Frasi di Settimio Severo

Settimio Severo foto
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Settimio Severo

Data di nascita: 11. Aprile 146
Data di morte: 4. Febbraio 211


Lucio Settimio Severo Augusto è stato un imperatore romano dal 193 alla sua morte. Giunto al potere dopo la guerra civile romana del 193-197, fu fondatore alla dinastia severiana. In linea con le scelte di Marco Aurelio ripristinò alla sua morte il principio dinastico di successione, facendo subentrare i figli Caracalla e Geta.

L'ascesa di Settimio Severo costituisce uno spartiacque nella storia romana; è considerato infatti l'iniziatore della nozione di "dominato" in cui l'imperatore non è più un privato gestore dell'impero per conto del Senato, come durante il principato, ma è unico e vero dominus, che trae forza dall'investitura militare delle legioni .

Egli fu inoltre iniziatore di un nuovo culto che si incentrava sulla figura dell'imperatore, ponendo le basi per una sorta di "monarchia sacra" mutuata dall'oriente ellenistico. Adottò infatti il titolo di dominus ac deus che andò a sostituire quello di princeps, che sottintendeva una condivisione del potere con il Senato.

Frasi Settimio Severo

„Let no one charge us with capricious inconsistency in our actions against Albinus, and let no one think that I am disloyal to this alleged friend or lacking in feeling toward him. 2. We gave this man everything, even a share of the established empire, a thing which a man would hardly do for his own brother. Indeed, I bestowed upon him that which you entrusted to me alone. Surely Albinus has shown little gratitude for the many benefits I have lavished upon him. 3. Now |87 he is collecting an army to take up arms against us, scornful of your valor and indifferent to his pledge of good faith to me, wishing in his insatiable greed to seize at the risk of disaster that which he has already received in part without war and without bloodshed, showing no respect for the gods by whom he has often sworn, and counting as worthless the labors you performed on our joint behalf with such courage and devotion to duty. 4. In what you accomplished, he also had a share, and he would have had an even greater share of the honor you gained for us both if he had only kept his word. For, just as it is unfair to initiate wrong actions, so also it is cowardly to make no defense against unjust treatment. Now when we took the field against Niger, we had reasons for our hostility, not entirely logical, perhaps, but inevitable. We did not hate him because he had seized the empire after it was already ours, but rather each one of us, motivated by an equal desire for glory, sought the empire for himself alone, when it was still in dispute and lay prostrate before all. 5. But Albinus has violated his pledges and broken his oaths, and although he received from me that which a man normally gives only to his son, he has chosen to be hostile rather than friendly and belligerent instead of peaceful. And just as we were generous to him previously and showered fame and honor upon him, so let us now punish him with our arms for his treachery and cowardice. 6. His army, small and island-bred, will not stand against your might. For you, who by your valor and readiness to act on your own behalf have been victorious in many battles and have gained control of the entire East, how can you fail to emerge victorious with the greatest of ease when you have so large a number of allies and when virtually the entire army is here. Whereas they, by contrast, are few in number and lack a brave and competent general to lead them. 7. Who does not know Albinus' effeminate nature? Who does not know that his way |88 of life has prepared him more for the chorus than for the battlefield? Let us therefore go forth against him with confidence, relying on our customary zeal and valor, with the gods as our allies, gods against whom he has acted impiously in breaking his oaths, and let us be mindful of the victories we have won, victories which that man ridicules.“

— Septimius Severus
Herodian, Book 3, Chapter 6.

„Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, scorn everybody else.“

— Septimius Severus
Statement made on his deathbed to his sons. Cassius Dio, Book 77, Part 16.


„You see by what has happened that we are superior to you in intelligence, in size of army, and in number of supporters. Surely you were easily trapped, captured without a struggle. It is in my power to do with you what I wish when I wish. Helpless and prostrate, you lie before us now, victims of our might. But if one looks for a punishment equal to the crimes you have committed, it is impossible to find a suitable one. You murdered your revered and benevolent old emperor, the man whom it was your sworn duty to protect. The empire of the Roman people, eternally respected, which our forefathers obtained by their valiant courage or inherited because of their noble birth, this empire you shamefully and disgracefully sold for silver as if it were your personal property. But you were unable to defend the man whom you yourselves had chosen as emperor. No, you betrayed him like the cowards you are. For these monstrous acts and crimes you deserve a thousand deaths, if one wished to do to you what you have earned. You see clearly what it is right you should suffer. But I will be merciful. I will not butcher you. My hands shall not do what your hands did. But I say that it is in no way fit or proper for you to continue to serve as the emperor's bodyguard, you who have violated your oath and stained your hands with the blood of your emperor and fellow Roman, betraying the trust placed in you and the security offered by your protection. Still, compassion leads me to spare your lives and your persons. But I order the soldiers who have you surrounded to cashier you, to strip off any military uniform or equipment you are wearing, and drive you off naked. 9. And I order you to get yourselves as far from the city of Rome as is humanly possible, and I promise you and I swear it on solemn oath and I proclaim it publicly that if any one of you is found within a hundred miles of Rome, he shall pay for it with his head.“

— Septimius Severus
Herodian, Book II.

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