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History, Facts and Information about Aemilian

The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about the Emperor Aemilian who ruled the empire of Ancient Rome.  Read about the life of Aemilian who can be described or remembered as:

 "Three months as Emperor, then death" 

Short Biography about the life of Aemilian
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of Aemilian, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.

  • Name commonly known as: Aemilian
  • Latin Roman Name: Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus
  • Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: 253 for 3 months
  • Dynasty / Historical Period: Crisis of the Third Century (235 - 284). Era of the Barracks Emperors (238 - 268)
  • Place and Date of Birth: Born c. 207 in Africa
  • Name of previous Emperor: His predecessor or the Emperor before Aemilian was the father and son emperors, Gallus and Volusian
  • Family connections / Genealogy
    • Married: Cornelia Supera
  • Place and Date of Death: 253AD in Spoleto, 78 miles from Rome
  • Name of next Emperor:  The successor to Aemilian was Valerian

Interesting facts about the life of Aemilian
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor Aemilian from the following facts and information about his life. Gallus and Volusian the previous co-emperors of the Roman empire were preoccupied with matters in Rome which included a virulent outbreak of the plague.  They ignored the threat of invasion to the Eastern Frontier in 253AD by the Persian King Shapur who defeated the Roman forces to control Syria. At the same time there were further problems with the Goths. Aemilian was the governor of Upper Moesia (modern-day Bulgaria). He refused to pay the annual tribute to the Goths which had been previously agreed by Volusian and his father. The Goths then invaded the Lower Danube in retaliation for the Roman breach of the peace treaty.  Aemilian defeated the invading Goths and his troops proclaimed him as emperor.

Aemilian - The Coup
Aemilian immediately marched his army towards Rome. The co-emperors gathered an army and marched north to prevent Aemilian from reaching the city. They then requested that Publius Licinius Valerianus (Valerian) brought reinforcements from Germany to join their forces. But the reinforcements failed to arrive. They tried to stall for time but in August 253 AD, camped at Interamna (Lazio, Italy), word reached Volusian and Gallus that Aemilian was rapidly approaching with a large force of soldiers. When their army heard the news they feared defeat, their troops mutinied and the two co-emperors were murdered. Their troops then declared for Aemilian who became the next emperor.

The Death of Aemilian
Aemilian reigned as emperor for just 3 short months. Valerian, the general who was bringing reinforcements to help  Gallus and Volusian, heard of the news of their defeat and refused to accept Aemilian as the new emperor. His mood was captured by his troops and with their support he was promptly declared emperor. Valerian headed to Rome to confront Aemilian and avenge the death of his old friend Gallus. Aemilian answered the challenge and went with his army to meet Valerian's army near Spoleto, 78 miles from Rome. When it became evident that Valerian's forces were larger,  his soldiers killed Aemilian rather than risk their own lives. Valerian then took the Roman throne.

Aemilian - Crisis of the Third Century - Era of the Barracks Emperors (238 - 268)
The Crisis of the Third Century was the period in Roman history following the death of Alexander Severus when Rome entered into the era of Military Anarchy commonly known as the Crisis of the Third Century. During the Crisis of the Third Century, lasting over 50 years, not one single Emperor died of natural causes. Revolts sprung up in virtually all of the provinces and ambitious men struggled for power. During the crisis there were civil wars, street fights between the citizens of Rome and soldiers of the imperial guard,  fierce foreign enemies, plagues, famines, fire and earthquakes. The "Barracks Emperors" (238 - 268) were all military generals who seized power by force. Taxation was high, the economy was failing and Roman territories were being captured by barbarians and the Roman government was unstable. During this uncertain era and violent environment the promise of an afterlife seemed to be the only thing to hope for. And people started to turn towards a new religion, Christianity. 

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