Gnaeus Claudius Severus

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Gnaeus Claudius Severus was a Roman senator and philosopher who lived in the Roman Empire during the 2nd century.

Severus was the son of the Roman senator and philosopher Gnaeus Claudius Severus Arabianus by an unnamed mother. Severus was of Pontian Greek descent. He was born and raised in Pompeiopolis, a city in the Roman province of Galatia. His paternal grandfather Gaius Claudius Severus was a consul and the first Roman governor of Arabia Petraea in the reign of the Emperor Trajan, 98-117.

Like his father, Severus was a follower of peripatetic philosophy. Although Severus held no major political influence, he was considered as an influential figure in the intellectual and philosopher circles in Rome. Like his father, Severus was a friend and had a great influence on the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). It was probably Severus that introduced Marcus Aurelius, to the rhetorician Cornelianus and by his personal physician recommendation, introduced Marcus Aurelius to the Greek physician Galen. Severus with his father accompanied Marcus Aurelius on a philosophical visit to Athens, Greece in 176.

Severus served as a suffect consul in 167 and an ordinary consul in 173. In the year of his second consulship, Severus became a patron and was made an honorary citizen of Pompeiopolis. In 173, an honorific inscription was dedicated to Severus in his birth city. This honorific surviving inscription was found on a statue base in the city:

For the good fortune of Gnaeus Claudius Severus who was consul twice, pontifex, son-in-law of the Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, patron of the city, the metropolis Pompeiopolis of the province of Paphlagonia put this up in the 178th year of the province through the work of Publius Domitius Augureinus Clodius Kalbeinus the chief archon.

Marriages and Issues[edit]

Severus married twice and his wives were:

  • First marriage, by an unnamed noble Roman woman, he had a son
    • Marcus Claudius Ummidius Quadratus. His birth name is unknown and he is known by his adoption name. Claudius was adopted by the consul of 167, Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus who was the nephew of Marcus Aurelius. In 182, Severus’ first son was involved in a failed plot to kill the Roman Emperor Commodus (180-192). When the plot was revealed, Commodus ordered his death and he died.
  • Second marriage, after 159 he married the Roman Princess Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina, the first daughter and child born to Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger. She was the oldest sister to Commodus, by whom he had a son called:


Political offices
Preceded by
Servius Calpurnius Scipio Orfitus ,
Sextus Quintilius Maximus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Claudius Pompeianus
Succeeded by
Lucius Aurelius Gallus,
Quintus Volusius Flaccus Cornelianus