The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history; when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title used was imperator a military honorific. Early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus and pontifex maximus; the legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. The first emperors reigned alone; the Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework were preserved after the end of the Western Empire; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire.
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453; the "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had meant king in Greek but became a title reserved for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge. Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome", part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922.
A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282. Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806; these Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch and Cassius Dio.
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor. At the end of the Roman Republic no new, no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power. Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator Julius Caesar had been an emperor, like several Roman generals before him. Instead, by the end of the civil wars in which Julius Caesar had led his armies, it became clear that there was no consensus to return to the old-style monarchy, but that the period when several officials, bestowed with equal power by the senate, would fight one another had come to an end. Julius Caesar, Augustus after him, accumulated offices and titles of the highest importance in the Republic, making the power attached to those offices permanent, preventing anyone with similar aspirations from accumulating or maintaining power for themselves. However, Julius Caesar, unlike those after
Damnatio memoriae is a modern Latin phrase meaning "condemnation of memory", i.e. that a person is to be excluded from official accounts. There are and have been many routes to damnatio, including the destruction of depictions, the removal of names from inscriptions and documents, large-scale rewritings of history, it was a form of dishonor that could be passed by the Roman Senate on traitors or others who brought discredit to the Roman State. The term can be applied to other instances of official scrubbing. In Latin, the term damnatio memoriae was not used by the ancient Romans; the first appearance of the phrase is in a dissertation written in Germany in 1689. The term is used in modern scholarship to cover a wide array of official and unofficial sanctions whereby the physical remnants of a deceased individual were destroyed to differing degrees. Damnatio memoriae, or oblivion, as a punishment was created by the peoples of Ephesus after Herostratus set fire to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of antiquity.
The Romans, who viewed it as a punishment worse than death, adopted this practice. Felons would be erased from history for the crimes they had committed; the sense of the expression damnatio memoriae and of the sanction is to cancel every trace of the person from the life of Rome, as if they had never existed, in order to preserve the honour of the city. In a city that stressed social appearance and the pride of being a true Roman as a fundamental requirement of the citizen, it was the severest punishment. In ancient Roman society, "a Roman's house was perceived as an extension of the self, signaling to divine protectors and social and genealogical status to the world outside." Just as the house would have been seen as an extension of the self, memory was thought of as one of the best ways to understand the self. In a society without much written documentation, memory training was a big part of Roman education. Orators and poets alike used memory training devices or memory palaces to help give speeches or tell long epic poems.
In The Natural History, Pliny writes:It would be far from easy to pronounce what person has been the most remarkable for the excellence of his memory, that blessing so essential for the enjoyment of life, there being so many that were celebrated for it. King Cyrus knew all the soldiers of his army by name: L. Scipio the names of all the Roman people. Memory palaces were used to provide an aid for remembering certain key ideas. By assigning locations in their homes for different ideas, poets or the like, could walk back and forth through their house, recalling ideas with every step. Many times, memory training involved assigning ideas to wall paintings, floor mosaics, sculptures that adorned many ancient Roman homes; the punishment of damnatio memoriae involved altering the rooms, many times destroying or tampering with the art in their homes as well, so that the house would no longer be identifiable as the perpetrator's home. This would in turn, erase the perpetrator's existence. In ancient Rome, the practice of damnatio memoriae was the condemnation of Roman elites and emperors after their deaths.
If the senate or a emperor did not like the acts of an individual, they could have his property seized, his name erased and his statues reworked. Because there is an economic incentive to seize property and rework statues and archaeologists have had difficulty determining when official damnatio memoriae took place, although it seems to have been quite rare, it is unknown whether any damnatio memoriae was successful as it would not be noticeable to historians, since, by definition, it would entail the complete and total erasure of the individual in question from the historical record. It was difficult, however, to implement the practice completely. For instance, the senate wanted to condemn the memory of Caligula. Nero was declared an enemy of the state by the senate, but given an enormous funeral honoring him after his death by Vitellius. While statues of some emperors were destroyed or reworked after their death, others were erected. Historians wrote about the deposed emperors. Many coins with the images of the discredited person continued to circulate.
A large number exist with Geta's image. The practice was applied to Elagabalus after his assassination. In the Middle Ages, heresiarchs could have their memory condemned; the Council of Constance decreed the damnatio memoriae of John Wycliffe. Examples of damnatio memoriae in modern times include the removal of statues of Stalin and other Communist leaders in the former Soviet Union. Ukraine dismantled all 1,320 statues of Lenin after its independence, as well as renaming roads and structures named under Soviet authority. In 2019, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern proposed something akin to damnatio memoriae when she said she would not use the name of the alleged shooter in the Christchurch Mosque attacks, encouraged others to do likewise. Looking at cases of damnatio memoriae in modern Irish history, Guy Beiner has argued that iconoclastic vandalism entails subtle expressions of ambiguous remembrance and that, rather than effacing memory, such acts of decommemorating preserve memory in obscure forms.
Media related to Damnatio memoriae at Wikimedia Commons Livius.org: Damnatio memoriae
North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Others have limited it to top North-Western countries like Algeria and Tunisia, a region, known by the French during colonial times as "Afrique du Nord" and is known by all Arabs as the Maghreb; the most accepted definition includes Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, the 6 countries that shape the top North of the African continent. Meanwhile, "North Africa" when used in the term North Africa and the Middle East refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, being part of the Middle East, is considered separately, due to being both North African and Middle Eastern at the same time. North Africa includes a number of Spanish and Portuguese possessions, Plazas de soberanía, Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands and Madeira.
The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic and linguistic identity, unique to this region. Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians. Between the A. D. 600s and 1000s, Arabs from the Middle East swept across the region in a wave of Muslim conquest. These peoples, physically quite similar, formed a single population in many areas, as Berbers and Egyptians merged into Arabic and Muslim culture; this process of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa since. The distinction between North Africa, the Sahel and the rest of the continent is as follows: Nineteenth century European explorers, attracted by the accounts of Ancient geographers or Arab geographers of the classical period, followed the routes by the nomadic people of the vast "empty" space, they documented the names of the stopping places they discovered or rediscovered, described landscapes, took a few climate measurements and gathered rock samples.
A map began to fill in the white blotch. The Sahara and the Sahel entered the geographic corpus by way of naturalist explorers because aridity is the feature that circumscribes the boundaries of the ecumene; the map details included topographical relief and location of watering holes crucial to long crossings. The Arabic word "Sahel" and "Sahara" made its entry into the vocabulary of geography. Latitudinally, the "slopes" of the arid desert, devoid of continuous human habitation, descend in step-like fashion toward the northern and southern edges of the Mediterranean that opens to Europe and the Sahel that opens to "Trab al Sudan." Longitudinally, a uniform grid divides the central desert shrinks back toward the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Sahara-Sahel is further divided into a total of twenty sub-areas: central, southern, eastern, etc. In this way, "standard" geography has determined aridity to be the boundary of the ecumene, it identifies settlements based on visible activity without regard for social or political organizations of space in vast, purportedly “empty” areas.
It gives only cursory acknowledgement to what makes Saharan geography, for that matter, world geography unique: mobility and the routes by which it flows. The Sahel or "African Transition Zone" has been affected by many formative epochs in North African history ranging from Ottoman occupation to the Arab-Berber control of the Andalus; as a result, many modern African nation-states that are included in the Sahel evidence cultural similarities and historical overlap with their North African neighbours. In the present day, North Africa is associated with West Asia in the realm of geopolitics to form a Middle East-North Africa region; the Islamic influence in the area is significant and North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world. Some researchers have postulated that North Africa rather than East Africa served as the exit point for the modern humans who first trekked out of the continent in the Out of Africa migration. North Africa has three main geographic features: the Sahara desert in the south, the Atlas Mountains in the west, the Nile River and delta in the east.
The Atlas Mountains extend across much of northern Algeria and Tunisia. These mountains are part of the fold mountain system that runs through much of Southern Europe, they recede to the south and east, becoming a steppe landscape before meeting the Sahara desert, which covers more than 75 percent of the region. The tallest peaks are in the High Atlas range in south-central Morocco, which has many snow-capped peaks. South of the Atlas Mountains is the dry and barren expanse of the Sahara desert, the largest sand desert in the world. In places the desert is cut by irregular watercourses called wadis—streams that flow only after rainfalls but are dry; the Sahara's major landforms include large seas of sand that sometimes form into huge dunes. The Sahara covers the southern part of Algeria and Tunisia, most of Libya. Only two regions of Libya are outside the desert: Tripolitania in the northwest and Cyrenaica in the northeast. Most of Egypt is desert, with the exception of the Nile River and the irrigated land along its banks.
The Nile Valley forms a narrow fertile thread. Sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, the Mediterranean coast are the main sources of fertile farming land. A wide variety of valuable crops including ce
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Libya the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, Tunisia to the northwest. The sovereign state is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. With an area of 1.8 million square kilometres, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world; the largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The second-largest city is Benghazi, located in eastern Libya. Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age; the Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians and Greeks before becoming a part of the Roman Empire.
Libya was an early centre of Christianity. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area of Libya was occupied by the Vandals until the 7th century, when invasions brought Islam to the region. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 19th centuries. Ottoman rule continued until the Italian occupation of Libya resulted in the temporary Italian Libya colony from 1911 to 1947. During the Second World War, Libya was an important area of warfare in the North African Campaign; the Italian population went into decline. Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A military coup in 1969 overthrew King Idris I; the "bloodless" coup leader Muammar Gaddafi ruled the country from 1969 and the Libyan Cultural Revolution in 1973 until he was overthrown and killed in the 2011 Libyan Civil War. Two authorities claimed to govern Libya: the Council of Deputies in Tobruk and the 2014 General National Congress in Tripoli, which considered itself the continuation of the General National Congress, elected in 2012.
After UN-led peace talks between the Tobruk and Tripoli governments, a unified interim UN-backed Government of National Accord was established in 2015, the GNC disbanded to support it. Parts of Libya remain outside either government's control, with various Islamist and tribal militias administering some areas; as of July 2017, talks are still ongoing between the GNA and the Tobruk-based authorities to end the strife and unify the divided establishments of the state, including the Libyan National Army and the Central Bank of Libya. Libya is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League, the OIC and OPEC; the country's official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims. The Latin name Libya referred to the region west of the Nile corresponding to its central location in North Africa visited by many Mediterranean cultures which referred to its original inhabitants as the "Libúē." The name Libya was introduced in 1934 for Italian Libya, reviving the historical name for Northwest Africa, from the ancient Greek Λιβύη.
It was intended to supplant terms applied to Ottoman Tripolitania, the coastal region of what is today Libya having been ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1551 to 1911, as the Eyalet of Tripolitania. The name "Libya" was brought back into use in 1903 by Italian geographer Federico Minutilli. Libya gained independence in 1951 as the United Libyan Kingdom, changing its name to the Kingdom of Libya in 1963. Following a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969, the name of the state was changed to the Libyan Arab Republic; the official name was "Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" from 1977 to 1986, "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" from 1986 to 2011. The National Transitional Council, established in 2011, referred to the state as "Libya"; the UN formally recognized the country as "Libya" in September 2011, based on a request from the Permanent Mission of Libya citing the Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration of 3 August 2011. In November 2011, the ISO 3166-1 was altered to reflect the new country name "Libya" in English, "Libye" in French.
In December 2017 the Permanent Mission of Libya to the United Nations informed the United Nations that the country's official name was henceforth the "State of Libya". The coastal plain of Libya was inhabited by Neolithic peoples from as early as 8000 BC; the Afroasiatic ancestors of the Berber people are assumed to have spread into the area by the Late Bronze Age. The earliest known name of such a tribe was the Garamantes, based in Germa; the Phoenicians were the first to establish trading posts in Libya. By the 5th century BC, the greatest of the Phoenician colonies, had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilization, known as Punic, came into being. In 630 BC, the ancient Greeks colonized the area around Barca in Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene. Within 200 years, four more important Greek cities were established in the area that became known as
Julia Domna was a Roman empress of Syrian origin, the second wife of Septimius Severus. She was born in Emesa in the Roman province of Syria, into a family of priests of the deity Elagabalus; as a powerful political figure and member of the imperial family, Julia received titles such as "mother of the army camps". She was famous for her philosophical influence. After Severus' death in 211, his two sons with Julia and Caracalla, ruled jointly over Rome. Caracalla had Geta assassinated that year. Julia continued to have a powerful role during the reign of Caracalla. Julia is thought to have committed suicide in 217 upon hearing of the assassination of Caracalla. After her death, her older sister Julia Maesa contended for political power. Julia Domna was born in Emesa in Syria around 160 AD to a family of Arab descent, her name, Domna, is an archaic Arabic word. She was the youngest daughter of the high-priest of Ba'al Gaius Julius Bassianus and sister to Julia Maesa. Through her sister and Maesa's husband Julius Avitus, Julia Domna had two nieces: Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea, the respective mothers of future Roman emperors Elagabalus and Severus Alexander.
Julia's ancestors were priest kings of the famous temple of Elagabalus. The family was promoted to Roman senatorial aristocracy. Before her marriage, Julia inherited the estate of her paternal great-uncle Julius Agrippa, a former leading centurion. In the late 180s, Julia married the Libyan Roman general Septimius Severus; the marriage proved happy, Severus cherished Julia and her political opinions, since she was well-read and a student of philosophy. They had two sons, Caracalla in 188 and Geta in 189. After the Roman emperor Commodus was murdered without an heir in 192, many contenders rushed for the throne, including Julia's husband, Septimius Severus. An elder senator, was appointed by the praetorian guard as the new emperor of Rome, but when Pertinax would not meet the guard's demands, he too was murdered. Another politician, Didius Julianus, was called to appointed emperor. Severus, coming from the north into Rome, had him executed. Severus claimed the title of emperor in 193. By offering Clodius Albinus, a powerful governor of Britannia, the rank of Caesar, Severus could focus on his other rival to the throne, Pescennius Niger, whom he defeated at the Battle of Issus in 194.
When afterwards Severus declared his son Caracalla as successor, Clodius Albinus was hailed emperor by his troops. At the Battle of Lugdunum in 197, Severus defeated and killed Albinus, establishing himself as Emperor, thus Julia Domna became Empress consort. Unlike most imperial wives, Julia remarkably accompanied her husband on his military campaigns and stayed in camp with the army. During this time, honorary titles were granted to Julia similar to those given to Faustina the Younger, including mater castrorum, mother of the camp, mater Augustus, mother of Augustus, mater patriae, mother of the fatherland; the empress was involved in building projects, most notably the aedes Vestae after the fire of Commodus in 192 destroyed areas of the temple and the home, or Atrium, of the Vestal Virgins. Julia was respected and viewed positively for most of her tenure, as indicators and evidence include the coins minted with her portrait, mentioning her with several honorary titles and simply as "Julia Augusta".
Julia is said to have exceeded all other Roman empresses in honours. The hairstyle that she used would be worn by Roman empress Cornelia Salonina and Palmyran queen Zenobia; when Severus died in 211 in Eboracum, Julia became the mediator between their two sons and Geta, who were supposed to rule as joint emperors, according to their father's wishes expressed in his will. The two young men were never quarrelled frequently. Geta was murdered by Caracalla's soldiers in the same year. Geta's name was removed from inscriptions and his image was erased. During his campaign against the Parthian empire in 217, Caracalla was assassinated by a Roman soldier. Julia chose to commit suicide after hearing about the rebellion a decision hastened by the fact that she was suffering from breast cancer, as well as a reluctance to return to private life, her sister Julia Maesa restored the Severan dynasty about a year after Julia Domna's death. Julia Domna's body was placed in the Sepulcrum C. et L. Caesaris. However, both her bones and those of Geta were transferred by Julia Maesa to the Mausoleum of Hadrian.
Julia Domna is remembered for encouraging Philostratus to write the Life of Apollonius of Tyana. Julia is thought to have died. Minaud, Gérard. Les vies de 12 femmes d'empereur romain: intrigues & voluptés. Harmattan. Pp. 211–242. ISBN 978-2-3360-0291-0. Fejfer, Jane. Roman Portraits in Context. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-1101-8664-2
Septimius Severus known as Severus, was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna in the Roman province of Africa; as a young man he advanced through the cursus honorum—the customary succession of offices—under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors. After deposing and killing the incumbent emperor Didius Julianus, Severus fought his rival claimants, the Roman generals Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. Niger was defeated in 194 at the Battle of Issus in Cilicia; that year Severus waged a short punitive campaign beyond the eastern frontier, annexing the Kingdom of Osroene as a new province. Severus defeated Albinus three years at the Battle of Lugdunum in Gaul. After consolidating his rule over the western provinces, Severus waged another brief, more successful war in the east against the Parthian Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 197 and expanding the eastern frontier to the Tigris.
He enlarged and fortified the Limes Arabicus in Arabia Petraea. In 202 he campaigned in Mauretania against the Garamantes, he proclaimed as Augusti his elder son Caracalla in 198 and his younger son Geta in 209. In 208 he travelled to Britain, reoccupying the Antonine Wall. In the same year he invaded Caledonia, but his ambitions were cut short when he fell fatally ill of an infectious disease, in late 210. Severus died in early 211 at Eboracum, was succeeded by his sons, thus founding the Severan dynasty, it was the last dynasty of the Roman Empire before the Crisis of the Third Century. Born on 11 April 145 at Leptis Magna as the son of Publius Septimius Geta and Fulvia Pia, Septimius Severus came from a wealthy and distinguished family of equestrian rank, he had Italian Roman ancestry on his mother's side and descended from Punic – and also Libyan – forebears on his father's side. Severus' father, an obscure provincial, held no major political status, but he had two cousins, Publius Septimius Aper and Gaius Septimius Severus, who served as consuls under the emperor Antoninus Pius r.
138–161. His mother's ancestors had moved from Italy to North Africa. Septimius Severus had two siblings: Publius Septimius Geta. Severus's maternal cousin was consul Gaius Fulvius Plautianus. Septimius Severus grew up in Leptis Magna, he spoke the local Punic language fluently, but he was educated in Latin and Greek, which he spoke with a slight accent. Little else is known of the young Severus' education but, according to Cassius Dio, the boy had been eager for more education than he had got. Severus received lessons in oratory: at age 17 he gave his first public speech. Around 162 Septimius Severus sought a public career in Rome. At the recommendation of his relative Gaius Septimius Severus, Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted him entry into the senatorial ranks. Membership in the senatorial order was a prerequisite to attain positions within the cursus honorum and to gain entry into the Roman Senate, it appears that Severus' career during the 160s met with some difficulties. It is that he served as a vigintivir in Rome, overseeing road maintenance in or near the city, he may have appeared in court as an advocate.
At the time of Marcus Aurelius he was the State Attorney. However, he omitted the military tribunate from the cursus honorum and had to delay his quaestorship until he had reached the required minimum age of 25. To make matters worse, the Antonine Plague swept through the capital in 166. With his career at a halt, Severus decided to temporarily return to Leptis, where the climate was healthier. According to the Historia Augusta, a unreliable source, he was prosecuted for adultery during this time but the case was dismissed. At the end of 169 Severus journeyed back to Rome. On 5 December, he took office and was enrolled in the Roman Senate. Between 170 and 180 his activities went unrecorded, in spite of the fact that he occupied an impressive number of posts in quick succession; the Antonine Plague had thinned the senatorial ranks and, with capable men now in short supply, Severus' career advanced more than it otherwise might have. The sudden death of his father necessitated another return to Leptis Magna to settle family affairs.
Before he was able to leave Africa, Mauri tribesmen invaded southern Spain. Control of the province was handed over to the Emperor, while the Senate gained temporary control of Sardinia as compensation. Thus, Septimius Severus spent the remainder of his second term as quaestor on the island of Sardinia. In 173 Severus' kinsman Gaius Septimius Severus was appointed proconsul of the Province of Africa; the elder Severus chose his cousin as one of his two legati pro praetore, a senior military appointment. Following the end of this term, Septimius Severus returned to Rome, taking up office as tribune of the plebs, a senior legislative position, with the distinction of being the candidatus of the emperor. About 175, Septimius Severus, in his early thirties at the time, contracted his first marriage, to Paccia Marciana, a woman from Leptis Magna, he met her during his tenure as legate under his uncle. Marciana's name suggests Punic or Libyan origin, but nothing else is