Britannia Inferior (Latin for "Lower Britain") was a new province carved out of Roman Britain around AD 197 during the reforms of Septimius Severus. The removal of the governors in Londinium from control over the legions guarding Hadrian's Wall was aimed at reducing their power, given Clodius Albinus's recent bid to become emperor. The province was probably formalised around 214 by Severus's son Caracalla.
Including most of modern northern England, the region was governed from the city of Eboracum (modern York) by a praetorian legate in command of a single legion stationed in the city.This subdivision of Britannia lasted throughout the Severan dynasty until the reorganisation of the empire under Diocletian in 296.
During the reign of Commodus, the defences along the northern border of the empire in Britannia fell into neglect and disrepair. The peace of the region was further disturbed in the tumultuous period after Commodus' death as the military power vacuum on the continent distracted the defensive legions stationed in Britannia.After his accession in 193, Severus took special interest in refortifying the northern border in Britannia, and in 208 he moved to Eboracum to oversee the military campaigns against the northern tribes. While there is some confusion as to the exact date when the subdivision of Britannia was made, it seems clear that Severus's intentions were to break up the size of the military under the command of an individual governor (as he had done in Syria), preventing them from wielding too large a military force, or at least one that could destabilize the emperor's control. Herodian puts the date of the split in 197, although there is no evidence of this distinction being formalised in inscriptions until after the death of Severus in 211. Thus, it is likely that the division of military control in Britannia was formally established by Caracalla sometime between 211-20.
In 296, the emperor Diocletian conducted a major reorganisation of the empire. The newly named Diocese of Britannia was subdivided into four provinces, Britannia Prima and Maxima Caesariensis from Britannia Superior and Britannia Secunda (capital in Eboracum) and Flavia Caesariensis (capital in Lindum) from Britannia Inferior.
Lucius Septimius Severus was a Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna in the Roman province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the customary succession of offices under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of Emperor Pertinax in 193 during the Year of the Five Emperors.
The Severan dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 193 and 235. The dynasty was founded by the general Septimius Severus, who rose to power as the victor of the Civil War of 193–197.
The 190s decade ran from January 1, 190, to December 31, 199.
Year 211 (CCXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. At the time, in the Roman Empire it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Terentius and Bassus. The denomination 211 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Constantius I was a Roman emperor. He ruled as Caesar from 293 to 305 and as Augustus from 305 to 306. He was the junior colleague of the Augustus Maximian under the Tetrarchy and succeeded him as senior co-emperor of the western part of the empire. Constantius ruled the West while Galerius was Augustus in the East. He was the father of Constantine the Great and founder of the Constantinian dynasty. After his death he became known as Chlorus, but the nickname does not appear in records before the sixth century.
Decimus Clodius Albinus was a Roman general, senator and usurper who claimed the imperial title several times between 193 and 197. He was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania after the murder of Pertinax in 193, and who proclaimed himself emperor again in 196, before his final defeat the following year.
Geta was Roman emperor with his father Septimius Severus and older brother Caracalla from 209, when he was named Augustus like his brother, who had held the title since 198. Severus died in 211, and although he intended for his sons to rule together, they proved incapable of sharing power, culminating with the murder of Geta in December of that year.
The Roman provinces were the administrative regions of the Roman Empire outside of Italy that were controlled by the Romans under the Republic and later under the Empire. Each province was ruled by a Roman appointed as governor.
Eboracum was a fort and later a city in the Roman province of Britannia. In its prime it was the largest town in northern Britain and a provincial capital. The site remained occupied after the decline of the Western Roman Empire and ultimately evolved into the present-day city York, occupying the same site in North Yorkshire, England.
Britannia Superior was one of the provinces of Roman Britain created around AD 197 by Emperor Septimius Severus immediately after winning a civil war against Clodius Albinus, a war fought to determine who would be the next emperor. Albinus was the governor of Britannia during that civil war. Severus divided the pre-existing province of Britannia into two parts, the other being Britannia Inferior to the north with its capital at Eboracum, or modern York. Britannia Superior was the southern province of the two, with its capital at Londinium, or what is today London. Epigraphic evidence has shed some light on the extent of Upper Britain and it encompassed all of what is now Southern England as well as Wales and East Anglia. However, the official boundary between Britannia Superior and Inferior is still unclear. Most information that is gathered for this region during this time period from about the 2nd to the 3rd century is from inscriptions left upon pots, walls, and letters written by the citizens and soldiers.
Britannia Prima or Britannia I was one of the provinces of the Diocese of "the Britains" created during the Diocletian Reforms at the end of the 3rd century. It was probably created after the defeat of the usurper Allectus by Constantius Chlorus in AD 296 and was mentioned in the c. 312 Verona List of the Roman provinces. Its position and capital remain uncertain, although it was probably located closer to Rome than Britannia II. At present, most scholars place Britannia I in Wales, Cornwall, and the lands connecting them. On the basis of a recovered inscription, its capital is now usually placed at Corinium of the Dobunni (Cirencester) but some emendations of the list of bishops attending the 315 Council of Arles would place a provincial capital in Isca (Caerleon) or Deva (Chester), which were known legionary bases.
Britannia Secunda or Britannia II was one of the provinces of the Diocese of "the Britains" created during the Diocletian Reforms at the end of the 3rd century. It was probably created after the defeat of the usurper Allectus by Constantius Chlorus in AD 296 and was mentioned in the c. 312 Verona List of the Roman provinces. Its position and capital remain uncertain, although it probably lay further from Rome than Britannia I. At present, most scholars place Britannia II in Yorkshire and northern England. If so, its capital would have been Eboracum (York).
Lucius Alfenus Senecio was a Roman figure of the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries.
Maxima Caesariensis, also known as Britannia Maxima, was one of the provinces of the Diocese of "the Britains" created during the Diocletian Reforms at the end of the 3rd century. It was probably created after the defeat of the usurper Allectus by Constantius Chlorus in AD 296 and was mentioned in the c. 312 Verona List of the Roman provinces. Its position and capital remain uncertain, although it was probably adjacent to Flavia Caesariensis. On the basis of its governor's eventual consular rank, it is now usually considered to have consisted of Augusta or Londinium (London) and southeastern England.
Flavia Caesariensis, sometimes known as Britannia Flavia, was one of the provinces of the Diocese of "the Britains" created during the Diocletian Reforms at the end of the 3rd century. It was probably created after the defeat of the usurper Allectus by Constantius Chlorus in AD 296 and was mentioned in the c. 312 Verona List of the Roman provinces. It seems to have been named after Chlorus's family and was probably located beside Maxima Caesariensis, but their positions and capitals remain uncertain. At present, most scholars place Flavia Caesariensis in the southern Pennines, possibly reaching the Irish Sea and including the lands of the Iceni. Its capital is sometimes placed at Lindum Colonia (Lincoln).
The Battle of Lugdunum, also called the Battle of Lyon, was fought on 19 February 197 at Lugdunum, between the armies of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus and of the Roman usurper Clodius Albinus. Severus' victory finally established him as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire.
Cohors secunda Gallorum veterana equitata was a mixed infantry and cavalry regiment of the Auxilia corps of the Imperial Roman army. It was stationed, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, in a fort near Hadrian's Wall in Britain.
Events from the 3rd century in Roman Britain.
The history of the Roman Empire covers the history of ancient Rome from the fall of the Roman Republic in 27 BC until the abdication of Romulus Augustulus in AD 476 in the West, and the Fall of Constantinople in the East. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the Republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside of the Italian Peninsula until the 3rd century BC. Civil war engulfed the Roman state in the mid 1st century BC, first between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and finally between Octavian and Mark Antony. Antony was defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian imperator ("commander") thus beginning the Principate, the first epoch of Roman imperial history usually dated from 27 BC to AD 284; they later awarded him the name Augustus, "the venerated". The success of Augustus in establishing principles of dynastic succession was limited by his outliving a number of talented potential heirs: the Julio-Claudian dynasty lasted for four more emperors—Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—before it yielded in AD 69 to the strife-torn Year of Four Emperors, from which Vespasian emerged as victor. Vespasian became the founder of the brief Flavian dynasty, to be followed by the Nerva–Antonine dynasty which produced the "Five Good Emperors": Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and the philosophically inclined Marcus Aurelius. In the view of the Greek historian Dio Cassius, a contemporary observer, the accession of the emperor Commodus in AD 180 marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron"—a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon, to take Commodus' reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire.
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