Rome, Alexander Severus Tyre mint AE26 222 - 235 AD

Obv: Bare-headed and draped bust r
Rev: Astarte standing, Nike crowning her from behind standing on pillar, and Marsys of the forum right, trophy at left
. Metal: Bronze 9.8 Grams, 26 mm diameter. Condition: abt VF - cleaned and porous

<Roman Aqueduct and Arcade at Tyre> 
History of Alexander Severus 222 - 235 AD

Alexander Severus was appointed as Caesar and heir by Elagabalus on 26 June 221 at the age of 13. He was quickly favored by the army and became emperor when Elagabalus was assassinated by the praetorian guard on 11 March 222. The real power was with Alexander's mother Julia Mamaea and his grandmother Julia Maesa. In 224, Julia Maesa died and Alexander's mother Mamaea took on even more authority. By 227 Julia Mamaea was not only the mother of the Emperor but had taken on the title of "Motherof the whole human race". Even with her high title Julia had good sense and chose 16 senators as advisors and returned to the old religion sending back the black stone to Syria and rededicating the temple of Elagabalus to Jupiter Ultor. She also kept her son's private life in-check.

The reign was plagued by unrest, indiscipline and insubordination even to the point that in 229 Alexander told the historian Cassius Dio to stay away from Rome because Alexander could not guarantee his safety. In the midst of these difficulties the Parthian king Ardashir overran the Roman province of Mesopotamia.

Alexader Severus with no experience collected his troops and arrived in Antioch in the summer of 231, however uprisings among the troops continued. Under these conditions Alexander attacked in 232 and advanced towards Palmyra and Hatra (led by Alexander himself) with flacking troops moving through Armenia into northern Iran and to the South along the Euphrates towards the Persina gulf. The northern flank was successful, but for some reason Alexander stopped his advance leaving the southern flank to fend for themselves. Alexander withdrew to Antioch. There was heavy losses on both sides and low morale, but Parthians made no further attacks on Rome during the reign of Alexander.

Alexander returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph in honor of his Persian victory. Meanwhile, the Germans crossed the Rhine at several points destroying forts and overrunning the countryside. Alexander prepared for yet another war and in 234 the army crossed the Rhine into Germany. But rather than war against the Germans Alexander offered them a bribe at the same time he announced reductions in military expenditures and a limit on pay and bonuses. This resulted in an army rebillion and the selection of Maximinius as emperor. Alexander managed to get back to his tent. There, the reports say, he waited for his executioner, clinging to his mother and weeping and blaming her for his misfortunes. The emperor, his mother and all of those thought to be his friends or favourites were slaughtered.

Aurelius Victor in his book of the Caesars states:

"... he left the state strenghened on every side."