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Aurelian

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History, Facts and Information about Aurelian

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

 "The illiterate military genius..."

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

  • Name commonly known as: Aurelian

  • Latin Roman Name: Lucius Domitius Aurelianus

  • Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: September 270 - 275

  • Dynasty / Historical Period: Crisis of the Third Century (235 - 284) the era of Illyrian Emperors (268 - 285)

  • Place and Date of Birth: September 9, 214 in Pannonia (present-day western-half of Hungary )

  • Name of previous Emperor: His predecessor or the Emperor before Aurelian was Quintillus

  • Family connections / Genealogy

    • Married: Ulpia Severina

  • Place and Date of Death: September or October 275 at Caenophrurium, Thrace (Thrace covered parts of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria)

  • Name of next Emperor:  The rivals to Aurelian were Zenobia the Empress and Vabalathus (son of the Empress) but officially the successor wasTacitus

Interesting facts about the life of Aurelian
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor Aurelian from the following facts and information about his life. Why was Aurelian famous? Accomplishments, achievements and important events. The Roman troops had refused to recognize Quintillus as the new emperor. Instead they gave General Aurelian the support of the military. Aurelian defeated Quintillus' troops and was proclaimed emperor in September 270 by the legions in Sirmium. Aurelian, a native of Pannonia, was the next emperor. The reign of Aurelian lasted four years and nine months, but was filled with remarkable events. Aurelian abandoned Dacia to the Goths, defeated the Alemanni, and drove them out of Italy. But he foresaw the danger of future invasions and surrounded Rome with new walls about twenty-one miles in extent.

Aurelian and Zenobia
In A.D. 272 he marched against Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, who ventured to defy the power of Rome. This illustrious woman was not only learned, beautiful, and an agreeable writer, but governed the East for five years with discretion and success. Aurelian was amazed at her warlike preparations upon the fall of Palmyra, and treated her beautiful city with lenity; but the Palmyrenians having rebelled, the city was taken by storm, and its people put to death. Aurelian now returned to Rome to celebrate his triumph. The spoils of his campaigns were borne before him as were his captives were from Germany, Syria, and Egypt. Among the captives were the Emperor Tetricus and the beautiful Empress Zenobia, bound with fetters of gold. A whole day was consumed in the passage of the triumphal procession through the streets of Rome.

The Death of Aurelian
Despite his military successes Aurelian, who was illiterate, unpolished, and severe, failed to win the regard of his people, and was plainly more at his ease at the head of his army than in the cultivated society of Rome. Aurelian therefore returned,  to the East, where he died, as was usual with so many of the emperors, by the hand of an assassin, in A.D. 275. He restored vigor to the empire, and preserved it from instant destruction.

The Interregnum
The army, filled with sorrow for the loss of the Emperor Aurelian, revenged his death by tearing his assassin in pieces; and they then wrote a respectful letter to the Senate, asking the Senators to select his successor. The Senate, however, passed a decree that the army should name the new emperor. The soldiers, in their turn, refused, and for eight months an interregnum prevailed while this friendly contest continued. (An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is the time between the reigns of two rulers when the throne is unoccupied - literally meaning 'between reigns'). Eventually the Senate appointed the virtuous seventy year old Tacitus as the next Emperor of Rome.

Aurelian - Dynasties of Roman Emperors - Illyrian Emperors (268 - 285)
The Illyrian Emperors (268 - 285). The "Illyrian emperors" is the name given to the Roman emperors who governed the Roman Empire between 268 and 282. Illyria was  a region in the western part of today's Balkan Peninsula. The people for Illyria were renown for their military prowess and they became an important source of manpower for the Roman army. Because of their military strength many of the emperors from this period came from Illyria. 

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