Artist Unknown, Bust of Emperor Caracalla, White Marble Head, Alabaster Torso
Formerly known as Antoninus, Caracalla was a member of the Severan dynasty, the elder son of Julia Domna and Septinius Severus. He ruled as the Roman Emperor from 198 to 217 AD, first as a co-ruler with his father Septnius from 198, then as a co-ruler with his brother Geta from 209 AD. After his father’s death in 211, Caracalla killed his brother and assumed the position of Emperor for himself.
Although Caracalla’s reign was troubled with domestic instability and invasions by the Germanic tribes, it was notable for the Antonine Constitution which granted Roman citizenship to all free men throughout the Roman Empire. Caracalla is known for the construction of the second-largest baths in Rome, the Baths of Caracalla, and for the the new Roman currency named the antoninianus.
Ancient sources portray Caracalla as a tyrant and a cruel leader, enacting massacres in his empire and against his own Roman people. He was assassinated by a disaffected soldier in 217 AD. Macrinus, a praetorian prefect of Rome and a conspirator in the assassination against Caracalla, became Emperor on April 11, 217, three days after Caracalla’s death.
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