“ ..the brightest boy at our school. Severus always washed behind his ears and in between his toes and had a mosaic of his mother embedded on his desk top. Never forgot Mother's Day...”
Severus Alexander 'Mummy's Boy' Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire from the murder of his cousin Elagabalus until he was squashed to death by the Greco-Roman-Thracian wrestler Maximinus Thrax i.e. 'Max the Thrax - Heavy Metal Axeman' in 235 AD . Severus Alexander's reign was later know as 'Imperial Rome's Last Happy Hour before the German and Persian bullies came into the bar and smashed the place up .
edit A Swot is Born
According to Severus Alexander's mother Julia Mammamia - her boy was conceived whilst she was on a Club Mediterranean Holiday in Phoenicia . There she apparently fell for the smarmy charms of the local holiday rep Geezer Marcianus. However other writers are now sure that Severus's real father was Mammamia's cousin - the curly haired imperial Chav heir Caracalla who had already disgraced her old sister Julia Samosa a few years before and had fathered Elagabalus . This meant that in all probability Elagabalus and Severus Alexander were at least half blood princes but that was about the only thing they did share. If Elagabalus represented Roman Vice (lots of things to write about) then Severus Alexander was dutiful Roman Virtue (booooooring !).
Following the birth of Severus Alexander, Julia Mammamia moved to Greece to sell time share apartments on Aegina Island near Athens. There she later gave birth to a daughter called Dum Dum Diddle , the sticky fruit of a relationship with an Irish grey haired old thespian called Brosnan she once knew . As for Severus Alexander , Julia Mammamia pulled a few strings, tugged a few loose male appendages and got her son enrolled in the prestigious Academy School for Philosophers and Future Emperors in Athens. There she hoped her son would at least get a good education whilst she sang songs , baked bread and made love in the sea to passing (rich) Senators , eager to get up close and intimate with a member of the imperial family .
edit Please Sir ! Can I Do Double Homework Tonight !!?
Once at school , Severus Alexander took to studying like a crocodile at Christian martyr feeding time. He devoured all the works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plato (again -he liked the jokes) and Diogenes (he learned to bark from reading those scrolls) . Epicurus (son of the drippy Epidural) also gave Severus his first lesson in cooking: How to Make Baked Beans on Toast Properly.
It was by Roman standards , a well rounded and curvaceous education and Severus Alexander easily came top in all his classes . His fellow students hated and resented him - calling him 'Swotty Severus' . They took their childish revenge by flicking wet towels at the Boy Brainer in the changing rooms after a game of nude running in the Zeus Sports Complex . The name 'Swotty Severus' stuck to the future emperor's reputation like cheap bubble gum on a tatty toga throughout his subsequent imperial career.
edit Swat the Swot To Death !
Severus Alexander's school days were going along fine until he received a note to go the headmaster's office to have his head cut off. According to the historian Harridan the headmaster said this :
I am sorry Alexander. The school governors have asked if you don't mind being killed . We have had a message from Rome asking that we do this. Now run along and see the School Executioner..
This is how Severus Alexander learnt that his supposed father Caracalla was now 'Chavving It Up in Olympus' and that the new man in charge Macrinus wanted to kill off the Severan dynasty. For the first time in his life Severus Alexander refused to follow school rules and became a truant. However his fellow students now saw their chance to get back at 'Swotty' and put his name on a death list and hunted for him all over Athens .
Just as it was looking bad for Severus - news came through that Macrinus was dead and that Severus Alexander's cousin/brother Elagabalus was now emperor. Suddenly , all those who had been involved in trying to kill Severus Alexander asked to be forgiven their 'youthful murderous high jinx ' .Eager to get back to school with the minimum of fuss , Severus simply asked all his former tormentors be entered into the 220 AD Olympic Games in the Slave Galley Rowing Event. This was considered to be a very mild punishment and a sign that Severus Alexander was a 'really really nice boy'.
edit Name of the Game - You're On Next
While he was making a rare visit to see his mother (his sister Dum Dum Diddle had died of embarrassment when she had learnt how to spell her name), Severus Alexander and Julia Mammamia were surprised to receive an express request from her mother Julia Miasma to come back to Rome and visit the rest of the family . The letter came stamped addressed with a cohort of Roman soldiers so there was no point arguing.
On their arrival in Rome, it was obvious that Elagabalus and his mother Julia Samosa were not too pleased to see their relatives. However as it was Grandmother Julia Miasma who was really running the Roman Empire - the disgruntled and disfunctional family had to accept the new arrangement. It also meant Severus got his first job after leaving school - that of Deputy Emperor or Caesar.
Severus Alexander was given an office and a lot of accounting scrolls to work through. He soon managed to sort out Elagabalus's growing pile of vice and utility bills (they usually started like this one : Dear Mr...Emperor, If you do not pay your Burning Torch Light (BTL) bill we will come to your palace , remove your supplied BTL slaves and cut off your balls. Castratus & Crucify. Solicitors).
Thanks to Severus Alexander, Elagabalus's supply of orgy playmates and perverts was kept up but finally even the 'swotty' realised his cousin was rapidly losing the empire. So when he heard a rumour that the Praetorian guard were going to come over to watch Elagabalus's performance on stage that night , Severus Alexander decided not to send a warning to the emperor and retired to the toilets to hide in a spare cubicle.
edit Triumph of the Dominatrixies
As he was writing his memoirs on the toilet seat, Severus Alexander saw his mother Julia Mammamia and grandmother Julia Miasma poke their heads over the top of the door to see what he was doing. They were surprised he wasn't bashing the priest and then informed him that he was now emperor. So Severus pulled the chain and went outside to be proclaimed the new Augustus.
The new ruling Imperial trio - Severus Alexander , Julia Mammamia and Julia Miasma - ordered a clean up (physically and morally) of the palace. The bloody bodies of Elagabalus and Julia Samosa were recovered and buried (Severus Alexander didn't want to have their unhappy souls wandering around the palace). The ruling triumvirate also dispatched many of the former Emperor's chums to various forms of execution - at least the ones they could find. The Rock had already disappeared so his temple of Sol Invictus was closed down and returned to the 're-re' branded Vestal Virgins. At least on the surface - everything seemed to have gone back to normal. This only left the new regime to decide on the fate of Ben Nevis , the transgender charioteer who had 'married' Elagabalus . Nevis was offered a testimonial final race in which he had to die. He agreed and smashed his Renault powered chariot into a wall on the final straight in the Circus Maximus.
edit Give Me a Mannequin After Midnight
Now the undisputed emperor of the Roman Empire, Severus Alexander made speeches in the Senate how much he liked his new job . He then went on to thank his family for giving him this opportunity, his mother, grandmother, his agent, his cook and a former school mistress Prima Johanna Brodi . She had kept his old tutor M.R.Chips ( a former highway patrol policeman) very happy in the final term . This arrangement had also helped Severus secure top marks at school.
The Romans seemed happy enough with their new emperor , he seemed as worthy and dull like old Antoninus Pius 60 years earlier. So though Severus Alexander hardly appeared in the heroic mold of previous rulers , he wasn't likely to invite you round to dinner and have your throat cut. That was at least thought as an advancement for civilization. However the emperor did have one peculiar passion which would eventually lead to an ill judged marriage.
In one wing of the Palatine Palace, Severus Alexander placed his collection of mannequins , a hobby he had picked up in Athens. There he collected a range of these lifesize dolls and liked to dress them up as famous people. Inside the room Severus arranged various odd 'scenes' . There was Julius Caesar kicking a prostate Brutus in the head or you could look at Alexander the Great arm wrestling with Moses. He also had Socrates, Plato and Aristotle sitting on a couch together trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle with a naked mannequin of Cleopatra standing behind wearing just a feather boa. There was even a mannequin of Jesus and the disciples playing cards and drinking plenty of Holy Spirits.
Often Severus would disappear into the room alone, lock the door from the inside and stay there all night 'talking' to the mannequins. His servants thought it was witchcraft and heard many strange sounds of whipping and moaning but the emperor would always appear next morning happy and relaxed.
This 'peculiar behavior' greatly annoyed Severus's grandmother Julia Miasma. She decided her grandson was obviously in need of company and certainly didn't mean sex change charioteers. The emperor should be married and so being the 'Boss Nan' , it was done. Miasma told Severus to stop 'playing with fake dollies' and get his hands on a real woman and her choice was Sallustia Barbia Dollia - a.k.a known as 'Orbs' for her brains and stupendous , gravity resistant breasts. Happy with providing Severus with a willing spouse , Julia Miasma decided to die and was cremated in the Roman Forum on a funeral pyre made of her old shopping bags.
edit Your Father-in-Law Wants You Very Dead
Though still reluctant to marry , Severus Alexander agreed to his grandmother's last wishes and went ahead with the marriage to Sallustia. His wife's father Lacetatus 'Seedy' Sallustius - an abusive Roman banker and grain ship speculator - also managed to persuade the emperor to give him a job as well. The gullible Severus agreed to all Sallustius's demands and even made his father-in-law Deputy Emperor , anything it seems so that he could avoid his new wife who found herself alone in the imperial bedchamber. Sallustia at first objected but then found her physical pleasures with a succession of sex slaves who were told to keep her happy - or die unhappy - if they told anyone outside the palace about this arrangement.
Severus Alexander's mother Julia Mammamia was suspicious of her son's wife and his father-in-law. So whilst the emperor continued to 'talk' to his stiff featured friends , Julia Mammamia tried to make sure her son wasn't going to end up like dog meat like her nephew and sister.
Sallustius was meanwhile plotting to upgrade his job and changed Sallustia's night time friends for a succession of influential (and randy) senators who would be persuaded to knife the emperor on the floor of the Senate. Sallustria reluctantly agreed and soon it seemed Rome was about to have a change of dynasty.
However the greedy banker had forgotten about the old loyalty of Severan IV Legion . They happened to be on a visit to Rome for some old fashioned fun in the bath houses after spending the last couple of years smashing up the Parthians and helping themselves to loot and slaves. When Julia Mammamia told them that Sallustius was attemping a 'takeover' , they happily went round to his villa and slew the would be emperor and his immediate supporters. As for Sallustria , she escaped death but was exiled to Libya - in fact to the old Severan family town of Leprosy Magnum to learn the true art of Provincial Boredom.
Now free of a wife again , Severus Alexander told everyone that the only woman he loved was his mum . So anyone who brought up marraige proposals again could forget it . The emperor was going to concentrate and take his exams to become Severus Alexander the Great. In fact , he knew just where to go to finish his Homer Work and ordered his legions to invade Parthia.
However when the Roman army finally reached the border - they were greeted with a new sign .
Dear City Sackers. As of 226 AD - the Parthia Empire is No More. It suffered a complete collapse on the Civilization Stock exchange and has now been taken over by new management . Please send all your letters/scrolls/gold to Persia C/O Sassanids and Sons and Sons and Sons etc.
Perplexed by this news , Severus called off the invasion and returned to Rome. This wasn't a very bright move as the legions were looking forward to plundering and destroying in the name of Awesome Rome the Mighty. In their eyes , Severus Alexander had ran away flying the Yellow Standard.
The perceived 'humiliation' in the East made Severus Alexander look elsewhere for imperial glory. He decided that the German tribes who had been quiet of late on the Rhine-Danube borders needed a bit of waking up and judged that they could be an easier foe to defeat .
So he once again ordered his legions to the borders and met the German tribal leaders. These particular ones were not spoiling for a fight with Rome that much but said that they much more worried about another bunch of Germans known as 'The Goths' for their gloomy music and musty smelling clothes. So if Severus could leave them alone for now they would go off and deal with the Goths themselves . The emperor thought that was a reasonable proposal and returned to base camp and decide where to go next on invasion holidays.
Meanwhile his mother Julia Mammamia turned up as her son had forgotten to take his 'lucky loincloth' on campaign - a piece of underwear Alexander liked to put on when doing his homework. Now the soldiers were really showing their contempt , grinding their teeth on parade and farting every time someone said 'Hail Severus'.
edit Death By Squashing
Despite all their grumbles - the potential rebel soldiers had no leader until the mighty 'Max the Thrash' Thrax stepped forward and said he was 'mean, tough, cruel and crude' , a complete contrast to what they saw was the effete and 'pansy pants' Severus. Thrax said he would 'not shed blood' but would challenge the emperor and his mother to a wrestling bout.
With that declaration, the soldiers openly rebelled and dragged Severus and his mother out of their tent and threw them into a ring where Maximinus was waiting. The odds for this wrestling match didn't seem very fair but then you have to remember that Romans were used to watching and betting on unfair fights. For them this was no different than seeing a condemned criminal attempt to punch hungry lions in the Colosseum to survive.
Bravely Severus slipped on his lucky loincloth and stepped into the rough patch of muddy ground that was the 'ring' for this fight. Maximinus Thrax teased the emperor - pretending to fall over when Severus put a finger on him and then crying in pain as the emperor tried to get him in an arm lock. Eventually after about a minute , Thrax ended the fight with a body slam and suffocated Severus to death . Seeing her son dead , Julia Mammamia briefly sang 'Knowing Me, Knowing You..Knowing I'm Finished ' and then drowned herself by sticking her head in the gooey mud. So ended the House of Severus and no one so much cried or let out a howl.
edit End of Era and the James Last of All Cliches
Yes it was really 'End of An Era'. From now on , it was nearly soldier boys all the way - though getting your grubby hands on the job of Casear became the most dangerous profession in the Known World. Nearly every emperor until Diocletian was to get sacked from his job with a well aimed knife in the guts. After all , who wanted to pay a pension to an ex-ruler. Certainly not the Romans !
- For further allegations about Severus Alexander's real father - read Fibius.
- Ha.ha.ha...really ? Who told you that ??
- Or perhaps an aggressive hippopotamus.
- Story appears word for word in the now lost life of 'Angelina Dominatrix: My Struggle With Adoption and Domination.'
- By this time Dio Cassio had acquired new batteries to continue on his stories about the Severan dynasty.
- Not from California orginally.
- In Rome that is called 'Prune Dead Reckoning'.
- This and other versions of that story were suppressed at the Council of Constantinople 381 AD.
- Give Me a break there !
- Severus Alexander's sex life seems to have been set in neutral. He appears to have not liked anyone except his mum.
- She was also known as 'Vesuvia' on account of her explosive nature.
- The Extra hard IV legion shortly afterwards disappears from the records of the Roman army. Seems they were disbanded or retired with big pensions.
- Another wife for Severus Alexander has been suggested but unless it was his mother under another name - assume it isn't true.
- Harridan and in earlier quotes. A rare woman historian of the time - known for opinion that the Roman Empire was 'screwed up ' by the Roman army.
edit See Also