Publius Septimius Geta (father of Septimius Severus)
Publius Septimius Geta († 171 , probably in spring) was a member of the local upper class of the Roman Colonia Leptis Magna in the Tripolitania region and father of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus , who founded the Severan dynasty.
Origin and family
His family belonged to the equestrian order and were extremely wealthy; he himself was the son of Lucius Septimius Severus. His cousins Publius Septimius Aper ( suffect consul 153) and Gaius Septimius Severus (suffect consul 160) were already respected senators, but for unknown reasons - possibly poor health or a lack of ambition - Publius Septimius Geta, unlike them, did not pursue a comparable career in imperial politics.
He was the first bearer of the cognomen (and original slave name) "Geta" in the vicinity of Leptis Magna - possibly he had received this name after Gaius Vitorius Hosidius Geta ( suffect consul in 120), whose father Marcus Vitorius Marcellus (suffect consul 105) was classmate and was acquainted with a Septimius Severus, so was related to the Septimii family. Publius Septimius Geta was married to Fulvia Pia and had with her the two sons Lucius Septimius Severus and Publius Septimius Geta and the daughter Septimia Octavilla.
Possible political activity and death
Public offices held by him or other stations in his career are not known for sure. He did not belong to the senatorial class , although he could have held local offices. It was assumed that the urban aedile "[...] s Geta", which is known from a fragmented building inscription from Leptis Magna, is Publius Septimius Geta. Anthony R. Birley has also suspected that the tasks of an advocatus fisci (legal representative of the Roman tax officials) and a military tribune , which the later emperor Septimius Severus is said to have carried out according to ancient sources, were only attributed to this because of a mix-up and in fact from exercised by his father. The fact that these offices are not listed in the inscriptions in which Publius Septimius Geta is mentioned (see below) is explained by the fact that they tried to cover up the insignificant offices he held, i.e. the comparatively low origin of Septimius Severus, in retrospect .
Publius Septimius Geta probably died in the spring of 171 when his son wanted to leave for a second term as quaestor in the province of Baetica after exercising his quaestur in Rome (170) . Due to the death he was prevented from doing so and first had to clarify family matters in Africa; meanwhile, instead of Baetica, he was assigned the province of Sardinia , in which he began his activity in July 171 at the earliest.
The historian Marius Maximus is said to have dealt extensively with Severus' father in his biography. Since this has been lost, the only literary sources available are notes in the controversial biography collection Historia Augusta . Publius Septimius Geta is also known from a memorial inscription for his sister Septimia Polla, who died before him, of whose heir he was, as well as from inscriptions that he himself commemorated during the reign of his son in Leptis Magna and in Cirta (also in the province of Africa ) were set up.
- Anthony R. Birley : The African Emperor. Septimius Severus. 2nd edition, BT Batsford, London 1988, ISBN 0-7134-5694-9 , especially p. 215 and p. 218 (family tree on p. 216 f.).
- Historia Augusta , Vita Severi 1,2.
- On the reasons Anthony R. Birley : The African Emperor. Septimius Severus. 2nd edition, BT Batsford, London 1988, ISBN 0-7134-5694-9 , p. 1. For the relationship to the two consuls mentioned cf. ibid, p. 23 f.
- Publius Papinius Statius , Silvae , Introduction to Book 4 ( online ).
- Anthony R. Birley : The African Emperor. Septimius Severus. 2nd edition, BT Batsford, London 1988, ISBN 0-7134-5694-9 , p. 23, p. 214 f. and p. 218.
- Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (IRT) No. 597 on this Anthony R. Birley: Some Notes on HA Severus, 1-4. In: Bonner Historia-Augusta-Colloquium 1968/1969 (= Antiquitas . Series 4: Contributions to Historia-Augusta-Research. Volume 7). Rudolf Habelt, Bonn 1970, ISBN 3-7749-1098-7 , pp. 59–77, here p. 60.
- Christoph Georg Paulus : Advocatus. In: The New Pauly (DNP). Volume 1, Metzler, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-476-01471-1 , column 136 f.
- Historia Augusta , Vita Getae 2.4; Eutropius , Breviarium from urbe condita 8.18 ( online ).
- Anthony R. Birley: Septimius Severus. The African emperor. Eyre & Spottiswoode, London 1971, ISBN 0-413-26900-0 , p. 302, note 1.
- Historia Augusta , Vita Severi 2,3. Dating Anthony R. Birley: Some Notes on HA Severus, 1-4. In: Bonner Historia-Augusta-Colloquium 1968/1969 (= Antiquitas . Series 4: Contributions to Historia-Augusta-Research. Volume 7). Rudolf Habelt, Bonn 1970, ISBN 3-7749-1098-7 , pp. 59-77, here pp. 69 f.
- Historia Augusta , Vita Getae 2.1.
- Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (IRT) No. 607
- Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania (IRT) No. 414 ; CIL 8, 19493
|SURNAME||Septimius Geta, Publius|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Punic-Roman nobleman and father of Emperor Septimius Severus|
|DATE OF BIRTH||2nd century|
|DATE OF DEATH||171|