Caracalla

Caracalla, full Latin name: Lucius Septimius Bassianus
Born in Lugdunum, now Lyon, France.
Reign period:  211 AD – 217 AD

An interesting and a little known fact is that of the origin of this emperor’s name. As Caligula became known to history by the name of a kind of shoes, caracalla is the name of a kind of garment. It is a cloak with a hood that fits close to the body and is made of pieces of cloth. This cloak was so beloved by the emperor that he chose the name for his own byname.

Caracalla remained true to the advice of his father, Septimius Severus, to behave well with the army and to tolerate it. His reign was famous for its preference for spectacles – games and animal fighting, rich ceremonies and rituals. Historians say that the Emperor identified himself with Alexander the Great.

Caracalla and Philippopolis
In the first months of 213 AD Caracalla took a tour throughout the Empire. The next year he headed to Anatolia and along the way he visited the provinces of Dacia and Thrace. According to the epigraphic and numismatic evidence at the Stadium of Philippopolis, Pythian Games, like those in Greece, were periodically organised. Because of the visit of Emperor Caracalla in 214 AD the games were called Alexandrian – by the name of his idol Alexander the Great.

Bust of Caracalla, National Museum of Rome  / V. Pandjarova