Severus II had a short reign that ended with his violent death in A. D. 307. He was appointed Caesar by Constantius I when he ascended the throne in A. D. 305 under the system of government instituted by Diocletian known as the Tetrarchy. When Constantius died of illness at York in 306, Severus was in line for the role of Augustus in the West but the British troops put Constantius son Constantine on the throne. Galerius, the senior Augustus in the East was furious at this development but recognized Constantine rather than risk civil war. A few months later, Maxentius rebelled at Rome against Galerius' tax policy and invited his father Maximianus out of retirement to rule with him. Galerius sent Severus to put down this rebellion but Maxentius bribed Severus' troops to desert. Severus fled to Ravenna after he was defeated by the forces of Maxentius. He was captured and imprisoned by his foes and later put to death.
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