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XXI

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Geta









Please help us convert the Dictionary of Roman Coins from scans to text by typing the original text here. Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.nullGeta (Lucius or Publius), the younger son of Severus and Domna, brother of Caracalla was born at Mediolanum (Milan), about the year of Rome 942 (C.E. 189.) He was called Lucius from his father, and took the name of Publius from his uncle, a Roman knight.  In 951 (C.E. 197), Severus having assumed the sole authority on the removal of his rivals, Geta followed his father to join the Parthian campaign in the East, where he declined to accept the title of Caesar, though pressed upon him by the army, approved by the Senate and the Emperor, and though at the same time his brother Caracalla was already styled Augustus. But he received the titles of Princeps Juventutis and of Pontifex.
         

951 to 957 (A.D. 198 to 204.__Being as yet too young to participate in affairs of state, no events worthy of record occurred during these years.
958 (A.D. 205). __ The name of Lucius was dropped, but that of Publius retained.  Geta proceeded consul for the first time, as colleague to his brother, who was then in his second consulate.
961 (A.D. 208).__Consul for the second time, with his brother (Consul III.) he accompanied his father and Caracalla to the war in Britain.
962 (A.D. 209).__He received from his father the title of Augustus, and was invested with the tribunician power.  The following year he began to be styled BRITanicus.
        964 (A.D. 211).-- His father dying this year, he began to be styled Pater Patriae; and the PONTifex was discontinued. On the death of Severus at Eboracum, on the 4th February, their father's funeral being solemnized, and peace being concluded with the Caledonians, the two brothers returned to Rome. Serious apprehensions were excited throughout the empire by their disagreements. Caracalla, both on the journey, and when arrived at Rome, was constantly engaged in plots for Geta's destruction.
        965 (A.D. 212).-- No hopes being entertained of a reconciliation between these two young princes; and the disturbances which arose in every quarter from their dissensions, increasing day by day, a division of the empire was contemplated; but given up at the instance of their mother. At length, having long in vain attempted to put an end to Geta's life, Caracalla inveigled him by a show of affection into security, and killed him in the arms of his mother, at the age of 22 years and nine months.
        "Never (observes the author of Doctrina) since the days of the Theban brothers (Etcocles and Polynices), had the world beheld a more cruel and disastrous feud between men related to each other by the nearest ties of consanguinity. That one of them would eventually perish by the other's hand, had long before been anticipated, from the animosity so openly manifested between them, and from the obvious intentions of Caracalla. Yet all joined in the prayer that a fate, which could not be averted, might at last befall Caracalla, rather than Geta. The ferocious and ungovernable disposition of the former was well known; whilst Geta, on the other hand, maintained a character for integrity and moderation; he was courteous in his intercourse with the world, particularly fond of the society of eminent men, and devoted to refined pursuits; though Spartian attributes to him a roughness of manners, unaccompanied however with profligacy. The cruelty exercised by Caracalla towards the friends of his murdered brother, is recorded by historians. And, indeed, that implacable hatred, which usually subsides on the death of its object, even if one not connected by blood, yet in this case of a brother, continued so unappeased, that all who even wrote or pronounced the name of Geta were put to death; so that the very poets dared not thenceforth use that customary and familiar name for a slave. His fury extended itself to the statues and coins of the deceased, which he destroyed. But he was foiled in his attempted to obliterated all memorials of his brother; for not only are numerous coins of Geta extant at this moment, but some also of his statues escaped, at sight of which, if we may credit Spartian, Caracalla was wont to weep. This emotion, however, was no proof of repentance, but only of unavoidable remorse. The erasure of Geta's name from public monuments is testified by numerous marbles, and particularly by the arch of Severus, still standing at Rome. (See pp. 78-79).  Notwithstanding this relentless conduct, Caracalla bestowed greater attention than could have been expected upon his brother's funeral, and deposited his remains in the tomb of Severus, on the Via Appia."-- (vii. 227-230-233.)
        It is not known whether this unfortunate prince was married or not.

MINTAGES OF GETA.

On his coins which are numerous (very rare in gold, for the most part common in silver, rare in first but common in second brass), he is styled P. SEPT. GETA--GETA CAESar--IMP. CAES. P. SEPT. GETA AVG.--or P. SEPT. GETA PIVS. AVG. BRIT. Sometimes the prenomen of Lucius, sometimes that of Publius is seen on the Latin coins of Geta; but on some Greek coins both names are found together. There are pieces which represent him with Sept. Severus, Julia Domna, and Caracalla.

    The following are amongst the rarest reverses:



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