Septimus Severus (April 11, 145-February 4, 211 Reign: 193-211) was declared emperor by his troops in Pannonia on April 9, 193. The civilian Roman authorities had actually supported Didius Julianus, but eventually came around to support Severus. Meanwhile the troops in the East proclaimed Syria's governor, Pescennius Niger, emperor, and the British legions, their governor, Clodius Albinus. Severus had to deal with his rival claimants.

Foxe reports that:

Severus, having been recovered from a severe fit of sickness by a Christian, became a great favorer of the Christians in general; but the prejudice and fury of the ignorant multitude prevailing, obsolete laws were put in execution against the Christians. The progress of Christianity alarmed the pagans, and they revived the stale calumny of placing accidental misfortunes to the account of its professors, A.D. 192. (http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe/martyrs/fox102.htm 9/16/12)

Tertullian says that if the Christians had collectively withdrawn themselves from the Roman territories, the empire would have been greatly depopulated.

His reign was also considered bloody and according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he may have been involved in the murder of his predecessor, Pertinax. The Catholic Encyclopedia also says he persecuted the Christians and forbade conversion to Judaism and to Christianity.

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/rome/a/aa0629999.htm  9/16/12

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13721a.htm 9/16/12