Libius Severus was a Western Roman Emperor. Ricimer elevated him to the rank of emperor after the death of Majorian in 461; the Eastern Roman Emperor Leo refused to acknowledge him. Historians of an earlier age were content to label Severus a puppet of Ricimer, and thus swiftly move on to his more interesting contemporaries such as Clovis, Odoacer, and Euric. But if one is called a puppet, this presumes that one actually does something: there is no record of any act of Libius Severus, scarcely a line of his personality. He is as empty as the interregnum of 18 months that followed his death until Anthemius became emperor in the West. Severus died on August 15, 465; contemporary historians believed Ricimer had him poisoned.
Severus would have been responsible for the initial appointment of Arvandus as Praetorian Prefect of Gaul in 464; in 468 Arvandus was accused of treason, and even of having imperial ambitions, and placed on trial in Rome.
Severus' coins were issued at Rome, Ravenna, and, as seen above, briefly at Arles: he does seem to have been able to improve the fineness of the gold coinage.
Severus is eminently deserving of his place among the "shadow" emperors.
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