History of Tyre as Roman Province under Caracalla
Tyre was part of the Roman province of Syria. From Historia Augustus "His life was
evil and he was more brutal than his cruel father. He was gluttonous and addicted
to wine. Hated by his household and every group except the praetorian guard". This may
be bad press that he was a bad emperor and that his brother Geta was a virtuous martyr (he
certainly was popular with the Army). Although he was appointed joint emperor by Septimus
Severus he was probably Septimus Severus's preference, but Geta was popular and supported by
their mother Julia Domna. Caracalla followed his father's advice "give money to the soldiers and
scorn all other men". For a time, Geta and Caracalla tried to rule jointly but separately. They
divided the palace into two parts with separate entrances and blocked all connecting passages.
They fought over political appointments, legal cases, and sports events. They both tried to
kill the other. Geta finally proposed that they should split the empire in half - Geta the East
and Caracalla the West, but Julia Domna intervened and asked how they were going to split her. With the
collapse of the plan, Caracalla in person managed to kill Geta after only 10 months of joint rule.
Caracalla pleaded to the Army and Senate that if he had not killed Geta first - he would have
been murdered by Geta. He then commenced a blood bath of Geta's supporters with over 20,000 people
killed in 212 AD. Uncomfortable in Rome, Caracalla set out to the German frontier becoming popular
with the Army (partially attributed to a 50% pay increase). In 213 AD, the army had some
impressive wins against the Germans for which Caracalla took credit. He than moved towards
Dacia and along the way he suddenly decided that he was the reincarnation of Alexader the Great.
Statues of Alexander the Great were ordered with two half faces (Alexander's and Caracalla's).
His grand tour continued to the ruins of Troy and to Antioch Syria. In 215 AD, he entered
Alexandria and visited Alexander's tomb. During the visit, something angered Caracalla and he
massacred 1000's of unarmed civilians. After this massacre, he returned to Antioch to start
a campaign against Parthia. The timing was excellent, since Parthia had been in a civil war since
213 AD. Caracalla marched into Parthia and ravaged the countryside practically unopposed. While
frolicking on his success in the East, a coup took place in Rome and Caracalla was ordered to be
killed. One of Caracalla's body guards, with a personal grievance against Caracalla, assasinated
him with a single sword thrust while he was lowering his pants to relief himself. Caracalla was
hated, but he was actually a good ruler, conscientious when listening to law suits, and gave Roman
citizenship to all free males in the empire. He introduced a new coin the "Antoninianus" or double
denarius to replace the debased denarius and he built the famous baths in Rome - one of the
most impressive Roman projects.