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Search results - "Aemilianus"
Personajes_Imperiales_6.jpg
06 - Personalities of the Empire46 viewsGordian II, Pupienus, Balbinus, Gordian III, Tranquilina, Philip I, Octacilla Severa, Philip II, Trajan Decius, Her. Etruscilla, Her. Etrusco, Hostilian, Trebonianus Gallus and Aemilianusmdelvalle
78.jpg
078 Aemilian. AR antoninianus19 viewsobv: IMP AEMILIANUS PIVS FEL AVG rad. drp. and cuir. bust r.
rev: SPES PVBLICIA spes adv. l. holding flower and raising skirt
hill132
Aemilianus_AR-Ant_IMP-AEMILIANVS-PIVS-FEL-AVG_DIANAE-VICTRI_RIC-IV-III-2b-p195_C-10_253-AD_Rare_Q-001_0h_19,5-21,5mm_3,28g-s.jpg
085 Aemilian (253 A.D.), AR-Antoninianus, RIC IV-III 002b, Rome, DIANAE VICTRI, Diana standing left, Rare!87 views085 Aemilian (253 A.D.), AR-Antoninianus, RIC IV-III 002b, Rome, DIANAE VICTRI, Diana standing left, Rare!
avers:- IMP-AEMILIANVS-PIVS-FEL-AVG, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
revers:- DIANAE-VICTRI, Diana standing left, holding bow and arrow.
exerg: , diameter: 19,5-21,5 mm, weight: 3,28 g, axis: 0h,
mint: Rome, date: 253 A.D., ref: RIC-IV-III-2b, p195, C-10, Sear5-9831, Rare!,
Q-001
quadrans
jovian.jpg
1410a, Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.78 viewsBronze AE 3, RIC 179, aVF, Constantinople, 3.126g, 21.6mm, 180o. Obverse: D N IOVIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust left; Reverse: VOT V MVLT X within wreath, CONSPG in exergue; scarce.

Flavius Jovianuswas born in 331 at Singidunum, modern Belgrade. His distinguished father, Varronianus, had been a tribune of the legion Ioviani and a comes domesticorum, perhaps under Constantius II, who had retired to private life shortly before Jovian's elevation to the purple. Jovian married a daughter of Lucillianus, perhaps named Charito, and by her produced at least two children.

Jovian himself was a protector domesticus under Constantius II and Julian and, under Julian, primicerius domesticorum. Various Christian sources maintain that Jovian's Christianity led to his deposition by Julian, though most modern scholars dismiss this as ex post facto Christian apologetic. Jovian, recalled to the ranks if he had ever been dismissed, marched with Julian against Sapor in 363, and on 27 June, the day after that emperor's death, was acclaimed Augustus.

Ammianus and Zosimus, among others, detail the difficult straits of the Roman army during its withdrawal from Persian territory, Ammianus from the perspective of a proud soldier confident even in defeat of the superiority of Roman arms, Zosimus, in a much shorter and confused version, concentrating on the predicament of Jovian's troops and on the dire effects to the empire of the peace terms agreed to with Sapor. These terms entailed the cessation to Persia of Roman territory beyond the Tigris -- the cities of Singara and Nisibis, however, to be surrendered on the condition of the safe passage of their inhabitants -- and the guarantee of the neutrality of Rome's ally Arsaces, King of Armenia, in the event of future hostilities between Roman and Persia. Ammianus asserts that in agreeing to these terms Jovian misjudged his tactical strength and wasted an opportunity presented by negotiations with Sapor to move his forces closer to supplies at Corduena, and that Jovian acted on the advise of flatterers to preserve the fighting strength of his forces in the event of an attempt by Julian's relative Procopius to seize the throne. Others present the treaty terms as unavoidable given the Roman predicament.

Jovian appears to have treaded cautiously with regard to religious matters during the early months of his reign. Eunapius says that Jovian continued to honor Maximus and Priscus, the Neoplatonist advisors of Julian, and, upon reaching Tarsus, Jovian performed funeral rites for Julian. Nonetheless, various Christians, most notably Athanasius, took the initiative in an effort to gain Jovian's favor and support. An adherent of the Nicaean creed, Jovian did eventually recall various bishops of homoousian disposition and restore to their followers churches lost under earlier emperors. But in spite of such measures, unity among various Christian sects seems to have been the foremost concern of Jovian, whose ipsissima verba Socrates Scholasticus purports to give: "I abhor contentiousness, but love and honor those hurrying towards unanimity" (Hist. Eccl. 3.25).

Jovian died at the age of thirty-two on 17 February 364 at Dadastana on the boundary of Bithynia and Galatia. The cause of his death was most probably natural and is variously attributed to overeating, the consumption of poisonous mushrooms, or suffocation from fumes of charcoal or of the fresh paint on the room in which he was sleeping. Ammianus' comparison of the circumstances of Jovian's death to those of Scipio Aemilianus suggest the possibility of foul play, as does John of Antioch's reference to a poisoned rather than a poisonous mushroom, while John Chrysostom -- in a highly suspect literary context of consolatio-- asserts outright that the emperor was murdered. Eutropius records that he was enrolled among the gods, inter Divos relatus est. Zonaras says he was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles and that his wife, Charito, was eventually laid to rest beside him.

Ancient authors agree that Jovian was of modest intellect but imposing physique and disposed to excessive eating and drinking.

By Thomas Banchich, Canisius College
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited By J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
TrebGallusAEVim.jpg
1cu Trebonianus Gallus24 views251-253

AE Viminacium

Laureate, draped bust, right, IMP C GALLVS P FELIX AVG
Moesia standing facing, head left, hands outstretched over a bull and a lion at her sides, PMS COL VIM

Moushmov 56

For Gallus' perfidy against Decius, see the Decius entry. Zosimus reports regarding Gallus' reign: Gallus, who declared his son Volusianus his associate in the empire, published an open declaration, that Decius and his army had perished by his contrivance. The Barbarians now became more prosperous than before. For Callus not only permitted them to return home with the plunder, but promised to pay them annually a sum of money, and allowed them to carry off all the noblest captives; most of whom had been taken at Philippopolis in Thrace.

Gallus, having made these regulations, came to Rome, priding himself on the peace he had made with the Barbarians. And though he at first spoke with approbation of Decius's mode of government, and adopted one of his sons, yet, after some time was elapsed, fearing that some of them who were fond of new projects might recur to a recapitulation of the princely virtues of Decius, and therefore might at some opportunity give the empire to his son, he concerted the young man's destruction, without regard either to his own adoption of him, or to common honour and justice.

Gallus was so supine in the administration of the empire, that the Scythians in the first place terrified all the neighbouring nations, and then laid waste all the countries as far by degrees as the sea coast; not leaving one nation subject to the Romans unpillaged, and taking almost all the unfortified towns, and many that were fortified. Besides the war on every side, which was insupportably burdensome to them, the cities and villages were infested with a pestilence, which swept away the remainder of mankind in those regions; nor was so great a mortality ever known in any former period.

At this crisis, observing that the emperors were unable to defend the state, but neglected all without the walls of Rome, the Goths, the Borani, the Urugundi, and the Carpi once more plundered the cities of Europe of all that had been left in them; while in another quarter, the Persians invaded Asia, in which they acquired possession of Mesopotamia, and proceeded even as far as Antioch in Syria, took that city, which is the metropolis of all the east, destroyed many of the inhabitants, and carried the remainder into captivity, returning home with immense plunder, after they had destroyed all the buildings in the city, both public and private, without meeting with the least resistance. And indeed the Persians had a fair opportunity to have made themselves masters of all Asia, had they not been so overjoyed at their excessive spoils, as to be contented with keeping and carrying home what they had acquired.

Meantime the Scythians of Europe were in perfect security and went over into Asia, spoiling all the country as far as Cappodocia, Pesinus, and Ephesus, until Aemilianus, commander of the Pannonian legions, endeavouring as much as possible to encourage his troops, whom the prosperity of the Barbarians had so disheartened that they durst not face them, and reminding them of the renown of Roman courage, surprised the Barbarians that were in that neighbourhood. Having destroyed great numbers of them, and led his forces into their country, removing every obstruction to his progress, and at length freeing the subjects of the Roman empire from their ferocity, he was appointed emperor by his army. On this he collected all the forces of that country, who were become more bold since his successes against the Barbarians, and directed his march towards Italy, with the design of fighting Gallus, who was as yet. unprepared to contend with him. For Gallus had never heard of what had occurred in the east, and therefore made only what accidental preparations were in his reach, while Valerianus went to bring the Celtic and German legions. But Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority.
Blindado
AemilianusAE_Dacia.jpg
1cw Aemilian26 views253

AE 26

Laureate, draped & cuirassed bust, right, IMP C M AEMIL AEMILIANVS AVG
PROVIN-CIA DACIA, Dacia standing facing, holding short sceptre in left arm, over which is a wreath, and holding up a bundle of rice in right hand, eagle and lion at feet, VIII in exergue.

Moushmov 20

Zosimus records: Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority. But Valerianus brought into Italy from beyond the Alps a vast army, with which he deemed himself secure of conquering Aemilianus. The soldiers of Aemilianus, who saw that his conduct was more like that of a private sentinel than of an emperor, now put him to death as a person unfit for so weighty a charge.

Eutropius' curt review: AEMILIANUS was little distinguished by birth, and less distinguished by his reign, in the third month of which he was cut off.
Blindado
ValerianAntVict.jpg
1cx Valerian38 views253-260

Antoninianus

Radiate draped and cuirassed bust, right, IMP C P LIC VALERIANVS AVG
Victory standing left, holding wreath and palm, VICTORIA AVGG

RIC 125

Persians surrounded Valerian's army in the East in 260 and took the emperor prisoner. He died on an unknown date in captivity.

Zosimus noted: The nations subject to the Romans being unable to endure [Maximinus'] monstrous cruelty, and greatly distressed by the ravages he committed, the Africans proclaimed Gordianus and his son, of the same name, emperors, and sent ambassadors to Rome, one of whom was Valerianus, a man of consular rank, who afterwards himself became emperor. . . .

Aemilianus advanced with great speed into Italy, and the armies were very near to each other, when the soldiers of Gallus, reflecting that his force was much inferior to the enemy both in number and strength, and likewise that he was a negligent indolent man, put him and his son to death, and going over to the party of Aemilianus, appeared to establish his authority. But Valerianus brought into Italy from beyond the Alps a vast army, with which he deemed himself secure of conquering Aemilianus. The soldiers of Aemilianus, who saw that his conduct was more like that of a private sentinel than of an emperor, now put him to death as a person unfit for so weighty a charge.

By these means Valerianus became emperor with universal consent, and employed himself in the regulation of affairs. But the excursions of the Scythians, and of the Marcomanni, who made an inroad into all the countries adjacent to the empire, reduced Thessalonica to extreme danger; and though they were with muct difficulty compelled to raise the siege by the brave defence of those within, yet all Greece was in alarm. The Athenians repaired their walls, which they had never thought worth their care since Sylla threw them down. The Peloponnesians likewise fortified the Isthmus, and all Greece put itself upon its guard for the general security.

Valerianus, perceiving the empire in danger on every side, associated his son Gallienus with himself in the government! and went himself into the east to oppose the Persians. He entrusted to his son the care of the forces in Europe, thus leaving him to resist the Barbarians who poured in upon him in every direction. . . .

Valerianus had by this time heard of the disturbances in Bithynia, but his district would not allow him to confide the defence of it to any of his generals. He therefore sent Felix to Byzantium, and went in person from Antioch into Cappadocia, and after he had done some injury to every city by which he passed, he returned homeward. But the plague then attacked his troops, and destroyed most of them, at the time when Sapor made an attempt upon the east, and reduced most of it into subjection. In the mean time, Valerianus became so effeminate and indolent, that he dispaired of ever recovering from the present ill state of affairs, and would have concluded the war by a present of money; had not Sapor sent back the ambasadors who were sent to him with that proposal, without their errand, desiring the emperor to come and speak with him in person concerning the affairs he wished to adjust; To which he most imprudently consented, and going without consideration to Sapor with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, was presently laid hold of by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.
Blindado
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201c. Pescennius Niger127 viewsGaius Pescennius Niger was governor of Syria in the year 193 when he learned of the emperor Pertinax's murder. Niger's subsequent attempt to claim the empire for himself ended in failure in Syria after roughly one year. His life before becoming governor of Syria is not well known. He was born in Italy to an equestrian family. He seems to have been older than his eventual rival Septimius Severus, so his birth should perhaps be placed ca. AD 135-40. Niger may have held an important position in the administration of Egypt. He won renown, along with Clodius Albinus, for participation in a military campaign in Dacia early in Commodus' reign. Although Niger could have been adlected into the senate before the Dacian campaign, he was by now pursuing a senatorial career and must have been held in high esteem by Commodus. Niger was made a suffect consul, probably in the late 180s, and he was sent as governor to the important province of Syria in 191.

Niger was a well-known and well-liked figure to the Roman populace. After Pertinax became emperor at the beginning of 193, many in Rome may have hoped that the elderly Pertinax would adopt Niger as his Caesar and heir, but Pertinax was murdered without having made succession plans. When Didius Julianus arrived at the senate house on 29 March 193, his first full day as emperor, a riot broke out among the Roman crowd. The rioters took over the Circus Maximus, from which they shouted for Niger to seize the throne. The rioters dispersed the following day, but a report of their demonstration may well have arrived in the Syrian capital, Antioch, with the news that Pertinax had been murdered and replaced by Julianus.

Spurred into action by the news, Niger had himself proclaimed emperor in Antioch. The governors of the other eastern provinces quickly joined his cause. Niger's most important ally was the respected proconsul of Asia, Asellius Aemilianus, and support began to spread across the Propontis into Europe. Byzantium welcomed Niger, who now was preparing further advances. Niger took the additional cognomen Justus, "the Just." Justice was promoted as the theme of his intended reign, and personifications of Justice appeared on his coins.

Other provincial governors, however, also set their sights on replacing Julianus. Albinus in Britain and Septimius Severus in Upper Pannonia (western Hungary) had each aspired to the purple, and Severus was marching an army on Rome. Severus was still 50 miles from the city when the last of Julianus' dwindling authority disappeared. Julianus was killed in Rome 1 June 193.

Niger sent messengers to Rome to announce his acclamation, but those messengers were intercepted by Severus. A deal was struck between Severus and Albinus that kept Albinus in Britain with the title of Caesar. The larger armies of the western provinces were now united in their support for Severus. Niger's support was confined to the east. Severus had Niger's children captured and held as hostages, and a legion was sent to confront Niger's army in Thrace.

The first conflict between the rival armies took place near Perinthus. Although Niger's forces may have inflicted greater casualties on the Severan troops, Niger was unable to secure his advance; he returned to Byzantium. By the autumn of 193, Severus had left Rome and arrived in the region, though his armies there continued to be commanded by supporters. Niger was offered the chance of a safe exile by Severus, but Niger refused.

Severan troops crossed into Asia at the Hellespont and near Cyzicus engaged forces supporting Niger under the command of Aemilianus. Niger's troops were defeated. Aemilianus attempted to flee but was captured and killed. Not long after, in late December 193 or early January 194, Niger was defeated in a battle near Nicaea and fled south to Antioch. Eastern provincial governors now switched their loyalty to Severus, and Niger faced revolts even in Syria. By late spring 194, the Severan armies were in Cilicia preparing to enter Syria. Niger and his army met the Severan troops near Issus. The battle was a decisive defeat for Niger, who fled back to Antioch. The Syrian capital that only one year earlier had cheered as Niger was proclaimed emperor now waited in fear for the approach of its new master. Niger prepared to flee once more, but outside Antioch he was captured and killed.

Despite his popularity with the Roman mob, Pescennius Niger lacked both the strong loyalty of other senatorial commanders and the number of soldiers that his rival Severus enjoyed. Niger was ultimately unable to make himself the true avenger of Pertinax, and his roughly one-year control of the eastern provinces never qualified him to be reckoned a legitimate emperor.

BITHYNIA, Caesarea. Pescennius Niger. AD 193-194. Æ 22mm (6.35 g). Laureate head right / KAICAREIAC GERMANIKHC, coiled serpent left. RG p. 282, 9, pl. XLIV, 8 (same dies); SNG Copenhagen -; SNG von Aulock -. Near VF, brown patina, rough surfaces. Very rare. Ex-CNG
2 commentsecoli
coin242.JPG
306. Trebonianus Gallus28 viewsGaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus (206 - August, 253), was Roman emperor from 251 to 253, in a joint rule with his son Volusianus.

Gallus was born in Italy, in a family with respected ancestry and a senatorial background. He had two children in his marriage with Afinia Gemina Baebiana: the future emperor Gaius Vibius Volusianus and a daughter, Vibia Galla. His early career was typical with several appointments, both political and military. He was suffect consul and in 250 was nominated governor of the Roman province of Moesia Superior, an appointment that showed the confidence of emperor Trajan Decius in him. In Moesia, Gallus was a key figure in repelling the frequent invasion attacks by the Gothic tribes of the Danube and became popular with the army.

On July 1, 251, Decius and his co-emperor and son Herennius Etruscus died in the battle of Abrittus, at the hands of the Goths they were supposed to punish for raids into the empire. When the army heard the news, the soldiers proclaimed Gallus emperor, despite Hostilian, Decius' surviving son, ascending the imperial throne in Rome. Gallus did not back down from his intention to became emperor, but accepted Hostilian as co-emperor, perhaps to avoid the damage of another civil war. While Gallus marched on Rome, an outbreak of plague struck the city and killed the young Hostilian. With absolute power now on his hands, Gallus nominated his son Volusianus co-emperor.

Eager to show himself competent and gain popularity with the citizens, Gallus swiftly dealt with the epidemic, providing burial for the victims. Gallus is often accused of persecuting the Christians, but the only solid evidence of this allegation is the imprisoning of Pope Cornelius in 252.

Like his predecessors, Gallus did not have an easy reign. In the East, king Shapur I of Persia invaded and conquered the province of Syria, without any response from Rome. On the Danube, the Gothic tribes were once again on the loose, despite the peace treaty signed in 251. The army was not pleased with the emperor and when Aemilianus, governor of Moesia Superior and Pannonia, took the initiative of battle and defeated the Goths, the soldiers proclaimed him emperor. With a usurper threatening the throne, Gallus prepared for a fight. He recalled several legions and ordered reinforcements to return to Rome from the Rhine frontier. Despite these dispositions, Aemilianus marched onto Italy ready to fight for his claim. Gallus did not have the chance to face him in battle: he and Volusianus were murdered by their own troops in August 253.
ecoli
coin243.JPG
306a. Volusian22 viewsVolusianus was given the title of Caesar upon the accession of his father, Trebonianus Gallus, to the imperial throne of Rome. He was shortly promoted to emperor along with his father. They were both killed in A.D. 253 by mutinous troops who supported another contender for the throne, Aemilianus.

Obverse: IMP CAE C VIB VOLVSIANO AVG radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
Reverse: P M TR P IIII COS II emperor standing left with branch and scepter
RSC 92, RIC 140
ecoli
coin244.JPG
307. Aemilian31 viewsMarcus Aemilius Aemilianus was born about AD 207 either on the island of Jerba in Africa, or somewhere in Mauretania.
His career saw him becoming senator and reaching the office of consul. In AD 252 he then became governor of Lower Moesia.

In the spring of AD 253 the Goths broke the treaty made with the emperor Trebonianus Gallus. Aemilian quickly drove them out of Moesia and then, crossed the Danube crushing the Gothic forces.

In a time when Rome suffered continuous setbacks his unexpected triumph made him an outstanding leader in the eyes of his men. So, in July or August AD 253 Aemilian was proclaimed emperor by his troops. The new emperor didn't waste time. Immediately he marched his troops into Italy, rapidly moving on Rome. Only fifty miles north of the capital, at Interamna, they were were approached by the much inferior army of unprepared emperor Gallus and with his son and co-emperor Volusianus. Their troops however, realizing themselves dead if they were sent to fight Aemilian's much larger and more experienced Danubian forces, turned on them and killed them, leaving Aemilian sole emperor.

The senate, having only recently declared Aemilian a public enemy under Gallus, immediately confirmed him as emperor and Aemilian's wife Gaia Cornelia Supera was made Augusta.

All the empire now lay at Aemilian's feet, but for one big problem. Publius Licinius Valerianus, called to aid by the late Trebonianus Gallus, was marching toward Rome. His emperor might have been dead, but his usurper was still alive, giving Valerian all the reasons needed to carry on towards the capital. In fact the soldiers of his Rhine armies now declared him emperor in place of Aemilian.

As Aemilian now moved north to face his challenger history repeated itself. His own soldiers not wanting to fight a army they thought superior to their own, turned on him near Spoletium and stabbed him to death (October AD 253). The bridge where he died was afterwards known as the pons sanguinarius, the 'bridge of blood'.

Aemilian had ruled for only 88 days.

Aemilian AR Antonininus. 253 AD. IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate draped bust right / VIRTVS AVG, Virtus standing left, foot on helmet, holding branch & spear. RSC 60. RIC 12. Ex-WCNC
ecoli
coin245.JPG
308. Valerian I23 viewsRIC 209 Valerian I 253-260 AD AR Antoninianus of Moesia. Radiate draped bust/Aequitas standing holding balance and cornucopia.

Publius Licinius Valerianus (ca. 200-260), known in English as Valerian, was Roman emperor from 253 to 260. His full Latin title was IMPERATOR · CAESAR · PVBLIVS · LICINIVS · VALERIANVS · PIVS FELIX · INVICTVS · AVGVSTVS — in English, "Emperor Caesar Publius Licinus Valerianus Pious Lucky Undefeated Augustus."

Unlike the majority of the usurpers of the crisis of the third century, Valerian was of a noble and traditional Senatorial family. Details of his early life are elusive, but his marriage to Egnatia Mariniana who gave him two sons: Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus and Valerianus Minor is known.

In 238 he was princeps senatus, and Gordian I negotiated through him for Senatorial acknowledgement for his claim as Emperor. In 251, when Decius revived the censorship with legislative and executive powers so extensive that it practically embraced the civil authority of the Emperor, Valerian was chosen censor by the Senate. Under Decius he was nominated governor of the Rhine provinces of Noricum and Raetia and retained the confidence of his successor, Trebonianus Gallus, who asked him for reinforcements to quell the rebellion of Aemilianus in 253. Valerian headed south, but was too late: Gallus' own troops killed him and joined Aemilianus before his arrival. The Raetian soldiers then proclaimed Valerian emperor and continued their march towards Rome. At the time of his arrival in September, Aemilianus' legions defected, killing him and proclaiming Valerian emperor. In Rome, the Senate quickly acknowledged him, not only for fear of reprisals, but also because he was one of their own.

Valerian's first act as emperor was to make his son Gallienus colleague. In the beginning of his reign the affairs in Europe went from bad to worse and the whole West fell into disorder. In the East, Antioch had fallen into the hands of a Persian vassal, Armenia was occupied by Shapur I (Sapor). Valerian and Gallienus split the problems of the Empire between the two, with the son taking the West and the father heading East to face the Persian threat.

By 257, Valerian had already recovered Antioch and returned the Syrian province to Roman control but in the following year, the Goths ravaged Asia Minor. Later in 259, he moved to Edessa, but an outbreak of plague killed a critical number of legionaries, weakening the Roman position. Valerian was then forced to seek terms with Shapur I. Sometime towards the end of 259, or at the beginning of 260, Valerian was defeated and made prisoner by the Persians (making him the only Roman Emperor taken captive). It is said that he was subjected to the greatest insults by his captors, such as being used as a human stepladder by Shapur when mounting his horse. After his death in captivity, his skin was stuffed with straw and preserved as a trophy in the chief Persian temple. Only after Persian defeat in last Persia-Roman war three and a half centuries later was his skin destroyed.
ecoli
RIC_1_Antoniniano_Emiliano_1.jpg
79-02 - EMILIANO (Jul.a Oct. 253 D.C.)13 viewsAR Antoniniano 21 mm 4.0 gr.

Anv: "IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG", Busto radiado, vestido y acorazado viendo a derecha.
Rev: "AP-OL CONSERVAT", Apolo estante a izq., portando rama de olivo en mano der. y descansando su mano izq. sobre Lira apoyada en una roca.

Acuñada 253 D.C.
Ceca: Roma

Referencias: RIC Vol.IV Parte III #1 Pag.194 - Sear RCTV III #9830 Pag.251 - Cohen Vol.V #2 Pag.287 - RSC Vol.IV #2 Pag.46 - DVM #1 Pag.238- Hunter #8
mdelvalle
00aemilianus.jpg
AEMILIAN150 viewsBI antoninianus. 253 AD. 3,44 grs. 12 h. Radiate,draped and cuirassed bust right. IMP CAES AEMILIANVS P F AVG. / Virtus standing left,foot on helmet, holding scepter and branch. VIRTVS AVG.
RIC 22.
1 commentsbenito
00aemilianus~0.jpg
AEMILIAN95 viewsBI antoninianus. 253 AD. 3,44 grs. 12 h. Radiate,draped and cuirassed bust right. IMP CAES AEMILIANVS P F AVG. / Virtus standing left,foot on helmet, holding scepter and branch. VIRTVS AVG.
RIC 22.
NAC 52. Lot 1175 .
benito
AemilianusAE_Dacia~0.jpg
Aemilian202 views253

AE 26

Laureate, draped & cuirassed bust, right, IMP C M AEMIL AEMILIANVS AVG

PROVIN-CIA DACIA, Dacia standing facing, holding short sceptre in left arm, over which is a wreath, and holding up a bundle of rice in right hand, eagle and lion at feet, VIII in exergue.

Moushmov 20
Blindado
1389_Aemilianus_Viminacium.jpg
Aemilian - Viminacium6 viewsAE sestertius
253 AD
laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right
IMP C M AEMIL AEMILIANVS A
Moesia facing, head left between bull walking right on left and lion walking left on right
PMS C_OL VII
AN XIV
AMNG 179; Pick-Martin 6'01'28
8,0g
ex Gorny & Mosch
Johny SYSEL
Aemilian.png
Aemilian, Antoninianus30 viewsAemilian Antoninianus

Obverse:
IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG
Radiate, draped bust right

Reverse:
SPES PVBLICA
Spes advancing left, holding wreath and palm.

RIC IViii 10, C 47
3 commentsHarry G
Aemilianus_PMTRP_I_PP_ae_b.jpg
Aemilianus antoninianus49 viewsP M TR P I P P
without altar variant
very rare
1 commentsTibsi
046B.jpg
Aemilianus AR Antoninianus90 viewsRIC IVc 2b var., C 25 var. (Unlisted), Eauze hoard
2.71 g, 22 mm
IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, radiate, draped, cuirassed bust right
DIANE VICTRICI, Diana standing left, holding arrow and bow.
Extremely Rare
Note from Richard Beale (Roma Numismatics):
RIC only lists coins with DIANAE VICTRI, though it does mention a coin with "DIANE (sic) VICTRI" in Berlin. I suspect that the Berlin coin is actually the same type/dies as [this one] but without the reverse's final two letters showing.
Three known including this one: One in the Eauze Hoard, one in an Italian collection (FORVM member 'aemilianus') and this one.
4 commentsMark Z2
Amilianus_RIC_IV_9.jpg
Aemilianus RIC IV 930 viewsAemilian AR Antoninianus
Obv: Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Rev: Roma standing left, holding phoenix on globe and scepter; behind, shield to right.
Size: 22mm, 3.81 g, 12h
Mint: Rome 253 AD
Ids: RIC IV 9; RSC 41
Notes: Ex-M. A. Armstrong Collection, Ex CNG
ickster
aemelian_com.JPG
Aemilianus RIV IV ( 3 ) Rome 841 viewsAR 18-21 mm 1.7 grams
OBV :: IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG. Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right
REV :: PACI AVG Pax standing left, leaning with legs crossed on column. Holding transverse scepter and branch
EX :: none
RIV IV ( 3 ) Rome 8
RIC Rated Rare
Purchased 02/2009
Johnny
aemilien.jpg
Aemilianus, Antoninianus87 viewsMint of Rome.
IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG - Radiate, draped bust right.
PACI AVG - Pax standing left, leaning on column and with legs crossed, holding branch and scepter.
2.91gr
Ref:RIC 8, C 26
253AD.
Scarce
1 commentsbyzancia
Julius_Caesar.jpg
Gaius Julius Caesar206 viewsFebruary-March 44 BC. AR Denarius (19mm, 3.90 g, 5h). Rome mint. P. Sepullius Macer, moneyer. Laureate and veiled head right / Venus standing left, holding Victory and scepter; shield at base of scepter. Crawford 480/13; CRI 107d; Sydenham 1074; RSC 39. From the Jörg Müller Collection.

Alföldi arranges Crawford 480 series coins in (44 BC) month order as follows:

RRC 480/1, Buca - January
RRC 480/2, DICT QVART - early February
RRC 480/3/4/5, CAESAR IMP - late February
RRC 480/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14, DICT PERPETVO - early to mid March
RRC 480/17/18, CAESAR IMPER - late March
RRC 480/19/20, PARENS PATRIAE - April
RRC 480/15/16, MARIDIANVS - April
RRC 480/21/22, CLEMENTIAE CAESARIS and Mark Antony - April

"Iconography, historical meaning:

The rev. can be understand easily: The Iulians ascribed their gens back to Aeneas who was the son of Venus (Aphrodite) and Anchises.Venus was the tutelary goddess of the gens Iulia and hence of Caesar. 46 BC Caesar has consecrated together with his new built forum also the temple of Venus Genetrix, the ancestress of his gens. On this denarius with Victory, spear and shield it is rather Venus Victrix.

The portrait on obv. is imposing by its realistic depiction. It was for the first time that a living ruler was pictured on a Roman coin. This too raised suspicion that Caesar - even if he wasn't acclaimed king - would behave as such.

Caesar's portrait attracts attention by the wreath he is wearing. It protrudes notable wide beyond his forehead. Furthermore it is padded and very ragged. This characteristic received too little attention until now. There is every indication that it is not a usual wreath but a corona graminea, a Grass or Blockade crown. This crown was dedicated by the army to that commander who has freed them from an encirclement and saved them from certain death. The crown was composed from flowers and tuft of grass which was plucked at the location of their liberation. This crown was regarded as the highest of all crowns! Pliny (nat. 22, 6) has known only of 8 persons with this honour:
1. Lucius Siccius Dentatus, tribunus plebis 454 BC
2. Publius Decius Mus, 343 BC, 1st Samnite War, dedicated even by 2 armies!
3. Marcus Calpurnius Flamma, 258 BC, at Carmina on Sicily
4. Quintus Fabius Maximus, after the departure of the Carthaginians from Italy, 203 BC
(dedicated by the Senate and the people of Rome, possibly posthumous)
5. Scipio Aemilianus Africanus
6. Gnaeus Petreius Atinas, centurio during the war against the Cimbri
7. Lucius Cornelius Sulla, during the Allied War at Nola 89 BC
8. Quintus Sertorius, 97 BC aa military tribune in Spain under Titu Ddius.
To Caesar and Augustus the crown was dedicated by the Senate!

The veil Caesar is wearing as Pontifex Maximus for lifetime.

DICTATOR PERPETVVS

During Republican times a dictator was designated when the state was in an emergency situation. His position was always temporally limited, yes, sometimes designated only for a single task. In the beginning Caesar too was dictator limited to 1 year and had to be designated again for the next year. Already 46 BC Caesar has been nominated dictator for 10 years but the title had to be renewed each year. So we know of coins with DICT, DICT ITER (= again, for the second time), IC TER (for the third time) and DICT QVART.

Since the proclamation as king has failed the title dictator disappeared from the denarii and were replaced by IMP. But soon behind Caesar's head appeares a star, a crescent, or Victory's spear stands on a star. These celestial signs - and that was understod by all - stand for divinity and should raise Caesar high above all Romans. Incompatible with the idea of a republican constituted Rome.

The point of culmination in this series is the legend DICT PERPETVO of this coin. Now the title of dictator was no more temporally limited but was valid like his office as Pontifex Maximus for all his life and it no more was necessary to confirm the title each year. That actually was a spectacular violation of the Roman constitution! The fact that he appeared at the Lupercalia on February 15. 44 BC in the ancient robe of kings strengthened the suspicion that he was looking for the kingship. In fact he has publicly
refused the royal crown that was offered to him by Marcus Antonius, but his authority to exert power was equal a king even without bearing the title of king. That was the most hateful title of the Roman Republic.

Now he has passed a line that his republican enimies couldn't tolerate any more if they still wanted to be taken seriously. So this coin actually led to his murder by the conspirators. So "The coin that kills Caesar" is by no means an exaggeration.

The planned Parthian War:

Caesar has planned a war against the Parthians. In March 44 BC he wanted to start for a campaign to the east. His assassination inhibited this intention. In science disputed are the goals which Caesar has had in mind with his war. They are reaching from a boundary adjustment, as Mommsen suggested, to world domination like Alexander the Great, as Plutarch is writing: According to him Caesar after the submission of the Parthians would go across Hyrcania at the Caspian Sea, then round the Black Sea via the Caucasus, invade the land of the Scyths, attack Germania and would finally return to Italy through the land of the Celts. In this way he would have conquered the world known to the Ancients and his limits were only the shores of the surrounding Okeanos.

Probably Sueton who was sitting directly at the sources was more realistic. And we know of the campaigns of Marcus Antonius and Augustus who surely have known Caesar's plans and have used them for their own purposes. It's clear that Caesar doesn't want to repeat the errors of Crassus who perished at Carrhae, and has tried to avoid he Parthian cavalry units. Therefore a route through Lesser Armenia is most probable. And there was hope that the Mesopotamian cities would raise against the Parthians. Caesar had gathered an army of 16(!) legions, a huge power that alone by its mere bigness would ensure the victory. Caesar was no gambler, rather a cautious and prudential commander.The famous "veni, vidi, vici" doesn't exist longer. What he actually had in mind we don't know. It's speculative. But there is every indication that it was a reorganisation of the east. And that rather by establishing client-kingdoms than creating new Roman provinces.

Probably the conspirators were afraid of Caesar's Parthian War, because a victory, which was possible or even probable, would have strengthen Caesar's position and has made him practically invulnerable." - Jochen
4 commentsNemonater
parion_aemilianus_SNG_France1515.jpg
Mysia, Parion, Aemilianus, SNG France 151511 viewsAemilianus, AD 253
AE 22, 4.65g, 22.25mm, 180°
obv. IMP M AEM AEMILIANVS.A
Bust, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r.
rev. CGI - HP
Eros, nude, stg. half left, chlamys over l. arm, l. hand on hip, r. hand extended over a small
column with head of Hermes (herm)
ref. RPC IX, 377; SNG France 1515
about VF, dark green patina
Pedigree:
ex Numismatik Naumann Auction 43, 1, May 2016, Lot 632

The rev. shows the famous Eros of Parium made by Praxiteles.
Jochen
Aemilian_1.jpg
RIC 4c, p.196, 15 - Aemilianus, Mars41 viewsAemilianus (253)
Antoninian
Rome
Obv: IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG, bust radiate, draped, cuirassed right
Rev: MAR-TI PACIF, Mars advancing left, holding branch, shield, and spear.
Ref.: RIC 15
Ag, 2.89g, 20.56mm
Ex Lanz Numismatik 155
2 commentsshanxi
Aemilianus_AR-Ant_IMP-AEMILIANVS-PIVS-FEL-AVG_MARTI-PACIF_RIC-IV-III-5b-p195_C-22_253-AD_R_Q-001_axis-1h_19-22,5mm_3,25g-s.jpg
Roman Empire, Aemilianus (253 A.D.), AR-Antoninianus, RIC IV-III 005b, Rome, MARTI PACIF, Rare!365 views085 Aemilianus (253 A.D.), AR-Antoninianus, RIC IV-III 005b, Rome, MARTI PACIF, Rare!
avers:- IMP-AEMILIANVS-PIVS-FEL-AVG, Radiate, draped bust right.
revers:- MARTI-PACIF, Mars advancing left, holding branch and spear with shield.
exerg: , diameter: 19-22,5 mm, weight: 3,25 g, axis: 1 h,
mint: Rome, date: 253 A.D., ref: RIC-IV-III-5b, p195, C-22, R!,
Q-001
1 commentsquadrans
Aemilianus-Antoninian-APOLCONSERVAT-RIC1.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, AEMILIANUS, Antoninianus, RIC IV/III/136 viewsAv) IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG Draped and radiated bust right
Rv) APOL CONSERVAT Naked Apollon standing left, resting against lyre & holding branch
Weight: 3,3g; Ø:20mm
Reference: RIC IV/III/1, ROME mint
sulcipius
Aemilianus antoninianus.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Aemilianus, AR antoninianus91 viewsOptimus
aemilianus,_victoria_avg.jpg
VICTORIA AVG9 viewsAEMILIANUS
Antoninianus 21,5 mm; Rome AD 253.
obv: IMP AEMILIANVS PIVS FEL AVG;rev: VICTORIA AVG

Podiceps
Valerian1RIC232.jpg
[1112a] Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D.70 viewsSilver antoninianus, RIC 232, RSC 10, VF, worn die reverse, Mediolanum mint, 3.909g, 22.2mm, 180o, 257 A.D.; Obverse: IMP VALERIANVS P AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: AETERNITATI AVGG, Sol standing left, raising right, globe in left; nice portrait, good silver for the reign. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Valerian (A.D. 253-260) and Gallienus (A.D. 253-268)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University


P. Licinius Valerianus, or Valerian, was unusual for his time period in that he was an emperor who came from an old Roman senatorial family. He was likely born shortly before 200 A.D., but little is known of his early life. Valerian married Egnatia Mariniana and had two sons, Gallienus and Valerian Junior. Gallienus was born around 218. Valerian makes his first appearance in the sources in 238 A.D. as an ex-consul and princeps senatus negotiating with (more likely than serving on) the embassy sent to Rome by Gordian I's African legions to secure senatorial approval of Gordian's rebellion against and replacement of Maximinus Thrax as emperor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae probably report accurately that Trajan Decius, on the recommendation of the Senate, offered Valerian the censorship in 251. Although the senatus consultum cited and the specific office are of doubtful authenticity, the high reputation Valerian possessed in the Senate and his association with the government under Decius probably are truthful aspects of the story. In 253 Valerian was apparently commanding in Raetia and Noricum when Trebonianus Gallus sent him to bring legions from Gaul and Germany to Italy for the struggle with the forces of Aemilianus. After Gallus' troops killed him and his son and joined Aemilianus, Valerian's men proclaimed their general emperor and their arrival in Italy caused Aemilianus' soldiers to desert and kill their commander and join Valerian's forces in acclaiming Valerian as emperor.

The Senate presumably was pleased to ratify the position of Valerian, one of their own, as emperor and they also accepted his son and colleague, P. Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, as Augustus, rather than just as Caesar. Valerian apparently realized the necessity of sharing power equally with his son and of dividing their efforts geographically, with Gallienus responsible for the West and Valerian himself concentrating on the East. The biographies of Valerian and Gallienus in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, attributed to Trebellius Pollio, are not especially helpful in putting together an account of their joint reign. The life of Valerian is fragmentary and that of Gallienus projects an extremely biased negative interpretation of his career.

Gallienus in the early years of the joint reign concentrated, with some success, on protecting Gaul and the Rhine frontier by driving back Germanic tribes and fortifying cities such as Cologne and Trier. In a move which would characterize later diplomacy with Germans, Gallienus concluded an alliance with one of their chieftains, presumably to assist the Romans in protecting the empire from other Germanic tribes. The invasions increased in number around 257-258 as the Franks entered Gaul and Spain, destroying Tarraco (Tarragona), and the Alamanni invaded Italy. Gallienus defeated the Alamanni at Milan, but soon was faced with the revolts in Pannonia and Moesia led first by his general there, Ingenuus, and then by Regalianus, commander in Illyricum. Gallienus put down these rebellions by 260 and secured stability in the region by concluding an alliance with the Marcomannic king, whose daughter Pipa the emperor apparently accepted as his concubine although he was still married to Cornelia Salonina.

In the East, Valerian had succeeded by A.D. 257 in rescuing Antioch in Syria from Persian control, at least temporarily, but was soon faced with a major invasion of the Goths in Asia Minor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae biography of Aurelian has Valerian appear to speak in the Baths at Byzantium to publicly commend Aurelian for his success in driving back the Goths and reward him with the consulship and even with adoption as imperial successor. However, it is not clear that Valerian even reached Byzantium because he sent Felix to that city while he remained to protect the eastern section of Asia Minor and then returned to Antioch to guard it against renewed Persian attacks. It was at this point, around 259, that Valerian moved to defend Edessa and his troops lost significant numbers to the plague. Valerian tried to negotiate a peace with the Persian king, Sapor, but was captured by treachery and taken into captivity. The ultimate humiliation of a Roman emperor by a foreign leader was enacted through Sapor's use of Valerian as a human stepping-stool to assist the Persian king in mounting his horse and Valerian's body was later skinned to produce a lasting trophy of Roman submission.

Eusebius discusses the policy of Valerian toward the Christians and says that, after initially treating them most positively, Valerian was persuaded by Macrianus to lead another persecution against them. Valerian in fact after his brutal imprisonment and death in Persia would serve as a negative moral exemplum for some Latin Christian writers who gleefully pointed out that those who oppose the true God receive their just desserts.

Eusebius also credits Gallienus with reversing his father's policy and establishing peace with the Church, citing imperial edicts which established freedom of worship and even restored some lost property. Paul Keresztes claims that Gallienus in fact established a peace with Christians that lasted for forty-three years, from A.D. 260 until 303, and gave the community a kind of legal status which they had previously lacked.

Andreas Alföldi details a growing separation between Gallienus and his father which goes well beyond the geographical one which had developed out of military necessity. In addition to the strikingly different policies, just described, which they pursued toward the Christians, Gallienus began to make his military independence clear through changes in coin inscriptions and by 258 he had created his central cavalry unit and stationed it at Milan. This independent force, which was under the command of a man of equestrian rank and soon stood on a level at least equal to that of the Praetorian Guard, would play a significant role in Gallienus' upcoming battles and, of course, was a foretoken of a new trend for military organization in the future. Alföldi cites as evidence of the increasing separation between the joint emperors the statement that Gallienus did not even seek his father's return from captivity, which Lactantius of course interpreted as part of Valerian's divine punishment, but one wonders what indeed Gallienus might have done and his "indifference" may have been instead his attempt to reassert confidence in his armies and not dwell on the depressing and humiliating servitude and ultimate death of Valerian. Another reform which Alföldi discusses as part of Gallienus' independent stand is his exclusion of the senatorial class from major military commands. H.M.D. Parker credits Gallienus with beginning to separate the civil and military functions of Rome's provincial governors, thus making senatorial governors purely civil administrators and starting to replace them even in this reduced role by equestrians. The disappearance in this period of the S.C. stamp of senatorial authority on bronze coins was probably also seen as an attack on the prestige of the order, although the debasement of the silver coinage had by this time practically reached the point where the "silver" coins were themselves essentially bronze and the change may have been more for economic than for political reasons. Gallienus' exclusion of senators from military command further broke down class distinctions because sons of centurions were by this time regularly given equestrian rank and the move further accelerated the alienation of Rome as center of the Empire. In addition, the bitterness of the senatorial class over Gallienus' policy most likely explains the hatred of Latin writers toward this particular emperor.

Although Gallienus' military innovations may have made his forces more effective, he still had to face numerous challenges to his authority.In addition to systemic invasions and revolts, the plague wreaked havoc in Rome and Italy and probably in several provinces as well. It must have seemed that every commander he entrusted to solve a problem later used that authority to create another threat. When Gallienus was involved in putting down the revolt of Ingenuus in Pannonia, he put Postumus in charge of the armies guarding the Rhine and Gaul. There is some doubt about which of Gallienus' sons, Cornelius Valerianus or P. Cornelius Licinius Saloninus, was left in Cologne under the care of the Praetorian Prefect Silvanus and perhaps also Postumus. In any case, when Postumus revolted and proclaimed his independent Gallic Empire, Silvanus and one of the emperor's sons were killed. Gallienus probably restricted Postumus' expansion, but he never gained the personal revenge that, according to one source, drove him to challenge Postumus to single combat. While Gallienus was thus engaged, and after Valerian's capture by the Persians, Macrianus had his soldiers proclaim his sons, Macrianus and Quietus, emperors in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Gallienus sent Aureolus to defeat Macrianus and one son in the area of Illyria and Thrace; Odenathus of Palmyra defeated the other son and restored stability in Syria and, with Gallienus' approval, followed that up with a victory over the Persians. After Odenathus' assassination ca. 267, his wife Zenobia continued to rule the independent Palmyrene section of the Empire.

In A.D. 262 Gallienus concluded his tenth year in office by celebrating in Rome his Decennalia with a spectacular procession involving senators, equestrians, gladiators, soldiers, representatives of foreign peoples, and many other groups. This festival included feasts, games, entertainment, and spectacle which probably reminded Romans of the millennial Secular Games celebrations of Philip I and likely were intended to secure popular support at home for Gallienus. Over the next five years little is known about specific activities of the emperor and he presumably spent more time in Rome and less along the frontiers.

Gallienus and Salonina as rulers patronized a cultural movement which collectively is known as the Gallienic Renaissance. The imperial patrons are most directly connected with the philosophical aspects of this movement because Porphyry testifies to their friendship for the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus. Porphyry goes on to say that Plotinus asked Gallienus to rebuild an abandoned former city of philosophers in Campania, rename it Platonopolis, and govern it as a kind of Platonic Republic, but that the jealousy and spite of others at court scuttled the plan. In addition to Neoplatonic philosophy, according to Gervase Matthew, the Gallienic Renaissance included the "upward glance" and other stylistic changes in imperial sculpture and religious beliefs that were characterized by "an overwhelming sense of the transcendent and immutable." Matthew points out both the return to artistic models of Augustus, Hadrian, and even Severus Alexander and also "a new Romantic tension" which breaks with the past and points toward a new and very different world. The Hellenic character of much of the Gallienic Renaissance is also stressed in the emperor's trip to Athens where he, likely in imitation of Hadrian, became eponymous archon and received initiation into the Eleusinian cult of Demeter.
Late in his reign, Gallienus issued a series of coins in Rome which honored nine deities as Conservator Augusti or protector of the emperor by pairing his portrait with reverses picturing an animal or animals symbolic of each deity. Included in this group of celestial guardians are Apollo, Diana, Hercules, Jupiter, Juno, Liber Pater, Mercury, Neptune, and Sol. For example, Apollo's coin-types portray a centaur, a gryphon, or Pegasus; Hercules is represented by either the lion or the boar. It appears that Gallienus was issuing the "animal series" coins both to secure, through some religious festival, the aid of Rome's protective gods against continuing invasions, revolts, and plague and to entertain the Roman populace with pageantry and circus games, thus to divert their attention away from the same problems and maintain the security of the regime in power.

In A.D. 268, Gallienus saw his third son, Marinianus, become consul, but in the spring another Gothic invasion brought the emperor back to Greece. He defeated the invaders at Naissus in Moesia , but was deterred from pursuing them further by a revolt of the commander of his elite cavalry, Aureolus. He besieged this last rebel emperor in Milan, but a plot involving his Praetorian Prefect and two future emperors, Claudius and Aurelian, all three men Illyrians popular with many of the soldiers, lured Gallienus away from the city on a false pretext and assassinated him.The emperor's brother Valerian and young son Marinianus were also murdered. In spite of the bitter resentment which many of the senators must have felt toward the dead emperor and his reform policies, Claudius II, perhaps only to legitimize his own reign, persuaded the Senate to deify Gallienus.

Copyright Richard D. Weigel, 2007. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Valerian I was proclaimed emperor after the death of Trajan Decius. He successfully repulsed many barbarian incursions but the standard of living declined and would never recover. In 260 A.D., after four years of war during which Roman forces suffered great losses in battle and to plague, he arranged for peace talks. He set off with a small group to discuss terms with the Sassinian emperor Sapor and was never seen again. The date of his death is unknown, but in Rome it was rumored that he had been murdered and that Sapor was using his stuffed body as a footstool. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
GalllienusRIC163.jpg
[1113a] Gallienus, August 253 - 24 March 268 A.D.72 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC 163, RSC 72, choice EF, Rome mint, 3.716g, 21.6mm, 180o, 268 A.D.; Obverse: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head right; Reverse: APOLLINI CONS AVG, centaur walking right drawing bow, Z in exergue; struck on a full and round flan, rare this nice. Commemorates vows to Apollo invoking his protection against the revolt of Aureolus. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families

Valerian (A.D. 253-260) and Gallienus (A.D. 253-268)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University


P. Licinius Valerianus, or Valerian, was unusual for his time period in that he was an emperor who came from an old Roman senatorial family. He was likely born shortly before 200 A.D., but little is known of his early life. Valerian married Egnatia Mariniana and had two sons, Gallienus and Valerian Junior. Gallienus was born around 218. Valerian makes his first appearance in the sources in 238 A.D. as an ex-consul and princeps senatus negotiating with (more likely than serving on) the embassy sent to Rome by Gordian I's African legions to secure senatorial approval of Gordian's rebellion against and replacement of Maximinus Thrax as emperor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae probably report accurately that Trajan Decius, on the recommendation of the Senate, offered Valerian the censorship in 251. Although the senatus consultum cited and the specific office are of doubtful authenticity, the high reputation Valerian possessed in the Senate and his association with the government under Decius probably are truthful aspects of the story. In 253 Valerian was apparently commanding in Raetia and Noricum when Trebonianus Gallus sent him to bring legions from Gaul and Germany to Italy for the struggle with the forces of Aemilianus. After Gallus' troops killed him and his son and joined Aemilianus, Valerian's men proclaimed their general emperor and their arrival in Italy caused Aemilianus' soldiers to desert and kill their commander and join Valerian's forces in acclaiming Valerian as emperor.

The Senate presumably was pleased to ratify the position of Valerian, one of their own, as emperor and they also accepted his son and colleague, P. Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, as Augustus, rather than just as Caesar. Valerian apparently realized the necessity of sharing power equally with his son and of dividing their efforts geographically, with Gallienus responsible for the West and Valerian himself concentrating on the East. The biographies of Valerian and Gallienus in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae, attributed to Trebellius Pollio, are not especially helpful in putting together an account of their joint reign. The life of Valerian is fragmentary and that of Gallienus projects an extremely biased negative interpretation of his career.

Gallienus in the early years of the joint reign concentrated, with some success, on protecting Gaul and the Rhine frontier by driving back Germanic tribes and fortifying cities such as Cologne and Trier. In a move which would characterize later diplomacy with Germans, Gallienus concluded an alliance with one of their chieftains, presumably to assist the Romans in protecting the empire from other Germanic tribes. The invasions increased in number around 257-258 as the Franks entered Gaul and Spain, destroying Tarraco (Tarragona), and the Alamanni invaded Italy. Gallienus defeated the Alamanni at Milan, but soon was faced with the revolts in Pannonia and Moesia led first by his general there, Ingenuus, and then by Regalianus, commander in Illyricum. Gallienus put down these rebellions by 260 and secured stability in the region by concluding an alliance with the Marcomannic king, whose daughter Pipa the emperor apparently accepted as his concubine although he was still married to Cornelia Salonina.

In the East, Valerian had succeeded by A.D. 257 in rescuing Antioch in Syria from Persian control, at least temporarily, but was soon faced with a major invasion of the Goths in Asia Minor. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae biography of Aurelian has Valerian appear to speak in the Baths at Byzantium to publicly commend Aurelian for his success in driving back the Goths and reward him with the consulship and even with adoption as imperial successor. However, it is not clear that Valerian even reached Byzantium because he sent Felix to that city while he remained to protect the eastern section of Asia Minor and then returned to Antioch to guard it against renewed Persian attacks. It was at this point, around 259, that Valerian moved to defend Edessa and his troops lost significant numbers to the plague. Valerian tried to negotiate a peace with the Persian king, Sapor, but was captured by treachery and taken into captivity. The ultimate humiliation of a Roman emperor by a foreign leader was enacted through Sapor's use of Valerian as a human stepping-stool to assist the Persian king in mounting his horse and Valerian's body was later skinned to produce a lasting trophy of Roman submission.

Eusebius discusses the policy of Valerian toward the Christians and says that, after initially treating them most positively, Valerian was persuaded by Macrianus to lead another persecution against them. Valerian in fact after his brutal imprisonment and death in Persia would serve as a negative moral exemplum for some Latin Christian writers who gleefully pointed out that those who oppose the true God receive their just desserts.

Eusebius also credits Gallienus with reversing his father's policy and establishing peace with the Church, citing imperial edicts which established freedom of worship and even restored some lost property. Paul Keresztes claims that Gallienus in fact established a peace with Christians that lasted for forty-three years, from A.D. 260 until 303, and gave the community a kind of legal status which they had previously lacked.

Andreas Alföldi details a growing separation between Gallienus and his father which goes well beyond the geographical one which had developed out of military necessity. In addition to the strikingly different policies, just described, which they pursued toward the Christians, Gallienus began to make his military independence clear through changes in coin inscriptions and by 258 he had created his central cavalry unit and stationed it at Milan. This independent force, which was under the command of a man of equestrian rank and soon stood on a level at least equal to that of the Praetorian Guard, would play a significant role in Gallienus' upcoming battles and, of course, was a foretoken of a new trend for military organization in the future. Alföldi cites as evidence of the increasing separation between the joint emperors the statement that Gallienus did not even seek his father's return from captivity, which Lactantius of course interpreted as part of Valerian's divine punishment, but one wonders what indeed Gallienus might have done and his "indifference" may have been instead his attempt to reassert confidence in his armies and not dwell on the depressing and humiliating servitude and ultimate death of Valerian. Another reform which Alföldi discusses as part of Gallienus' independent stand is his exclusion of the senatorial class from major military commands. H.M.D. Parker credits Gallienus with beginning to separate the civil and military functions of Rome's provincial governors, thus making senatorial governors purely civil administrators and starting to replace them even in this reduced role by equestrians. The disappearance in this period of the S.C. stamp of senatorial authority on bronze coins was probably also seen as an attack on the prestige of the order, although the debasement of the silver coinage had by this time practically reached the point where the "silver" coins were themselves essentially bronze and the change may have been more for economic than for political reasons. Gallienus' exclusion of senators from military command further broke down class distinctions because sons of centurions were by this time regularly given equestrian rank and the move further accelerated the alienation of Rome as center of the Empire. In addition, the bitterness of the senatorial class over Gallienus' policy most likely explains the hatred of Latin writers toward this particular emperor.

Although Gallienus' military innovations may have made his forces more effective, he still had to face numerous challenges to his authority.In addition to systemic invasions and revolts, the plague wreaked havoc in Rome and Italy and probably in several provinces as well. It must have seemed that every commander he entrusted to solve a problem later used that authority to create another threat. When Gallienus was involved in putting down the revolt of Ingenuus in Pannonia, he put Postumus in charge of the armies guarding the Rhine and Gaul. There is some doubt about which of Gallienus' sons, Cornelius Valerianus or P. Cornelius Licinius Saloninus, was left in Cologne under the care of the Praetorian Prefect Silvanus and perhaps also Postumus. In any case, when Postumus revolted and proclaimed his independent Gallic Empire, Silvanus and one of the emperor's sons were killed. Gallienus probably restricted Postumus' expansion, but he never gained the personal revenge that, according to one source, drove him to challenge Postumus to single combat. While Gallienus was thus engaged, and after Valerian's capture by the Persians, Macrianus had his soldiers proclaim his sons, Macrianus and Quietus, emperors in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Gallienus sent Aureolus to defeat Macrianus and one son in the area of Illyria and Thrace; Odenathus of Palmyra defeated the other son and restored stability in Syria and, with Gallienus' approval, followed that up with a victory over the Persians. After Odenathus' assassination ca. 267, his wife Zenobia continued to rule the independent Palmyrene section of the Empire.

In A.D. 262 Gallienus concluded his tenth year in office by celebrating in Rome his Decennalia with a spectacular procession involving senators, equestrians, gladiators, soldiers, representatives of foreign peoples, and many other groups. This festival included feasts, games, entertainment, and spectacle which probably reminded Romans of the millennial Secular Games celebrations of Philip I and likely were intended to secure popular support at home for Gallienus. Over the next five years little is known about specific activities of the emperor and he presumably spent more time in Rome and less along the frontiers.

Gallienus and Salonina as rulers patronized a cultural movement which collectively is known as the Gallienic Renaissance. The imperial patrons are most directly connected with the philosophical aspects of this movement because Porphyry testifies to their friendship for the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus. Porphyry goes on to say that Plotinus asked Gallienus to rebuild an abandoned former city of philosophers in Campania, rename it Platonopolis, and govern it as a kind of Platonic Republic, but that the jealousy and spite of others at court scuttled the plan. In addition to Neoplatonic philosophy, according to Gervase Matthew, the Gallienic Renaissance included the "upward glance" and other stylistic changes in imperial sculpture and religious beliefs that were characterized by "an overwhelming sense of the transcendent and immutable." Matthew points out both the return to artistic models of Augustus, Hadrian, and even Severus Alexander and also "a new Romantic tension" which breaks with the past and points toward a new and very different world. The Hellenic character of much of the Gallienic Renaissance is also stressed in the emperor's trip to Athens where he, likely in imitation of Hadrian, became eponymous archon and received initiation into the Eleusinian cult of Demeter.

Late in his reign, Gallienus issued a series of coins in Rome which honored nine deities as Conservator Augusti or protector of the emperor by pairing his portrait with reverses picturing an animal or animals symbolic of each deity. Included in this group of celestial guardians are Apollo, Diana, Hercules, Jupiter, Juno, Liber Pater, Mercury, Neptune, and Sol. For example, Apollo's coin-types portray a centaur, a gryphon, or Pegasus; Hercules is represented by either the lion or the boar. It appears that Gallienus was issuing the "animal series" coins both to secure, through some religious festival, the aid of Rome's protective gods against continuing invasions, revolts, and plague and to entertain the Roman populace with pageantry and circus games, thus to divert their attention away from the same problems and maintain the security of the regime in power.

In A.D. 268, Gallienus saw his third son, Marinianus, become consul, but in the spring another Gothic invasion brought the emperor back to Greece. He defeated the invaders at Naissus in Moesia , but was deterred from pursuing them further by a revolt of the commander of his elite cavalry, Aureolus. He besieged this last rebel emperor in Milan, but a plot involving his Praetorian Prefect and two future emperors, Claudius and Aurelian, all three men Illyrians popular with many of the soldiers, lured Gallienus away from the city on a false pretext and assassinated him.The emperor's brother Valerian and young son Marinianus were also murdered. In spite of the bitter resentment which many of the senators must have felt toward the dead emperor and his reform policies, Claudius II, perhaps only to legitimize his own reign, persuaded the Senate to deify Gallienus.

Copyright (C) 1998, Richard D. Weigel. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/gallval.htm. Used by permission.


Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus was born in about AD 213. This means that he was about 40 years old when his father Valerian, in AD 253, was hailed emperor by his troops in Raetia. Gallienus was made Caesar immediately by his father. But within a month, when Valerian got to Rome, Gallienus received the rank of Augustus.

Compared to other Roman emperors of the age, Gallienus was an exception, as far as he was not a soldier-emperor. He was rather a thoughtful, intellectual ruler, possessing sophisticated Greek tastes. However, this made him deeply unpopular with the gritty Danubian generals, who very much understood it as their right to choose a leader among their own ranks to rule the empire.

If the Danubian military elite didn't like Gallienus, then he certainly soon proved that he was a capable military leader. Between AD 254 to AD 256 he campaigned along the Danube, securing this troubled frontier against the barbarians. In AD 256 he then moved west to fight the Germans along the Rhine.

Then by autumn AD 260 the message of Valerian's capture by the Persians reached Gallienus. If Gallienus had always been unpopular among the military leaders, then now with his father gone and Roman authority crumbling, rebellion was in the air.

On a night in September, AD 268, at the siege of Mediolanum (Milan), an alarm was suddenly raised in the camp of the emperor. In the brief moment of confusion, Gallienus was struck down in the dark as he emerged from his tent.

During his reign, Gallienus began numerous reforms and military campaigns to defend the empire, as much from usurpers as from barbarians. In doing so, he perhaps saved the empire from oblivion. At the same time he presided over perhaps the last flowering of classical Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists and philosophers.

As a last gesture of disrespect to this, most unfortunate of emperors, the Romans should lay Gallienus to rest not in one of the great mausoleums in Rome, but in a tomb nine miles south of the capital, along the Via Appia.

Ironically, he was deified by the senate at the request of Claudius II Gothicus, one of the men who must be held accountable for the assassination of Gallienus.
See: http://www.roman-empire.net/decline/gallienus.html


Gallienus was the son of Valerian I and was named Caesar at his father's accession to the throne in 253 A.D. Upon his father's capture by the Parthians he assumed the rank of Augustus and began numerous reforms and military campaigns to defend the empire, as much from usurpers as from barbarians. At the same time he presided over perhaps the last flowering of classical Roman culture, patronizing poets, artists and philosophers. Gallienus was assassinated while besieging Milan. Joseph Sermarini, FORVM.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
TrajSepphorisGalilee.jpg
[18H907] Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Sepphoris, Galilee220 viewsBronze AE 23, Hendin 907, BMC 5, Fair, 7.41g, 23.1mm, 0o, Sepphoris mint, 98 - 117 A.D.; obverse TPAIANOS AYTO]-KPA[TWP EDWKEN, laureate head right; reverse SEPFW/RHNWN, eight-branched palm bearing two bunches of dates.

At the crossroads of the Via Maris and the Acre-Tiberias roads, Sepphoris was the capital of Galilee and Herod Antipas' first capital. Damaged by a riot, Antipas ordered Sepphoris be rebuilt. Flavius Josephus described the rebuilt Sepphoris as the "ornament of all Galilee." Since Sepphoris was only five miles north of Nazareth, Jesus and Joseph may have found work in Antipas' rebuilding projects. Sepphoris was built on a hill and visible for miles. This may be the city that Jesus spoke of when He said, "A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."

Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
See: http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0.


De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Trajan (A.D. 98-117)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"During a happy period of more than fourscore years, the public administration was conducted by the virtue and abilities of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines. It is the design of this and of the two succeeding chapters to describe the prosperous condition of their empire, and afterwards, from the death of Marcus Antoninus, to deduce the most important circumstances of its decline and fall, a revolution which will ever be remembered and is still felt by the nations of the earth."

This is perhaps the most important and best known of all Edward Gibbon's famous dicta about his vast subject, and particularly that period which he admired the most. It was a concatenation of chance and events which brought to the first position of the principate five men, each very different from the others, who each, in his own way, brought integrity and a sense of public duty to his tasks. Nerva's tenure was brief, as many no doubt had expected and hoped it would be, and perhaps his greatest achievement was to choose Trajan as his adoptive son and intended successor. It was a splendid choice. Trajan was one of Rome's most admirable figures, a man who merited the renown which he enjoyed in his lifetime and in subsequent generations.

The sources for the man and his principate are disappointingly skimpy. There is no contemporaneous historian who can illuminate the period. Tacitus speaks only occasionally of Trajan, there is no biography by Suetonius, nor even one by the author of the late and largely fraudulent Historia Augusta. (However, a modern version of what such a life might have been like has been composed by A. Birley, entirely based upon ancient evidence. It is very useful.) Pliny the Younger tells us the most, in his Panegyricus, his long address of thanks to the emperor upon assuming the consulship in late 100, and in his letters. Pliny was a wordy and congenial man, who reveals a great deal about his senatorial peers and their relations with the emperor, above all, of course, his own. The most important part is the tenth book of his Epistulae, which contains the correspondence between him, while serving in Bithynia, and the emperor, to whom he referred all manner of problems, important as well as trivial. Best known are the pair (96,97) dealing with the Christians and what was to be done with them. These would be extraordinarily valuable if we could be sure that the imperial replies stemmed directly from Trajan, but that is more than one can claim. The imperial chancellery had developed greatly in previous decades and might pen these communications after only the most general directions from the emperor. The letters are nonetheless unique in the insight they offer into the emperor's mind.

Cassius Dio, who wrote in the decade of the 230s, wrote a long imperial history which has survived only in abbreviated form in book LXVIII for the Trajanic period. The rhetorician Dio of Prusa, a contemporary of the emperor, offers little of value. Fourth-century epitomators, Aurelius Victor and Eutropius, offer some useful material. Inscriptions, coins, papyri, and legal texts are of major importance. Since Trajan was a builder of many significant projects, archaeology contributes mightily to our understanding of the man.

Early Life and Career
The patria of the Ulpii was Italica, in Spanish Baetica , where their ancestors had settled late in the third century B.C. This indicates that the Italian origin was paramount, yet it has recently been cogently argued that the family's ancestry was local, with Trajan senior actually a Traius who was adopted into the family of the Ulpii. Trajan's father was the first member of the family to pursue a senatorial career; it proved to be a very successful one. Born probably about the year 30, he perhaps commanded a legion under Corbulo in the early sixties and then was legate of legio X Fretensis under Vespasian, governor of Judaea. Success in the Jewish War was rewarded by the governorship of an unknown province and then a consulate in 70. He was thereafter adlected by the emperor in patricios and sent to govern Baetica. Then followed the governorship of one of the major military provinces, Syria, where he prevented a Parthian threat of invasion, and in 79/80 he was proconsul of Asia, one of the two provinces (the other was Africa) which capped a senatorial career. His public service now effectively over, he lived on in honor and distinction, in all likelihood seeing his son emperor. He probably died before 100. He was deified in 113 and his titulature read divus Traianus pater. Since his son was also the adoptive son of Nerva, the emperor had officially two fathers, a unique circumstance.

The son was born in Italica on September 18, 53; his mother was Marcia, who had given birth to a daughter, Ulpia Marciana, five years before the birth of the son. In the mid seventies, he was a legionary legate under his father in Syria. He then married a lady from Nemausus (Nimes) in Gallia Narbonensis, Pompeia Plotina, was quaestor about 78 and praetor about 84. In 86, he became one of the child Hadrian's guardians. He was then appointed legate of legio VII Gemina in Hispania Tarraconensis, from which he marched at Domitian's orders in 89 to crush the uprising of Antonius Saturninus along the Rhine. He next fought in Domitian's war against the Germans along Rhine and Danube and was rewarded with an ordinary consulship in 91. Soon followed the governorship of Moesia inferior and then that of Germania superior, with his headquarters at Moguntiacum (Mainz), whither Hadrian brought him the news in autumn 97 that he had been adopted by the emperor Nerva, as co-ruler and intended successor. Already recipient of the title imperator and possessor of the tribunician power, when Nerva died on January 27, 98, Trajan became emperor in a smooth transition of power which marked the next three quarters of a century.

Early Years through the Dacian Wars
Trajan did not return immediately to Rome. He chose to stay in his German province and settle affairs on that frontier. He showed that he approved Domitian's arrangements, with the establishment of two provinces, their large military garrisons, and the beginnings of the limes. Those who might have wished for a renewed war of conquest against the Germans were disappointed. The historian Tacitus may well have been one of these.

Trajan then visited the crucial Danube provinces of Pannonia and Moesia, where the Dacian king Decebalus had caused much difficulty for the Romans and had inflicted a heavy defeat upon a Roman army about a decade before. Domitian had established a modus vivendi with Decebalus, essentially buying his good behavior, but the latter had then continued his activities hostile to Rome. Trajan clearly thought that this corner of empire would require his personal attention and a lasting and satisfactory solution.

Trajan spent the year 100 in Rome, seeing to the honors and deification of his predecessor, establishing good and sensitive relations with the senate, in sharp contrast with Domitian's "war against the senate." Yet his policies essentially continued Domitian's; he was no less master of the state and the ultimate authority over individuals, but his good nature and respect for those who had until recently been his peers if not his superiors won him great favor. He was called optimus by the people and that word began to appear among his titulature, although it had not been decreed by the senate. Yet his thoughts were ever on the Danube. Preparations for a great campaign were under way, particularly with transfers of legions and their attendant auxiliaries from Germany and Britain and other provinces and the establishment of two new ones, II Traiana and XXX Ulpia, which brought the total muster to 30, the highest number yet reached in the empire's history.

In 101 the emperor took the field. The war was one which required all his military abilities and all the engineering and discipline for which the Roman army was renowned. Trajan was fortunate to have Apollodorus of Damascus in his service, who built a roadway through the Iron Gates by cantilevering it from the sheer face of the rock so that the army seemingly marched on water. He was also to build a great bridge across the Danube, with 60 stone piers (traces of this bridge still survive). When Trajan was ready to move he moved with great speed, probably driving into the heart of Dacian territory with two columns, until, in 102, Decebalus chose to capitulate. He prostrated himself before Trajan and swore obedience; he was to become a client king. Trajan returned to Rome and added the title Dacicus to his titulature.

Decebalus, however, once left to his own devices, undertook to challenge Rome again, by raids across the Danube into Roman territory and by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against her. Trajan took the field again in 106, intending this time to finish the job of Decebalus' subjugation. It was a brutal struggle, with some of the characteristics of a war of extirpation, until the Dacian king, driven from his capital of Sarmizegethusa and hunted like an animal, chose to commit suicide rather than to be paraded in a Roman triumph and then be put to death.

The war was over. It had taxed Roman resources, with 11 legions involved, but the rewards were great. Trajan celebrated a great triumph, which lasted 123 days and entertained the populace with a vast display of gladiators and animals. The land was established as a province, the first on the north side of the Danube. Much of the native population which had survived warfare was killed or enslaved, their place taken by immigrants from other parts of the empire. The vast wealth of Dacian mines came to Rome as war booty, enabling Trajan to support an extensive building program almost everywhere, but above all in Italy and in Rome. In the capital, Apollodorus designed and built in the huge forum already under construction a sculpted column, precisely 100 Roman feet high, with 23 spiral bands filled with 2500 figures, which depicted, like a scroll being unwound, the history of both Dacian wars. It was, and still is, one of the great achievements of imperial "propaganda." In southern Dacia, at Adamklissi, a large tropaeum was built on a hill, visible from a great distance, as a tangible statement of Rome's domination. Its effect was similar to that of Augustus' monument at La Turbie above Monaco; both were constant reminders for the inhabitants who gazed at it that they had once been free and were now subjects of a greater power.

Administration and Social Policy
The chief feature of Trajan's administration was his good relations with the senate, which allowed him to accomplish whatever he wished without general opposition. His auctoritas was more important than his imperium. At the very beginning of Trajan's reign, the historian Tacitus, in the biography of his father-in-law Agricola, spoke of the newly won compatibility of one-man rule and individual liberty established by Nerva and expanded by Trajan (Agr. 3.1, primo statim beatissimi saeculi ortu Nerva Caesar res olim dissociabiles miscuerit, principatum ac libertatem, augeatque cotidie felicitatem temporum Nerva Traianus,….) [13] At the end of the work, Tacitus comments, when speaking of Agricola's death, that he had forecast the principate of Trajan but had died too soon to see it (Agr. 44.5, ei non licuit durare in hanc beatissimi saeculi lucem ac principem Traianum videre, quod augurio votisque apud nostras aures ominabatur,….) Whether one believes that principate and liberty had truly been made compatible or not, this evidently was the belief of the aristocracy of Rome. Trajan, by character and actions, contributed to this belief, and he undertook to reward his associates with high office and significant promotions. During his principate, he himself held only 6 consulates, while arranging for third consulates for several of his friends. Vespasian had been consul 9 times, Titus 8, Domitian 17! In the history of the empire there were only 12 or 13 private who reached the eminence of third consulates. Agrippa had been the first, L. Vitellius the second. Under Trajan there were 3: Sex. Iulius Frontinus (100), T. Vestricius Spurinna (100), and L. Licinius Sura (107). There were also 10 who held second consulships: L. Iulius Ursus Servianus (102), M.' Laberius Maximus (103), Q. Glitius Atilius Agricola (103), P. Metilius Sabinus Nepos (103?), Sex. Attius Suburanus Aemilianus (104), Ti. Iulius Candidus Marius Celsus (105), C. Antius A. Iulius Quadratus (105), Q. Sosius Senecio (107), A. Cornelius Palma Frontonianus (109), and L. Publilius Celsus (113). These men were essentially his close associates from pre-imperial days and his prime military commanders in the Dacian wars.

One major administrative innovation can be credited to Trajan. This was the introduction of curators who, as representatives of the central government, assumed financial control of local communities, both in Italy and the provinces. Pliny in Bithynia is the best known of these imperial officials. The inexorable shift from freedmen to equestrians in the imperial ministries continued, to culminate under Hadrian, and he devoted much attention and considerable state resources to the expansion of the alimentary system, which purposed to support orphans throughout Italy. The splendid arch at Beneventum represents Trajan as a civilian emperor, with scenes of ordinary life and numerous children depicted, which underscored the prosperity of Italy.

The satirist Juvenal, a contemporary of the emperor, in one of his best known judgments, laments that the citizen of Rome, once master of the world, is now content only with "bread and circuses."

Nam qui dabat olim / imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se / continet, atque duas tantum res anxius optat, / panem et circenses. (X 78-81)

Trajan certainly took advantage of that mood, indeed exacerbated it, by improving the reliabilty of the grain supply (the harbor at Ostia and the distribution system as exemplified in the Mercati in Rome). Fronto did not entirely approve, if indeed he approved at all. The plebs esteemed the emperor for the glory he had brought Rome, for the great wealth he had won which he turned to public uses, and for his personality and manner. Though emperor, he prided himself upon being civilis, a term which indicated comportment suitable for a Roman citizen.

There was only one major addition to the Rome's empire other than Dacia in the first decade and a half of Trajan's reign. This was the province of Arabia, which followed upon the absorption of the Nabataean kingdom (105-106).

Building Projects
Trajan had significant effect upon the infrastructure of both Rome and Italy. His greatest monument in the city, if the single word "monument" can effectively describe the complex, was the forum which bore his name, much the largest, and the last, of the series known as the "imperial fora." Excavation for a new forum had already begun under Domitian, but it was Apollodorus who designed and built the whole. Enormous in its extent, the Basilica Ulpia was the centerpiece, the largest wood roofed building in the Roman world. In the open courtyard before it was an equestrian statue of Trajan, behind it was the column; there were libraries, one for Latin scrolls, the other for Greek, on each side. A significant omission was a temple; this circumstance was later rectified by Hadrian, who built a large temple to the deified Trajan and Plotina.

The column was both a history in stone and the intended mausoleum for the emperor, whose ashes were indeed placed in the column base. An inscription over the doorway, somewhat cryptic because part of the text has disappeared, reads as follows:

Senatus populusque Romanus imp. Caesari divi Nervae f. Nervae Traiano Aug. Germ. Dacico pontif. Maximo trib. pot. XVII imp. VI p.p. ad declarandum quantae altitudinis mons et locus tant[is oper]ibus sit egestus (Smallwood 378)

On the north side of the forum, built into the slopes of the Quirinal hill, were the Markets of Trajan, which served as a shopping mall and the headquarters of the annona, the agency responsible for the receipt and distribution of grain.

On the Esquiline hill was constructed the first of the huge imperial baths, using a large part of Nero's Domus Aurea as its foundations. On the other side of the river a new aqueduct was constructed, which drew its water from Lake Bracciano and ran some 60 kilometers to the heights of the Janiculum Hill. It was dedicated in 109. A section of its channel survives in the basement of the American Academy in Rome.

The arch in Beneventum is the most significant monument elsewhere in Italy. It was dedicated in 114, to mark the beginning of the new Via Traiana, which offered an easier route to Brundisium than that of the ancient Via Appia.

Trajan devoted much attention to the construction and improvement of harbors. His new hexagonal harbor at Ostia at last made that port the most significant in Italy, supplanting Puteoli, so that henceforth the grain ships docked there and their cargo was shipped by barge up the Tiber to Rome. Terracina benefited as well from harbor improvements, and the Via Appia now ran directly through the city along a new route, with some 130 Roman feet of sheer cliff being cut away so that the highway could bend along the coast. Ancona on the Adriatic Sea became the major harbor on that coast for central Italy in 114-115, and Trajan's activity was commemorated by an arch. The inscription reports that the senate and people dedicated it to the []iprovidentissimo principi quod accessum Italiae hoc etiam addito ex pecunia sua portu tutiorem navigantibus reddiderit (Smallwood 387). Centumcellae, the modern Civitavecchia, also profited from a new harbor. The emperor enjoyed staying there, and on at least one occasion summoned his consilium there.

Elsewhere in the empire the great bridge at Alcantara in Spain, spanning the Tagus River, still in use, testifies to the significant attention the emperor gave to the improvement of communication throughout his entire domain.

Family Relations; the Women
After the death of his father, Trajan had no close male relatives. His life was as closely linked with his wife and female relations as that of any of his predecessors; these women played enormously important roles in the empire's public life, and received honors perhaps unparalleled. His wife, Pompeia Plotina, is reported to have said, when she entered the imperial palace in Rome for the first time, that she hoped she would leave it the same person she was when she entered. She received the title Augusta no later than 105. She survived Trajan, dying probably in 121, and was honored by Hadrian with a temple, which she shared with her husband, in the great forum which the latter had built.

His sister Marciana, five years his elder, and he shared a close affection. She received the title Augusta, along with Plotina, in 105 and was deified in 112 upon her death. Her daughter Matidia became Augusta upon her mother's death, and in her turn was deified in 119. Both women received substantial monuments in the Campus Martius, there being basilicas of each and a temple of divae Matidiae. Hadrian was responsible for these buildings, which were located near the later temple of the deified Hadrian, not far from the column of Marcus Aurelius.

Matidia's daughter, Sabina, was married to Hadrian in the year 100. The union survived almost to the end of Hadrian's subsequent principate, in spite of the mutual loathing that they had for each other. Sabina was Trajan's great niece, and thereby furnished Hadrian a crucial link to Trajan.

The women played public roles as significant as any of their predecessors. They traveled with the emperor on public business and were involved in major decisions. They were honored throughout the empire, on monuments as well as in inscriptions. Plotina, Marciana, and Matidia, for example, were all honored on the arch at Ancona along with Trajan.

The Parthian War
In 113, Trajan began preparations for a decisive war against Parthia. He had been a "civilian" emperor for seven years, since his victory over the Dacians, and may well have yearned for a last, great military achievement, which would rival that of Alexander the Great. Yet there was a significant cause for war in the Realpolitik of Roman-Parthian relations, since the Parthians had placed a candidate of their choice upon the throne of Armenia without consultation and approval of Rome. When Trajan departed Rome for Antioch, in a leisurely tour of the eastern empire while his army was being mustered, he probably intended to destroy at last Parthia's capabilities to rival Rome's power and to reduce her to the status of a province (or provinces). It was a great enterprise, marked by initial success but ultimate disappointment and failure.

In 114 he attacked the enemy through Armenia and then, over three more years, turned east and south, passing through Mesopotamia and taking Babylon and the capital of Ctesiphon. He then is said to have reached the Persian Gulf and to have lamented that he was too old to go further in Alexander's footsteps. In early 116 he received the title Parthicus.

The territories, however, which had been handily won, were much more difficult to hold. Uprisings among the conquered peoples, and particularly among the Jews in Palestine and the Diaspora, caused him to gradually resign Roman rule over these newly-established provinces as he returned westward. The revolts were brutally suppressed. In mid 117, Trajan, now a sick man, was slowly returning to Italy, having left Hadrian in command in the east, when he died in Selinus of Cilicia on August 9, having designated Hadrian as his successor while on his death bed. Rumor had it that Plotina and Matidia were responsible for the choice, made when the emperor was already dead. Be that as it may, there was no realistic rival to Hadrian, linked by blood and marriage to Trajan and now in command of the empire's largest military forces. Hadrian received notification of his designation on August 11, and that day marked his dies imperii. Among Hadrian's first acts was to give up all of Trajan's eastern conquests.

Trajan's honors and reputation
Hadrian saw to it that Trajan received all customary honors: the late emperor was declared a divus, his victories were commemorated in a great triumph, and his ashes were placed in the base of his column. Trajan's reputation remained unimpaired, in spite of the ultimate failure of his last campaigns. Early in his principate, he had unofficially been honored with the title optimus, "the best," which long described him even before it became, in 114, part of his official titulature. His correspondence with Pliny enables posterity to gain an intimate sense of the emperor in action. His concern for justice and the well-being of his subjects is underscored by his comment to Pliny, when faced with the question of the Christians, that they were not to be sought out, "nor is it appropriate to our age." At the onset of his principate, Tacitus called Trajan's accession the beginning of a beatissimum saeculum, and so it remained in the public mind. Admired by the people, respected by the senatorial aristocracy, he faced no internal difficulties, with no rival nor opposition. His powers were as extensive as Domitian's had been, but his use and display of these powers were very different from those of his predecessor, who had claimed to be deus et dominus. Not claiming to be a god, he was recognized in the official iconography of sculpture as Jupiter's viceregent on earth, so depicted on the attic reliefs of the Beneventan arch. The passage of time increased Trajan's aura rather than diminished it. In the late fourth century, when the Roman Empire had dramatically changed in character from what it had been in Trajan's time, each new emperor was hailed with the prayer, felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan." That reputation has essentially survived into the present day.

Copyright (C) 2000, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
     
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