Dirk Puehl‘s Today’s Memory
The killing of Geta, Emperor Caracalla’s brother
Originally shared by Dirk Puehl
19 December 211 CE in Rome, #onthisday Emperor Caracalla had his brother Geta murdered during the celebrations of the Saturnalia at the home of their mother.
The odd family crisis is very probably a common feature of high holidays and festivals since time immemorial. And neither does the Roman Empire nor its Imperial families make an exception. Admittedly, the sons of Emperor Septimus Severus hated each other with a vengeance since they could crawl. And the emperor did his best not to give undue preferences to one of his sons, but then, Caracalla was the older, by just a year, though, and he was made Caesar and then Augustus first, got the military command in Britain, while younger Geta had to do the boring administration job in Eboracum and probably always got the more expensive presents on Saturnalia anyway. The emperor had corresponding forebodings on his mind about how this would end after his death and planned a partition of the empire, the west for Caracalla and the east for Geta, but Septimus Severus got a cold fighting the Caledonians in the deep of winter and died in February 211 and Caracalla and Geta were proclaimed joint emperors.
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Depicted below is Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s imagination of the happy Imperial family during games at the Circus Maximus, with Geta standing between the two women at the balcony rail and Caracalla leaning brooding to a column in the background to the right of their seated parents Septimus Severus and Julia Domna (1907)
#ancienthistory #ancientrome #europeanhistory #history #romanhistory