145 - 211
Roman Emperor
Severus was a member of a Romanized North African family. When the emperor Pertinax was murdered in 193, the army proclaimed Severus emperor.

Severus attempted to legitimize his rule by declaring himself the adopted son of the 'divine' emperor Aurelius. Severus disregarded the powers of the Senate. He founded a personal dynasty (Severi) and initiated a development to absolute despotism that characterized the later Roman Empire.

There was a militarization of government under his reign and a growing Oriental influence for Severus spent much time in Syria and Carthage.

In 208 Severus led an army to Britain to subdue parts of the island not under Roman rule. Turning back from Scotland Severus died from disease at Eburacum (York) in 211.

During Severus rule the term Europe was first introduced. It was conceived in the eastern half of the empire in order to denote a difference between the Roman troops from the West, the 'Europeans', and the 'Syrians', or Orientals, in Severus' army.

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