Geta was the son of the first African-born emperor of Rome, Septimius Severus. Geta was appointed to the position of co-emperor in AD 209, ruling alongside his father and his older brother, Caracalla, who had been co-ruling with Septimius since AD 198. This coin dates from their campaign against the Britons in the early third century, contributing to the propaganda that portrayed the imperial family as a strong, well-oiled machine. However, behind the scenes this was not the case as conflict was forming between the brothers about their rules and level of control under their father.
Throughout their co-rule, the rivalry between the two brothers grew so much that, upon their father’s death, their joint rule became an abject failure. The brothers divided the imperial palace into two sections, each with its own military faction, and they only ever met each other with guards and their mother, Julia Domna, present as mediator to ease both men’s fears of assassination.
After much plotting and failed assassination attempts, Caracalla had their mother arrange a peace meeting. At the meeting, Caracalla had his centurions murder Geta who died in their mother’s arms. Caracalla would go on to rule as the sole emperor of Rome until his murder in AD 217 by a soldier he refused to promote to centurion.
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