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Constantius II

January 30, 2010

Constantius II, full name Flavius Julius Constantius (AD 317-361), Roman Emperor, 337-361. He was the third son of Constantine the Great, whose will left his empire to his sons Constantine II, Constantius II, and Constans as Augusti, with his nephews Dalmatius and Hannibalianus as Caesar and Nobilissimus respectively. On their accession, 337, Constantius is said to have allowed the murder of Dalmatius and Hannibalianus. Thrace, Macedonia, Greece, the Asiatic provinces, and Egypt were allotted to him. He had been Caesar under Constantine I as early as 333.

Throughout his reign he was at war with the Persians, and often defeated by them, notably in 348. When in 350 the revolt of Magnentius resulted in the death of Constans I, Constantius defeated the former at Mursa on River Drave, 351, and in Gaul, 353, becoming master of the whole Empire. In 355 Constantius made his cousin, the apostate Julian, Caesar and commander in Gaul. In 357 he visited Rome for the first time. He favoured the Arians, and banished the Orthodox bishops. When Julian was proclaimed Emperor by his troops in Gaul, Constantius moved west to oppose him, but died near Tarsus in Cilicia.

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Macrinus

January 29, 2010

Marcus Opellius Macrinus, (AD 164-218), Roman Emperor, 217-18, born at Caesarea, Mauritania, of humble parentage. At the instigation of his patron, Plantianus, he was admitted to the service of the emperor Septimius Severus , and, after holding several dignities, eventually became praetorian prefect under Caracalla. On the latter’s death he was proclaimed emperor by the troops, but was murdered in the following year by the generals of Heliogabalus, who succeeded him.

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Claudius II

January 28, 2010

Claudius II, full name Marcus Aurelius Claudius, surnamed Gothicus (AD 214-270), Roman Emperor, 268-70, born in Illyricum. He distinguished himself in military service and was made governor of his native province under Valerian. On the death of Gallienus, the army proclaimed Claudius emperor. He defeated the Alamanni in the north of Italy (268); and won a great victory over the Goths near Naissus, in Moesia, on which occasion he received his surname Gothicus. He died at Sirmium in Pannoni.

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Avitus

January 27, 2010

Eparchius Avitus (died 456 A.D.), Roman emperor, a native of Auvergne. He was prefect of Gaul, and waged war successfully against the Huns and the Vandals. He was ambassador at the court of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, and became emperor of the west in 455 A.D. on the death of Maximus. He was, however, deposed in the following year.

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Gallienus

January 26, 2010

Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus, (died AD 268), Roman Emperor, 260-68, and co-regent with Valerian, his father, from 253 until the latter’s capture by the Persians in 260. Gallienus’s reign is known as ‘the period of the thirty tyrants’, for usurpers arose throughout the provinces. The most prominent, Aureolus, was proclaimed emperor in Illyricum, invaded Italy, and captured Milan. While besieging him in that city, Gallienus was murdered by his own troops. He was succeeded by Claudius II.

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Carus

January 25, 2010

Marcus Aurelius Carus (c. AD 223-83), Roman Emperor, 282-83, born at Narona in Illyricum. A senator and prefect of the praetorian guard, he was proclaimed emperor by the troops after the murder of Probus. Leaving his elder son Carinus to govern the western provinces, he started out with his younger, Numerianus, on an expedition against the Persians. After successful campaigns against the Quadi and Sarmatians on the Danube, he then conquered Mesopotamia and crossed the Tigris. Here he was assassinated, probably at the instigation of the praetorian prefect, Arrius Aper.

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Gordianus Pius

January 24, 2010

Marcus Antonius Gordianus III, known as Gordianus Pius (c. AD 224-244), grandson of Gordian I, proclaimed Roman Emperor by the praetorian guard in AD 238 at the age of 13, after the murder of Babinus and Pupienus. His affairs were handled by his mother and the praetorian prefect. He reigned until 244 when he was murdered by troops at Zaitha with the connivance of Philip the Arabian, who was then praetorian prefect.