SEVERUS) : b. Ace (the modern Acre), Phoe nicia, 205 A.D. ; d. 235. He was the son of Genesius Marcianus and of Julia Mammwa, niece to the Emperor Severus. He was ad mirably educated by his mother, and was adopted and made Caesar by his cousin Hello gabalus, then but a few years older than him self, at the prudent instigation of their common grandmother, Mmsa. That contemptible Em peror, however, soon grew jealous of his cousin and would have destroyed him but for the interference of the praetorian guards, who soon after put Heliogabalus himself to death and raised Alexander to the imperial dignity in his 17th year, 11 March 222. Alexander adopted the noble model of Trajan and the Antomnes, and the mode in which he administered the affairs of the empire, and otherwise occupied himself in poetry, philosophy and literature is eloquently described by Gibbon. On the whole, he governed ably both in peace and war; but whatever he might owe to the good education given him by his mother, he allowed her a degree of influence in the government which threw a cloud over the latter part of his reign. He however finally became convinced that in this matter he had allowed his filial reverence to mislead him and is said to have reproached his mother with his dying breath as the cause of • the disaster which had befallen them both.
Alexander behaved with great magnanimity in one of the frequent insurrections of the prm torian guards; but, either from fear or neces sity, he allowed many of their seditious muti nies to pass unpunished, though in one of them they murdered their prefect, the learned lawyer Ulpian, and in another compelled Dion Cassius, the historian, then consul, to retire to Bithynia. At length, after having defeated, in 232, the Persians under Artaxerxes, who wished to drive the Romans from Asia, and undertaking an expedition into Gaul to repress an incursion of the Germans, he was murdered with his mother in an insurrection of his Gallic troops, headed by the brutal and gigantic Thracian, Maximin, who took advantage of their discon tent at the Emperor's attempts to restore dis cipline. Alexander was favorable to Christian ity, following the predilections of his mother, Julia Mammxa, and he is said to have placed the statue of Jesus Christ in his private temple with those of Orpheus and Apollonius of Tyana.