Talk:Septimius Severus

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Questionable Citations[edit]

The article uses Historia Augusta repeatedly as a source of information. The article also several times attests to Historia Augusta being an unreliable source, and in the same breath will write a claim from Historia Augusta and contest it. While I applaud the article's skepticism, this comes dangerously close to WP:OR and to be frank the best way to deal with an untrustworthy source is to leave it out entirely. Perhas a separate article for Historia Augusta would be a more appropriate place to question its claims. Any objections to a rewrite removing references to Historia Augusta? Jaydubya93 (talk) 13:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

This article needs another look...[edit]

(Quotes from the article itself are in Bold, commentary below.)

Although his actions turned Rome into a military dictatorship he was popular with the citizens

This does not seem to be wholly true according to Gibbons and some other modern sources Severan's reign was not as 'popular' as this Wiki page would make it seem, not only that but many AT the time of his reign also believed that it was the beginning of the end. - Perhaps it would be better if it was clarified that he was popular with the lower class citizens, or the plebes?

We must also keep in mind that Plebes at the time had very little understanding of politics, even though the Republic was dead for a good 300 years - in Ammianus'es history, the author being born in the 300's, reports that the Plebes would bet on charioteer's claiming that if the one they picked lost 'It would be the end of the Republic' --- This tells us that the average plebe knew next to nothing of politics, and that even after Severus Emperor's still referred to the Monarchy/Despotism as 'The Republic'.

So it's a bit nonsensical to say that even though he created a military dictatorship he was popular with the citizens - when most citizens had no idea what a military dictatorship meant, let alone that they were trampled underneath one. That line sort of makes it sound as if the citizens understood politics well enough - and were happy with the system which they were under.

The stability Severus had provided the Empire was soon gone

This does make it seem as if Severus had provided the empire with a sound economic, military and social footing - when in fact he only provided one thing, fear and military dominance and stability for the imperial household, there was no real 'stability' for the common people in Rome - the financial problems which Pertinax had to deal with still were not resolved and there is no way that Severus fixed the Roman economy in that short of time.

He also disbanded the Praetorian Guard and replaced it with one of his own

This is somewhat misleading since he never 'disbanded' the Praetorian Guard to replace it with 'his own' sort of service, he simply 'fixed' to his liking the existing Praetorian Guard. Not all of the Guard was disbanded, killed or exiled - only those who were in on the plot to overthrow and murder Pertinax.

The only emperor to have 'disbanded' the Praetorian's for good was Constantine.

Perhaps it can be worded in a more.. factual way?

Comment added with sig and time stamp to facilitate archiving. - - MrBill3 (talk) 04:35, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi MrBill3. I will address each of your claims in order.

Although his actions turned Rome into a military dictatorship he was popular with the citizens
Your points make a lot of sense but require a citation. Can you provide one? The current summary appears as though it is sourced to "Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 76, Sections 14 an 15". Unfortunately I do not have access to that resource to confirm. It is certainly possible that the Cassius Dio piece refers only to Severus' relationship with Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, which is stated in the next sentence of the same graph.
The stability Severus had provided the Empire was soon gone.
AFAICT this is already removed from the article.
He also disbanded the Praetorian Guard and replaced it with one of his own.
This sentence is part of the Rise to Power section of the article. The entire section is unsourced, save for a blurb at the end about how Severus put marble on Hannibal's tomb. In the External Links section, there are links to the Cassius Dio piece referenced above: "Books 74, 75, 76, and 77 of Dio Cassius, covering the rise to power and reign of Septimius Severus". However it is unclear if this was just incidentally the same phrasing as the section and in any event it is not appropriate citation syntax.
I have added a Citation Needed tag to the graph that included the "stability Severus[...]" sentence, however citations are desperately needed. I am happy to summarize, write and perform the article edits to back up your claims but in order to do so we need reliable references to move forward. Jaydubya93 (talk) 14:24, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion, Birley's biography of S. is the best all-purpose reference one could use in this article.--Dipa1965 (talk) 21:33, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

he was not black!!![edit]

septime severus was not black at all!!! he was from libya, i m a berber from algeria and i m not black!!! we are pure african! and we r white! septime severus was half roman half berber from libya! nowaday, in libya most of the people are berber (check for the nefusa tribes) and they are not black, stop tobbing our berber heroes! it s like berberian pharon, most of black people think they r black whereas they were of berberian origins! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

It is pretty clear that people of North Africa and around that area have a somewhat mixed heritage influenced from all borders of Europe, Central Africa and Asia. Therefore yes it is likely Septimus had black heritage. Furthermore the population dynamics back ~2000 years ago was different to it is now. Outrightly calling him black can yes give the wrong impression, but so does saying he was not black. Saying someone is black is ultimately also pretty meaningless in itself, as skin colour is just one attribute indicating genetic makeup. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

That's pure, unadulterated rubbish, anon IP. You are engaging in pure speculation, not supported by what we know of his ancestry (Italian and Punic) nor the multitude of statues of S. Severus - all show a "white" man. This kind of random talk has no purpose on the Talk Page. Bring forth RS's to quote (you won't find any) then post. Otherwise, keep that guff off of the discussion. (talk) 22:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
This issue could easily devolve into something wholly inappropriate. I ask that we all proceed with caution and do our best to approach the issue dispassionately with a skeptical reading of all claims, even those we support. Furthermore I would recommend that we approach this issue as we would any other - by relying exclusively on citation of reliable, third party sources for our information (which I have not yet seen presented here yet). If there are no such sources on this issue, we need to leave it out of Wikipedia and allow scientists and researchers to resolve the issue. Jaydubya93 (talk) 13:44, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

English variety used in this article[edit]

The English variety used in this article needs to be sorted out. It has both British English (travelled, armour, archaeological) and American English (traveled, favorites, rigor). It should use one or the other, not a mixture. (talk) 15:40, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Excellent catch I had to go back and read WP:MOS. After reviewing the relevant passages - WP:ARTCON WP:CON and WP:RETAIN and reading the article itself I think a UK variant is most appropriate. The US/UK spellings were mixed in about evenly and I made the call based on the connection between UK history and Severus (which is somewhat tenuous but is more concrete than a US/Severus connection, which is non-existent). I am resolving the spelling issues you pointed out now. That said, I am a US variant speaker so I may miss some variant words and spellings in my ignorance. If you see something, please help! Jaydubya93 (talk) 13:56, 23 January 2014 (UTC)


I have set up archiving for this talk page. Once the Bot has run I will place a non archiving notice about the discussion of black or not black with a link to the archive. - - MrBill3 (talk) 04:56, 31 October 2013 (UTC)