Synopsis: Severus confronts Albinus at Lugdunum, then launches a war against the Parthians. At the pinnacle of his power, the oracle of Zeus Belos reveals his family’s fate.
“The youth of Severus had been trained in the implicit obedience of the camps, and the riper years spent in the despotism of military command. His haughty and inflexible spirit could not discover, or would not acknowledge, the advantage of preserving an intermediate power, however imaginary, between the Emperor and the army.” – Edward Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter 5
“Here is one man who overthrew three Emperors after they were already ruling, and got the upper hand of the Praetorians by a trick…He prevailed over them all by his courage. It is not possible to name another like Severus.” – Herodian, History of the Roman Empire from the Death of Marcus Aurelius to the Accession of Gordian III, Book 3, Chapter 7
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (provinces):
Map of the Near East c. 198AD (cities):