Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Emperor Geta

et orabam pro eo omnibus diebus quousque transiuimus in carcerem castrensem. munere enim castrensi eramus pugnaturi; natale tunc Getae Caesaris. et feci pro illo orationem die et nocte gemens et lacrimans ut mihi donaretur.
Passio VII:9-10

St. Perpetua gives important historical information while telling about her little brother. She mentions Caesar Geta's birthday as the time they were to fight wild animals.

The Narrator also refers to the celebrations telling how St. Perpetua told the prison master

in faciem ei Perpetua respondit: Quid utique non permittis nobis refrigerare noxiis nobilissimis, Caesaris scilicet, et natali eiusdem pugnaturis? aut non tua gloria est, si pinguiores illo producamur?
Passio XVI:3

Wikipedia encyclopedia tells about the rather minor Caesar in the shadow of his father Septimus Severus and his older brother Lucius better known as Caracalla (link)

PVBLIVS SEPTIMIVS GETA AVGVSTVSGeta (Latin: Publius Septimius Geta Augustus  7 March 189 – 19 December 211), was a Roman Emperor co-ruling with his father Septimius Severus and his older brother Caracalla from 209 to his death.

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 close 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 younger 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 presented the image of a happy family that shared the responsibilities of rule. Septimus Severus entrusted his wife Julia Domna as his counsellor, his older son Caracalla as his second in command, and gave administrative and bureaucratic duties to his younger son Geta. In reality, however, the rivalry and antipathy between the brothers was far from resolved.

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 memory 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 or proscribed during this time.

No comments:

Post a Comment