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Geta - Roman Emperor

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Publius Septimius Geta. Marble, Roman artwork, c. A.D. 208  at the Louvre.

Publius Septimius Geta. Marble, Roman artwork, c. A.D. 208 at the Louvre.

Public Domain

Name: Publius Septimius Geta
Dates: March 7, 189 - December 211
Parents:Septimius Severus (emperor) and Julia Domna

Occupation: Ruler

Birth and Family:

Geta was born in Rome on March 7, 189, by eleven months the younger brother of Caracalla and the son of the future Emperor Septimius Severus (first of the soldier emperors) and his wife Julia Domna (great-aunt of Elagabalus).

Rise to Power - Julia Domna:

Geta's older brother Caracalla was made Caesar in 195, but Geta had to wait for elevation to Caesar until 198 when Caracalla was made Augustus. In 205 Geta and Caracalla were consuls together although they did not get along. When their father died, Caracalla tried to rule alone with his brother Geta playing the role of emperor in name only, but Geta or their mother Julia Domna wouldn't go along with this. Geta and Caracalla tried to divide the empire, but Julia Domna stood opposed.

Death:

Caracalla tricked Geta into meeting him for a reconciliation. They met in the presence of Julia Domna in late December 211. Geta was assassinated by men hidden in the room. He is said to have died in his mother's arms.

Damnatio Memoriae:

When the name of someone was erased from the monuments, it is referred to as a damnatio memoriae. Caracalla did this to his brother Geta, but his attempts weren't entirely successful. Coins depicting Geta survive, but see the accompanying image of a triumphal arch celebrating the victories of Emperor Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and Geta in wars against the Parthians (A.D. 195) and the Osroeni (A.D. 197) on which Caracalla had Geta's name removed.

Restoration of the Memory of Geta:

The Emperor Elagabalus restored the memory of Geta and had his remains moved to the Mausoleum of Hadrian to join those of his brother, Caracalla and his father, Septimius Severus.
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