Europe 197: Battle of Lugdunum

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 19 Feb 197 (The Severan Dynasty: Battle of Lugdunum), showing the following events: Syria Coele and Phoenice; Clodius Albinus’ revolt; Osrhoene province; Battle of Lugdunum.

While Septimius Severus was dealing with Osroene—which had supported Pescennius Niger (193–4)—his alliance with Clodius Albinus in Britain collapsed. Albinus crossed the Channel in 196, proclaiming himself Emperor and gathering the Gallic and Spanish provinces to his cause. Severus promptly marched west and, after several inconclusive battles, decisively defeated Albinus at Lugdunum in early 197.

Main Events

194? Syria Coele and Phoenice

Not long after his defeat of Pescennius Niger in Syria in 194, the Roman emperor Septimius Severus divided up the large Roman province of Syria Palestina. The northern part became Syria Coele (commonly known as Coele-Syria), retaining the original province’s capital at Antioch, and the middle part Syria Phoenice, capital Tyre. The southern part kept the name Syria Palestina, but its capital became Caesarea wikipedia

195–196 Clodius Albinus’ revolt

In late 195, accusing his former ally of conspiring against him, the Roman emperor Septimius Severus revoked Clodius Albinus’ title of Caesar and persuaded the Senate to declare him a public enemy. Albinus crossed the Channel in early 196, declaring himself Emperor and quickly gaining support in Gaul and Spain. Later that year he defeated the governor of Lower Germania, but was unable to break through into the wikipedia

195 Osrhoene province

Following the fall of Roman usurper Pescennius Niger in Syria (194), the Roman client kingdom of Osroene and the Parthian client kingdom of Adiabene besieged the Roman city of Nisibis. Septimius Severus responded by marching on Osroene and laying siege to its capital Edessa. Bringing the war to an end in late 195, Severus annexed most of Osroene as the Roman province of Osrhoene (capital Nisibis), leaving King Agbar VIII of Osroene to rule just a small enclave around wikipedia

19 Feb 197 Battle of Lugdunum

After a series of inconclusive encounters in Gaul, Septimius Severus’ forces defeated Clodius Albinus at Tinurtium (Tournus) in early 197. Advancing south towards the important city of Lugdunum, Severus met Albinus in a great battle—according to Cassius Dio, there were 150,000 soldiers on each side—and won a bloody but decisive victory. Unable to escape, Albinus committed suicide; on Severus’s orders, his head was displayed in Rome and his body wikipedia