Severus Alexander (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus; 1 October 208 – 19 March 235) was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235 and the last emperor of the Severan dynasty. He succeeded his cousin Elagabalus, upon the latter's assassination in 222, and was ultimately assassinated himself, marking the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century — nearly 50 years of civil wars, foreign invasion, and collapse of the monetary economy, though this last part is now disputed.
Alexander was the heir to his cousin, the 18-year-old Emperor who had been murdered along with his mother Julia Soaemias, by his own guards, who, as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the river Tiber. He and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa, who had arranged for Elagabalus' acclamation as emperor by the famous Third Gallic Legion. It was the rumor of Alexander's death that triggered the assassination of Elagabalus and his mother. His 13-year reign was the longest reign of a sole emperor since Antoninus Pius.He was also the second-youngest ever sole legal Roman Emperor during the existence of the united empire, the youngest being Gordian III.
As emperor, Alexander's peace time reign was prosperous. However, Rome was militarily confronted with the rising Sassanid Empire and growing incursions from the tribes of Germania. He managed to check the threat of the Sassanids. But when campaigning against Germanic tribes, Alexander attempted to bring peace by engaging in diplomacy and bribery. This alienated many in the Roman Army and led to a conspiracy to assassinate and replace him. According to Canduci, Alexander is remembered as an emperor who was "level headed, well meaning, and conscientious," but his fatal flaw was his domination by his mother and grandmother. Not only did this undermine his authority, but his mother's influence was the cause of Alexander's least popular actions (convincing him not to take part in battle and trying to buy off the warring Germanic barbarians).
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