Tiberius Claudius Severus Proculus
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Descent and family
Severus Proculus was of noble descent, born in a wealthy, prominent, distinguished family in Pompeiopolis, a city in the Roman province of Galatia. He was the son of the Pontian Greek Roman Senator and Peripatetic Philosopher, Gnaeus Claudius Severus, and his second wife the Roman Princess Annia Aurelia Galeria Faustina. He had a paternal half-brother called Marcus Claudius Ummidius Quadratus, from his father's first marriage, who was adopted by the Roman Consul Marcus Ummidius Quadratus Annianus, a nephew of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
His paternal grandfather, Gnaeus Claudius Severus Arabianus, was also Senator and Peripatetic Philosopher. He was one of the teachers of Marcus Aurelius, to whom he later became friend. His maternal grandparents were Marcus Aurelius and Faustina the Younger. Through his mother, Severus Proculus was a relative to the ruling Nerva–Antonine dynasty of the Roman Empire and among his maternal aunts and uncles were the Roman Empress Lucilla and Roman Emperor Commodus.
Severus Proculus was born and raised in Pompeiopolis. It is unknown whether if he ever became a follower of the philosophic ideas of his father and grandfather. When Marcus Aurelius died in 180, Commodus succeeded him.
It appears that Severus Proculus wasn't involved in any plots to kill or overthrow Commodus and when his maternal uncle was assassinated in December 192, Pertinax assumed briefly the throne. By then, Severus was one of Commodus' few remaining living male relatives, but he was completely ignored as a potential successor.
In 193, after the deaths Pertinax and Didius Julianus, Septimius Severus finally took command and founded the new Severan dynasty. During his reign (193-211), Severus Proculus served as a Senator and in 200 served as an ordinary consul.
After that, he married his maternal second cousin Annia Faustina, granddaughter of Marcus Aurelius' sister, Annia Cornificia Faustina and a wealthy heiress. They settled to live in his wife’s large great estate in Pisidia, where an honorific inscription, dated in 207, was found stating them as owners.
Around 201, the couple had a daughter called Annia Aurelia Faustina, curiously not named after Severus. It appears that he named her in honor of his mother's family, the gens Aurelia and Annia. By giving their daughter that name Severus and Annia were probably honoring their links to the Nerva–Antonine dynasty. It seems that they did not to have any more children.
About 216, Severus Proculus may have made a political alliance with a Roman Senator who was a member of the Pomponia (gens) and married his daughter to Pomponius Bassus. Later, in 221, Annia would become briefly the Roman Empress when she married the Roman Emperor Elagabalus (r. 218-222) as his third wife.
- Marcus Aurelius, by Anthony Richard Birley, Routledge, 2000
- Septimius Severus: the African emperor, by Anthony Richard Birley Edition: 2 - 1999
- From Tiberius to the Antonines: a history of the Roman Empire AD 14-192, by Albino Garzetti, 1974
- The Cities and Bishoprics of Phyrgia: Being an Essay of the Local History of Phrygia from the Earliest Times to the Turkish Conquest Volume One, Part One - By William M. Ramsay 2004
- Articles – Gnaeus Claudius Severus Arabianus, Gnaeus Claudius Severus & Tiberius Claudius Severus Proculus from German Wikipedia
- Marcus Aurelius - Meditations
Publius Cornelius Anullinus ,
Marcus Aufidius Fronto
|Consul of the Roman Empire
with Gaius Aufidius Victorinus
Lucius Annius Fabianus,
Marcus Nonius Arrius Mucianus