NEARLY 2,000 years ago, York was the most important place in the western hemisphere. The Roman Emperor had taken up residence and thousands of social climbers from all corners of the empire flocked to the city to be part of the scene.
The man attracting all the fuss was Septimius Severus, the first black citizen to hold Rome’s highest office. For the final three years of his reign, he made York his home and brought to the city a cosmopolitan period of culture, fashion and importance that has not been matched since.
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