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Carinus was the son of Carus who was Praetorian prefect during the reign of Probus. After his father seized power, Carinus was raised to the rank of Caesar in October 282 and left to manage the Western provinces while his father and brother Numerian campaigned against the Persians in the east. The campaign was a success, but Carus was killed by lightning. In 285 Carinus left Rome to confront the usurper Julian I and then Diocletian, who had been declared Augustus by his troops. Carinus was nearly victorious in battle but was murdered by one of his chief officers - apparently, Carinus had seduced his wife.