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Well-preserved head of Alexander Severus

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Well-preserved head of Alexander Severus
Well-preserved head of Alexander Severus

A preserved head from a Roman statue depicting the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus. Object dated to 222-235 CE; made of bronze. The artefact is in the Archaeological Museum in Dion (Greece).

The death of Alexander in 235 CE, the last emperor of the Severan dynasty, opens the period of the great crisis of the Roman state. The lack of legitimacy of power among his successors was to cause constant military revolts and the donation of purple to subsequent candidates. One of the reasons for this was the militarization of the empire, which Alexander’s more far-sighted advisers tried to prevent. From now on, the “first violin” in the choice of the heirs to the throne was to be played by the military, which in various parts of the Empire chose local and distinguished commanders, sometimes against themselves.

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