Caracalla

Reece Period attributed: Period 10

Obverse image of a coin of Caracalla

Member of the The Severans dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 198 until 217.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was born in AD 188, the elder son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. He quarrelled bitterly with his younger brother, Geta, throughout his youth. In 198, Severus gave Caracalla the title of Augustus. As Severus ailed, Caracalla angled to succeed him. Julia Domna, however, thwarted his plans, and the brothers became dual emperors when Severus died.

Caracalla and Geta didn’t share the power well, and built up opposing factions. Both had a reputation for cruelty and lack of scruples. After ten months of co-rule, Caracalla murdered his brother, but told the Senate that he did it in self-defence because Geta was trying to poison him. The Senate didn’t really believe him, and when Caracalla began killing off Geta’s supporters, they were further estranged.

Caracalla got his nickname from his preference for a certain type of garment, the caracullus, of German or Celtic origin. This was a close-fitting hooded garment made of many small pieces of cloth. He is also remembered for his immense bathing complex, the remains of which still stand in Rome.

This emperor shed plenty of unnecessary blood, from Geta’s supporters to a massacre of Alexandrians and a surprise attack on the Parthians. While Caracalla was in the East, a plot for his assassination was hatched; the commander of troops in Rome tried to warn the emperor, but Julia Domna intercepted the letter. He was murdered while pulling down his trousers to relieve himself.

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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Caracalla
  • Full names:
    • Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
    • Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caesar (195 to 198);
    • Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Pius Augustus (211 to death)
    • (198 to 211);
    • Caracalla
    • Lucius Septimius Bassianus (from birth to 195);
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Septimius Severus
  • Successor: Macrinus
  • Definition: Caracalla (/ˌkærəˈkælə/; 4 April 188 – 8 April 217), formally Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, was the Roman emperor from AD 198 to 217. A member of the Severan Dynasty, he was the eldest son of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. Caracalla reigned jointly with his father from 198 until Severus' death in 211. For a short time Caracalla then ruled jointly with his younger brother Geta, with whom he had a sour relationship, and whom Caracalla had murdered later in 211. Caracalla's reign was marked by domestic instability and external invasions from the Germanic people. Caracalla's reign was notable for the Antonine Constitution (Latin: Constitutio Antoniniana), also known as the Edict of Caracalla, which granted Roman citizenship to nearly all freemen throughout the Roman Empire. The edict gave all the enfranchised men Caracalla's adopted praenomen and nomen: "Marcus Aurelius". Domestically, Caracalla was known for the construction of the Baths of Caracalla, the second largest bath in Rome, for the introduction of a new Roman currency, the antoninianus, a sort of double denarius, and for the massacres he enacted against the people of Rome and elsewhere in the empire. Towards the end of his rule, Caracalla began a campaign against the Parthian Empire, a campaign he did not see through to completion due to his death in 217. Later, in the 12th century, a legend emerged of Caracalla's role as the king of Britain.
  • Parents:
  • Birth place: Lugdunum
  • Death place:
  • Spouse:
  • Other title(s):
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
    • List of Roman Emperors
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    • Came before:
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