[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Clicca hic ad Latinam paginam legendam.]
Latine

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Clodius Albinus

This webpage reproduces part of the
Historia Augusta

published in the Loeb Classical Library,
1924

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]
Geta

(Vol. II) Historia Augusta

p3 The Life of Antoninus Caracalla

1 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The two sons left by Septimius Severus, Geta and Bassianus,1 both received the surname Antoninus,2 one from the army, the other from his father, but Geta was declared a public enemy,3 while Bassianus got the empire. 2 The account of this emperor's ancestors I deem it needless to repeat, for all this has been fully told in the Life of Severus.4 3 He himself in his boyhood was winsome and clever, respectful to his parents and courteous to his parents' friends, beloved by the people, popular with the senate, and well able to further his own interests in winning affection. 4 Never did he seem backward in letters or slow in deeds of kindness, never niggardly in largess or tardy in forgiving — at least while under his parents. 5 For example, if ever he saw condemned criminals pitted against wild beasts, he wept or turned away his eyes, and this was more than pleasing to the people. p56 Once, when a child of seven, hearing that a certain playmate of his had been severely scourged for adopting the religion of the Jews, he long refused to look at either the boy's father or his own, because he regarded them as responsible for the scourging. 7 It was at his plea, moreover, that their ancient rights were restored to the citizens of Antioch and Byzantium, with whom Severus had become angry because they had given aid to Niger.5 8 He conceived a hatred for Plautianus6 because of his cruelty. And all the gifts he received from his father on the occasion of the Sigillaria7 he presented of his own accord to his dependents or to his teachers.

2 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] All this, however, was in his boyhood. For when he passed beyond the age of a boy, either by his father's advice or through a natural cunning, or because he thought that he must imitate Alexander of Macedonia, he became more reserved and stern and even somewhat savage in expression, and indeed so much so that many were unable to believe that he was the same person whom they had known as a boy. 2 Alexander the Great and his achievements were ever on his lips, and often in a public gathering he would praise Tiberius and Sulla. 3 He was more arrogant than his father; and his brother, because he was very modest, he thoroughly despised.


[image ALT: A bust of a man of about 35, with curly hair and a fierce and wary expression. It is a contemporary portrait of the emperor Caracalla.]

A contemporary portrait, in the Stanza degli Imperatori in the Capitoline Museums in Rome, is identified as that of Caracalla.

4 After his father's death8 he went to the Praetorian Camp9 and complained there to the soldiers that his brother was forming a conspiracy against him. And p7so he had his brother slain in the Palace,10 giving orders to burn his body at once. 5 He also said in the Camp11 that his brother had shown disrespect to their mother. To those who had killed his brother he rendered thanks publicly, 6 and indeed he even gave them a bonus for being so loyal to him. 7 Nevertheless, some of the soldiers at Alba12 received the news of Geta's death with anger, and all declared they had sworn allegiance to both the sons of Severus and ought to maintain it to both.13 8 They then closed the gates of the camp, and the Emperor was not admitted for a long time, and then not until he had quieted their anger, not only by bitter words about Geta and by bringing charges against him, but also by enormous sums of money, by means of which, as usual, the soldiers were placated. 9 After this he returned to Rome and then attended a meeting of the senate,14 wearing a cuirass under his senator's robe and accompanied by an armed guard. He stationed this in a double line in the midst of the benches 10 and so made a speech, in which, with a view to accusing his brother and excusing himself, he complained in a confused and incoherent manner about his brother's treachery. 11 The senate received his speech with little favour, when he said that although he had granted his brother every indulgence and had in fact saved him from a conspiracy, yet Geta had formed a most dangerous plot against him and had made no return for his brotherly affection. 3[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After this speech he granted p9those who had been exiled or sent into banishment the right of returning to their fatherland.

From the senate he betook himself to the praetorians and spent the night in the Camp. 2 The following day he proceeded to the Capitolium; here he spoke cordially to those whom he was planning to put to death and then went back to the Palace leaning on the arm of Papinian15 and of Cilo.16 3 Here he saw Geta's mother and some other women weeping for his brother's death, and he thereupon resolved to kill them; but he was deterred by thinking how this would merely add to the cruelty of having slain his brother. 4 Laetus,17 however, he forced to commit suicide, sending him the poison himself; he had been the first to counsel the death of Geta and was himself the first to be killed. Afterwards, however, the Emperor frequently bewailed his death. 5 Many others, too, who had been privy to Geta's murder were put to death, and likewise a man who paid honours to his portrait.

6 After this he gave orders that his cousin Afer should be killed, although on the previous day he had sent him a portion of food from his own table. 7 Afer in fear of the assassins threw himself from a window and crawled away to his wife with a broken leg, but he was none the less seized by the murderers, who ridiculed him and put him to death. 8 Pompeianus too was killed, the grandson of the Emperor Marcus, — he was the son of his daughter and that Pompeianus18 who was married to Lucilla after the death of the Emperor Verus and made consul twice by Marcus p11and placed in command of all the most important wars of the time — and he was killed in such a way as to seem to have been murdered by robbers. 4[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Next, in the Emperor's own presence, Papinian was struck with an axe by some soldiers and so slain. Whereupon the Emperor said to the slayer, "You should have used a sword in carrying out my command."19 2 Patruinus,20 too, was slain by his order, and that in front of the Temple of the Deified Pius,21 and his body as well as Papinian's were dragged about through the streets without any regard for decency. Also Papinian's son was killed, who was a quaestor and only three days before had given a lavish spectacle. 3 During this same time there were slain men without number, all of whom had favoured the cause of Geta,22 and even the freedmen were slain who had managed Geta's affairs. 4 Then there was a slaughtering in all manner of places. Even in the public baths there was slaughter, and some too were killed while dining, among them Sammonicus Serenus,23 many of whose books dealing with learned subjects are still in circulation. 5 Cilo, moreover, twice prefect and consul, incurred the utmost danger merely because he had counselled harmony between the brothers. 6 For not until after the city-soldiers24 had seized Cilo, tearing off his senator's robe and pulling off his boots, did Antoninus check their violence. 7 After this he committed many further murders in the city, causing many persons far and wide to be seized by soldiers and killed, as though he were punishing a rebellion. p138 He put to death Helvius Pertinax,25 substitute consul,26 for no other reason than because he was the son of an emperor, 9 and he would never hesitate, whenever an opportunity presented itself, to put to death those who had been his brother's friends. 10 He often delivered insolent invectives against the senate and against the people, issuing proclamations and publishing harangues, and he even declared that he would be a second Sulla.

5 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After doing all this he set out for Gaul27 and immediately upon his arrival there killed the proconsul of Narbonensis.28 2 Thereby great consternation was caused among all who were engaged in administering Gaul, and he incurred the hatred felt for a tyrant; and yet would at times assume a kindly demeanour, despite the fact that by nature he was very savage. 3 After many measures directed against persons and in violation of the rights of communities he was seized with an illness and underwent great suffering. Yet even toward those who nursed him he behaved most brutally.29

4 Then he made ready for a journey to the Orient,30 but interrupted his march and stopped in Dacia. In the region of Raetia31 he put a number of the natives to death and then harangued his soldiers and made p15them presents quite as though they were the troops of Sulla. 5 He did not, however, as Commodus had done,32 permit his men to call him by the names of the gods, for many of them had begun to address him as Hercules because he had killed a lion and some other wild beasts. 6 Yet he did call himself Germanus33 after defeating the Germans, either in jest or in earnest, for he was foolish and witless and asserted that had he conquered the Lucanians34 he should have been given the name Lucanicus. 7 At that time men were condemned to death for having urinated in places where there were statues or busts of the Emperor or for having removed garlands from his busts in order to replace them by others, and some were even condemned for wearing them around their necks as preventives of quartan or tertian fever.

8 Then he journeyed through Thrace accompanied by the prefect of the guard. While he was crossing over from here into Asia the yard-arm of his ship broke and he ran great danger of shipwreck, so that, together with his bodyguard, he had to climb down into a lifeboat. From this he was taken up into a trireme by the prefect of the fleet and so was rescued.

9 He took wild boars in great numbers and once he even faced a lion — an occasion on which he prided himself, writing to his friends and boasting that he had attained to the prowess of a Hercules.

6 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] After this, turning to the war with the Armenians and Parthians, he appointed as military commander a man whose character resembled his own. p172 Then he betook himself to Alexandria,35 and here he called the people together into the gymnasium and heaped abuse on them; he gave orders, moreover, that those who were physically qualified should be enrolled for military service. 3 But those whom he enrolled he put to death, following the example of Ptolemy Euergetes,36 the eighth of those who bore the name Ptolemy. In addition to this he issued an order to his soldiers to slay their hosts and thus caused great slaughter at Alexandria.

4 Next he advanced through the lands of the Cadusii and the Babylonians37 and waged a guerilla-warfare with the Parthian satraps, in which wild beasts were even let loose against the enemy. 5 He then sent a letter to the senate as though he had won a real victory38 and thereupon was given the name Parthicus;39 the name Germanicus he had assumed during his father's lifetime.40 6 After this he wintered at Edessa41 with the intention of renewing the war against the Parthians. During this time, on the eighth day before the Ides of April, the feast of the Megalensia42 and his own birthday, while on a journey p19to Carrhae43 to do honour to the god Lunus,44 he stepped aside to satisfy the needs of nature and was thereupon assassinated by the treachery of Macrinus the prefect of the guard, who after his death seized the imperial power. The accomplices in the murder were Nemesianus,45 his brother Apollinaris, and Triccianus,46 who was serving as prefect of the Second Legion, the Parthian,47 and commanded the irregular cavalry. Marcus Agrippa,48 too, the commander of the fleet, was privy to it, as well as many members of his staff acting on the instigation of Martialis.49

7 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] He was slain in the course of a journey between Carrhae and Edessa,50 when he had dismounted for the purpose of emptying his bladder and was standing in the midst of his body-guard, who were accomplices in the murder. 2 For his equerry, while helping him to mount, thrust a dagger into his side, and thereupon all shouted out that it had been done by Martialis.

3 Now since we have made mention of the god Lunus, it should be known that all the most learned men have handed down the tradition, and it is at this day p21so held, particularly by the people of Carrhae, that whoever believes that this deity should be called Luna, with the name and sex of a woman, is subject to women and always their slave; 4 whereas he who believes that the god is a male dominates his wife and is not caught by any woman's wiles. 5 Hence the Greeks and, for that matter, the Egyptians, though they speak of Luna as a "god" in the same way as they include woman in "Man," nevertheless in their mystic rites use the masculine "Lunus."

8 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Many, I know, have told the story of Papinian's death,51 but in such a way as to show that they did not know its cause, and each has given a different version. I, however, have preferred to record a variety of opinions rather than to remain silent about the murder of so great a man. 2 It is generally reported that Papinian was a close friend of the Emperor Severus — related to him, some say, through his second wife,52 — and that he had given instruction along with Severus under Scaevola's53 direction and later succeeded Severus as pleader for the privy-purse.54 3 It is further reported that Severus had particularly entrusted him with the care of his two sons, and for this reason he had always tried to reconcile the brothers Antoninus, 4 and had even pleaded with Bassianus, when he accused his brother of treachery, not to put Geta to death; and for this reason he, together with Geta's supporters, was killed by the soldiers, not only with the consent but even with the encouragement of Antoninus. 5 Many, again, relate that Bassianus, after killing his brother, commanded Papinian to explain away his crime p23for him in the senate and before the people; to which Papinian replied that it was not so easy to defend fratricide as to commit it. 6 There is also the story that Papinian refused to compose a speech in which, to improve the murderer's case, the brother was to be attacked; and that in his refusal he had declared that to accuse an innocent man who had been murdered was a second act of murder. 7 All of which does not accord with facts; for the prefect of the guard may not compose speeches, and, besides, it is well established that Papinian was killed for being one of Geta's supporters. 8 It is further related that Papinian, when, seized by the soldiers, he was being haled to the Palace to be put to death, foretold the future, saying that whoever should succeed to his position would be an utter fool did he not take vengeance for this brutal attack on the prefecture. 9 And this actually came to pass; 10 for, as we have previously related,55 Macrinus murdered Antoninus; then, after he had been acclaimed emperor in the camp, together with his son, he gave the latter, who was called Diadumenianus, the name Antoninus,56 for the reason that an Antoninus was earnestly desired by the praetorian guard.

9 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Bassianus lived for forty-three years57 and ruled for six. 2 He was borne to the grave with a public funeral. He left a son, who afterward received, like his father, the name Antoninus — Marcus Antoninus Elagabalus;58 for such a hold had the name of the Antonines that it could not be removed from the thoughts of the people, because it had taken root in the hearts of all, even as had the name of Augustus.

p25 3 His mode of life was evil and he was more brutal even than his cruel father. He was gluttonous in his use of food and addicted to wine, hated by his household and detested in every camp save that of the praetorian guard; and between him and his brother there was no resemblance whatever.

4 Among the public works which he left at Rome was the notable Bath named after himself,59 the cella soliaris60 of which, so the architects declare, cannot be reproduced in the way in which it was built by him. 5 For it is said that the whole vaulting rested on gratings of bronze or copper, placed underneath it, but such is its size, that those who are versed in mechanics declare that it could not have been built in this way. 6 And he left a portico, too, named after his father61 and intended to contain a record of his achievements, both his triumphs and his wars. 7 He himself assumed the name Caracallus, taken from the garment reaching down to the heels,62 which he gave to the populace and which before his time had not been in vogue. 8 Hence at this present day, too, the hooded cloaks of this kind, affected especially by the Roman plebs, are called Antonine. 9 He also constructed a new street63 at the side of his bath (that is to say, the Antonine Bath), one more beautiful than which it were hard to find among all the streets of Rome. 10 He brought the cult of Isis to Rome and built magnificent temples to this goddess everywhere, celebrating her rites with even greater reverence than they had ever been celebrated before. 11 In all this, however, it is a source of wonder to me how it can be p27said that it was he who first brought the rites of Isis to Rome, for Antoninus Commodus celebrated them too, and he even carried about the statue of Anubis and made all the ritualistic pauses.64 Perhaps, however, Bassianus merely added to the renown of the goddess and was not actually the first to bring her to Rome.

12 His body was laid in the tomb of the Antonines,65 in order that the resting-place which had given him his name might also receive his remains.

10 1 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] It is of interest to know the way in which they say he married his stepmother Julia.66 2 She was a very beautiful woman, and once when she displayed a considerable part of her person, as it were in carelessness, Antoninus said, "I should like to, if I might," whereupon, they relate, she replied, "If you wish, you may; are you not aware that you are the emperor and that you make the laws and do not receive them?" 3 By these words his violent passion was strengthened for the perpetration of a crime, and he contracted a marriage, which, were he in truth aware that he made the laws, it were his sole duty to forbid. 4 For he took to wife his mother (by no other name should she be called), and to fratricide he added incest, for he joined to himself in marriage the woman whose son he had recently slain.

5 It is not out of place to include a certain gibe that was uttered at his expense. 6 For when he assumed the surnames Germanicus,67 Parthicus,68 Arabicus,69 and Alamannicus70 (for he conquered the Alamanni too), p29Helvius Pertinax, the son of Pertinax, said to him in jest, so it is related, "Add to the others, please, that of Geticus Maximus also"; for he had slain his brother Geta, and Getae is a name for the Goths, whom he conquered, while on his way to the East, in a series of skirmishes.

11[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Many omens predicting Geta's murder occurred, as we shall relate in his biography.71 2 For although Geta was the first to depart from this life, we shall none the less follow our usual plan, that the first to be born and the first to begin his rule shall be the first to be described.

3 On that occasion, moreover, when the soldiers hailed him as Augustus though his father was still alive,72 because it seemed to them that Severus, now afflicted with a disease in his feet, could no longer rule the Empire, Severus, it is said, when the plot of the soldiers and tribunes was crushed, had thought of putting him to death; this, however, was opposed by the prefects, who were men of great influence. 4 Some, on the other hand, say that the prefects wished to have him killed, but Severus refused, for fear that the severity of the act might be misrepresented as a piece of mere cruelty, and that, whereas it was in reality the soldiers who were guilty, the young man might pay the penalty for an act of rash folly with the stigma of a punishment so severe — namely, of seeming to have been put to death by his father.

5 Nevertheless, this emperor, the most cruel of men, and, to include all in a single phrase, a fratricide and committer of incest, the foe of his father, mother, and brother, was raised to the rank of the gods73 by Macrinus, his slayer, through fear of the soldiers, especially of the praetorians. 6 He has a temple, he has a p31board of Salii, he has an Antonine brotherhood,74 he who himself took from Faustina not only her temple but also her name as a goddess — 7 that temple, at least, which her husband had built her in the foot-hills of the Taurus,75 and in which this man's son Elagabalus Antoninus afterwards made a shrine, either for himself or for the Syrian Jupiter (the matter is uncertain) or for the Sun.76


The Editor's Notes:

1 He was originally named Julius Bassianus after his maternal grandfather; see note to Sev. iii.9. In 196 Severus gave him the name M. Aurelius Antoninus and by this he was officially known for the rest of his life; see Sev. x.3 and note. The nickname Caracalla (more correctly Caracallus) by which he is usually known was the name of the Gallic cloak which he made fashionable in Rome; see c. ix.7‑8; Sev. xxi.

Thayer's Note: For full details and sources, see the article Caracalla in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

2 See note to Sev. x.5.

3 After Geta's murder his statues were destroyed, his name officially erased from inscriptions, and coins bearing his likeness melted down; see Dio, LXXVII.12.6, and Dessau, Ins. Sel. 458‑460.

4 Sev. i.1‑2.

5 The rights of Antioch, taken away after Niger's defeat (Sev. ix.4), were probably restored when Caracalla received his toga virilis and assumed his first consulship there; see Sev. xvi.8. Byzantium surrendered to Severus' army in 196 after a siege of nearly three years; see Dio, LXXIV.10‑14. It was then deprived of its rights and ordered to pay tribute, and its walls were destroyed. Its later restoration by Severus is recorded by Malalas, p291, and Hesychius of Miletus (C. Müller, Fragm. Hist. Graec., iv p153).

6 See note to Sev. xiv.5.

7 See note to Hadr. xvii.3.

8 Immediately after Severus' death in Britain on 4 Feb. 211, Caracalla and Geta patched up a peace with the rebels and returned to Rome, where they arrived in May. The (p5)period of their joint rule, extending from their arrival to the murder of Geta about 26 Feb. 212, is omitted by the biographer.

9 At the NE corner of the city, near the modern Porta Pia.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources, see the article Castra Praetoria in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

10 Geta was killed in the arms of his mother; see Dio, LXXVII.2.

11 The biographer has compressed the narrative to the point of obscurity. Immediately after the murder of Geta, Caracalla hurried from the Palace to the Praetorian Camp, where he declared that Geta had made a plot against him. He then promised the soldiers a donative; see Dio, LXXVII.3.1‑2; Herodian, IV.3‑7.

12 The Second Legion, the Parthica, which Severus, after his discharge of the praetorian guard in 193 (see Sev. vi.11), (p7)had stationed in pmt garrison at Alba, the modern Albano.

13 Cf. Get. vi.1‑2.

14 On the day after the murder; see Dio, LXXVII.3.3.

15 Aemilius Papinianus, the famous jurist. He had been made prefect of the guard in 205 and was much beloved and trusted by Severus. For accounts of his death see c. iv.1; viii.1‑9; Get. vi.3.

16 L. Fabius Cilo, cos. 193; see Com. xx.1. He held many important offices under Severus, including a second consulship in 204 and the prefecture of the city — alluded to in c. iv.5. He was much esteemed by Severus and afterwards by Caracalla, but he almost lost his life when Papinian was murdered: see c. iv.5 and Dio, LXXVII.4.

17 Probably Maecius Laetus, co-prefect with Papinian. (p9)According to Dio, LXXVII.5.4, Caracalla planned to kill him but refrained because he was very ill.

18 See Marc. xx.6 and note.

19 Cf. Get. vi.3.

20 Valerius Patruinus, apparently co-prefect of the praetorian guard and colleague of Papinian and Laetus; see Prosopographia Imp. Rom., iii p372.

21 The Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, on the NE side of the Forum, now the church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources as well as a photograph, see the article Templum Antonini et Faustinae in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

22 According to Dio, LXXVII.4.1, 20,000 persons were put to death as partisans of Geta. Only the most important are enumerated here.

23 The author of various works of an antiquarian character, all of which have been lost. His Rerum Reconditarum Libri is quoted by Macrobius (Saturnalia, III.9.6), who also refers to him as vir saeculo suo doctus. See also Get. v.6; Gord. xviii.2. On his son see Alex. xxx.2 and note.

24 The three cohorts under the command of the praefectus urbi and responsible for the maintenance of order in Rome.

25 See Pert. vi.9; xv.3. A witticism made by him is supposed to have been the cause of his death; see c. x.6 and Get. vi.6.

26 In the imperial period it was customary for a consul to remain in office for only a portion of the year. The consuls (one of whom was frequently the emperor) who assumed their office on Jan. 1 were known as consules ordinarii; those who succeeded them after the expiration of a few months, and also their successors in their turn, were known as consules suffecti.

27 In the spring of 213. His departure was commemorated by an issue of coins with the legend Profectio Aug(usti); see Cohen2, iv pp508 f., nos. 508‑509.

28 The province of Gallia Narbonensis was named from its capital Narbo, now Narbonne. It included south-eastern France as far north as Vienne and as far west as Toulouse.

29 The biography omits the account of Caracalla's campaign (p13)of 213 in northern Raetia (Bavaria) against the Alamanni, his invasion of German territory, and his victory on the river Main, as a result of which he assumed the cognomen Germanicus Maximus and issued coins with the legend Victoria Germanica; see Cohen2, iv p210, nos. 645‑646.

30 In the spring of 214. His route was through Carniola and thence down the valley of the Save to the Danube.

31 The incidents narrated in this and the following sentences are out of place here and should be connected with his campaign of 213.

32 See Com. viii.5; ix.2; Diad. vii.2‑3.

33 The surname that he actually assumed was Germanicus Maximus; see note to c. iv.10. Apparently this is some pun on the meaning of germanus as "brother," like Cicero's pun Germanum Cimber occidit, cited by Quintilian, VIII.3.29.

34 In Southern Italy. The point of the joke is not evident; possibly some pun on the meaning of Lucanicus as a variety of sausage is intended.

Thayer's Note: For Lucanian sausage, see Apicius, Recipe 61.

35 After spending the winter of 214‑215 at Nicomedia in Bithynia he travelled through Asia Minor to Antioch, where he remained for some time. From there he went on to Alexandria; see Dio, LXXVII.18‑22.

36 More correctly, Ptolemy VIIº Physcon Euergetes, who died in 116 B.C. For the massacre see Polybius quoted by Strabo, XVII p797 f.

37 From Alexandria he returned to Antioch, where he spent the winter of 215‑216. In the spring of 216 he marched across northern Mesopotamia and over the Tigris to Arbela, (p17)but apparently, in spite of the statement of the biographer, he did not actually meet the Parthians in battle, for they fled before his advance; see Dio, LXXVIII.1.1‑2.

38 Coins were issued with the legend Vic(toria) Part(hica); see Cohen2, iv pp210 f., nos. 647‑656.

39 This cognomen had been bestowed on him in 199 on the occasion of his father's victory over the Parthians.

40 But see note to c. v.3.

41 Now Urfa, in northern Mesopotamia; here he spent the winter of 216‑217.

42 The feast of the Great Mother (ἡ Μεγάλη Μητήρ), celebrated at Rome on 4‑10 April. According to Dio, LXXVIII.6.5, his birthday was the 4th April.

43 Famous as the scene of the defeat of Crassus by the Parthians in 53 B.C.

44 i.e. the Semitic male moon-deity Sîn, who was worshipped at Carrhae and is depicted on the coins of the city. The name Lunus seems to have been coined for the purpose of indicating the male sex of this deity. It has been incorrectly used by modern writers to designate the Phrygian moon-god Mên (Μήν), who was worshipped throughout Asia Minor, but in reality there is no evidence that this god was ever called Lunus; see Roscher, Lexicon d. Griech u. Röm. Mythologie, ii.2689, note. In the pseudo-learned discussion in c. vii.3‑35 the cult of Sîn seems hopelessly confused with that of Σελήνη and according to Herodian, IV.13.3, Caracalla's intended visit was to the temple of Selene.

45 Nemesianus and Apollinaris were tribunes in the praetorian guard.

46 Aelius Decius Triccianus, prefect of the Second Legion under Caracalla and Macrinus, afterwards appointed by Macrinus governor of Pannonia Inferior; see Dio, lxxviii.13; lxxix.4.

47 See note to c. ii.7.

48 A slave by birth, he became an advocatus fisci under Severus and was promoted by Caracalla to the posts of a cognitionibus and ab epistulis and, later, raised to the senatorial order; Macrinus made him governor, first of Pannonia, then of Dacia; see Dio, LXXVIII.13. The fleet which he commanded at this time was probably the one used to transport the troops to Asia Minor.

49 Julius Martialis, the actual murderer. He was a former soldier, now serving as an evocatus, and bore a grudge against Caracalla because he had refused to make him a centurion; see Dio, LXXVIII.5.3.

50 On this portion of the vita see Intro. to Vol. I p. xxiii.

51 Cf. c. iv.1.

52 Julia Domna.

53 Q. Cervidius Scaevola; see Marc. xi.10 and note.

54 See note to Hadr. xx.6. The statement that Severus held this office is also made in Get. ii.4; Eutropius, VIII.18; Victor, Caesares, xx.30, but, inasmuch as there is no mention (p21)of it in the vita of Severus, it is usually regarded as suspicious; see Prosop. Imp. Rom. iii p213.

55 c. vi.6.

56 See Macr. ii.5; v.1, and notes.

57 This is an erroneous statement based on the belief that he was the son of Severus' first wife Pacciana Marciana (see note to c. x.1). He was actually twenty-nine years old at the time of his death; see Dio, LXXVIII.6.5.

58 See note to Heliog. i.1.

59 The famous Thermae Antoninianae or Baths of Caracalla, the impressive ruins of which are on the Via Appia just within the modern Porta San Sebastiano. It was surrounded by a portico built by Elagabalus and Alexander; see Heliog. xvii.8‑9; Alex. xxv.6.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources, see the article Thermae Antoninianae in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

60 By this term, the meaning of which is uncertain, the biographer refers to the frigidarium, or great entrance-hall, which contains a large swimming-pool. The vaulting of this hall was supported by a sort of grating made of iron bars riveted together, great quantities of which were found in the ruins; see J. H. Middleton, Remains of Ancient Rome, ii p163.

61 See Sev. xxi.12 and note.

62 See note to c. ii.1.

63 Probably the Vicus Sulpicius, a street running across the Via Appia and forming an approach to the south side of the Thermae Antoninianae; see Heliog. xvii.8.

Thayer's Note: For comprehensive details and sources (and better scholarship), see the article Via Nova in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome; the article Vicus Sulpicius is probably not relevant.

64 See Com. ix.4 and 6; Pesc. Nig. vi.9.

65 i.e. the Sepulcrum Hadriani; see Sev. xix.3 and note.

66 The fabrication of an incestuous relationship between Caracalla and Julia Domna, and the equally false statement that Julia was the Emperor's stepmother, appear together in a definite historical tradition; see notes to Sev. xviii.8 and xx.2.

67 See note to c. v.6.

68 See note to c. vi.5.

69 The cognomen Arabicus is not found on coins or in official inscriptions. It does appear, however, in a few provincial (p27)inscriptions, mostly of the years 213‑214. It was, therefore, probably not borne officially, or, if so, only for a short time; see Pauly-Wissowa, Realencycl. ii.2437.

70 There is no evidence that he ever bore the cognomen Alamannicus. The following anecdote is told also in Get. vi.6.

71 Get. iii.2‑9; iv.5.

72 See Sev. xviii.9‑11.

73 His deification at the request of Macrinus is also attested by Dio, LXXVIII.9.2. On coins and inscriptions of the period of Elagabalus and Alexander he is designated as Divus Magnus Antoninus.

74 This statement is not strictly true; see note to Marc. xv.4; certainly no Salii were ever created in his honour.

75 See Marc. xxvi.4.

76 See Marc. xxvi.9, and Heliog. i.5 f.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 2 Jul 07