chapter  3
THE ROUGHSHOD THIRD CENTURY
Pages 19

The horse guard of the Severan emperors (193-235) is well known from inscriptions, sculptures, and the remains of their New Fort on the Caelian Hill. Three literary works also deal with this period: Dio, Herodian, and the Augustan History. Of these, the eyewitness Dio, who was twice consul, is the primary source and by far the most trustworthy. It is a pity his account survives only in excerpts. Herodian, on the other hand, seeks to come up with melodramatic stories, the Augustan History plays recklessly with snippets borrowed from Herodian, and both set the truth at naught. Yet the Severan period is relatively well-documented.