On This Day In History: Western Roman Emperor Severus II Died – On Sep 16, 307

On 16 September 307, died Severus II who was a Western Roman Emperor from 306 to 307.

After failing to besiege Rome, he fled to Ravenna. It is thought that he was killed there or executed near Rome. Was he executed or forced to commit suicide? It is uncertain.

Severus was born in Northern Illyria around the middle of the third century AD. He became a senior officer in the Roman army, and his old friend emperor Galerius ordered that Severus was appointed Caesar of the Western Roman Empire, a post that he succeeded to on May 1, 305.

Then, Severus II was promoted to Augustus by Galerius, who sent him to suppress the rebellion. From his capital Mediolanum, Severus moved towards Rome at the head of an army previously commanded by Maximian, Roman Emperor from 286 to 305.

Maxentius, the son of Maximian feared the arrival of Severus, so he offered Maximian the co-rule of the empire. Maximian accepted, and when Severus arrived under the walls of Rome and besieged it, his men deserted to Maximian, their old commander. Severus fled to Ravenna, and Maximian decided to spare his life and treat him humanely if he surrendered peaceably. Severus did in March or April 307.

Still, Severus was exposed as a captive and later imprisoned at Tres Tabernae.

Severus was survived by his son Flavius Severianus.

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