Roman Emperor. He was born in 145 AD into a distinguished Libyan family, and a cousin arranged for his early entry into the senate. He later commanded a legion in Syria, before serving as the governor of territories in France, Sicily and Austria. He was proclaimed Emperor 12 days after the assassination of the Emperor Pertinax in 193 AD, and marched against Rome, where Didius Julianus had been named Emperor by the Praetorian Guard. He met with little resistance and Julianus was soon executed. He also defeated Pescennius Niger, who had declared himself Emperor in the East. He then fought campaigns against Niger's former allies in Mesopotamia, and made much of that country into a Roman province. He legitimised his rule by proclaiming himself the son of Marcus Aurelius, but soon faced a rebellion from Albinus, the governor of Britain, who led a two year campaign against him before his eventual defeat and suicide in 197 AD. He passed laws to improve the pay and conditions of the army, increasing their pay and allowing them to marry while in service, and also created a new Praetorian Guard to replace the one that had murdered Pertinax. In 204 AD he survived a plot to murder him by Gaius Plautianus, the praetorian prefect. In later years he gained a reputation as an able administrator and judge and was known as a supporter of the legal system. When in his 60's he went with his family to Britain, where he hoped his squabbling sons' increased responsibilities in the province would force them to cooperate. While in Britain his health began to fail and he died there in 211 AD at age 65.
Bio by: js