons of the early 3rd century, the imperial propaganda publicized a happy family that shared the responsibilities of rule. Caracalla was his father's second in command, Julia Domna the trusted counsellor and Geta had administrative and bureaucratic duties. Truth was that the rivalry and antipathy between the brothers was far from being improved. 

Joint Emperor

When Septimius Severus died in Eboracum in the beginning of 211, Caracalla and Geta were proclaimed joint emperors and returned to Rome.

Regardless, the shared throne was not a success: the brothers argued about every decision, from law to political appointments. Later sources speculate about the desire of the two of splitting the empire in two halves. By the end of the year, the situation was unbearable. Caracalla tried to murder Geta during the festival of Saturnalia without success. Later in December he arranged a meeting with his brother in his mother's apartments, and had him murdered in her arms by centurions.

Following Geta's assassination, Caracalla damned his memoryy and ordered his name to be removed from all inscriptions. The now sole emperor also took the opportunity to get rid of his political enemies, on the grounds of conspiracy with the deceased. Cassius Dio  stated that around 20,000 persons of both sexes were killed and/or proscribed during this time.

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