188. FROM THE DEATH OF SEVERUS ALEXANDER TO THE CAPTURE OF VALERIAN BY THE PERSIANS.
Soldiers at Moguntiacum kill Alexander and Mamaea (18 Mar.) and select as emperor C. Iulius Verus Maximinus (a Thracian). He has success on the Rhine in this and the next year.
M. Antonius Gordianus, pro-consul of Africa, declared emperor. He associates his son with himself. They are crushed and killed by the legate of Numidia (6 Ap.). The Senate deifies them and selects two new emperors, M. Clodius Pupienus Maximus to command the legions, and D. Caelius Balbinus to administer civil affairs (16 Ap.). Maximinus killed while besieging Aquileia (17 June), The Praetorians kill Pupienus and Balbinus and raise the third Gordianus (aged 13) to the throne. The Goths cross the Danube for the first time. Barbarians ravage Moesia. Censorinus de die natali.
Victories of Gordianus over Goths and Sarmatae, and next year over Persians.
Death and deification of Gordianus. Philippus the Arabian succeeds. Peace with Persia.
Goths in Moesia.
Decius, commander in Moesia, declared emperor, kills Philippus in the following year near Verona. Thousandth anniversary of Rome's foundation celebrated.
Widespread persecution of Christians by Decius. Plague appears and rages for 15 years.
Great advance of Goths. Decius perishes on the Danube. Trebonianus Gallus, made emperor, takes as partner a son of Decius (Hostilianus).
M. Aemilius Aemilianus, commander in Moesia, named emperor by his troops; so also P. Licinius Valerianus (Valerian) in Moesia. Trebonianus Gallus de feated and killed by Aemilianus, who is himself killed soon after. Valerian reaches Rome and is recognised. His son Gallienus declared Augustus.
Goths invade Illyricum and Macedonia. Progress of other barbarians; Scythians (in Asia Minor) and Alamanni. Sapor, king of Persia, penetrates to Antioch.
Edict of Valerian against the Christians. Gallienus checks the Alamarmi and Aurelian the Goths. Valerian visits the East.
Troubles with barbarians. Postumus proclaimed emperor in Gaul.
The Alamanni in Italy; defeated by Gallienus at Milan, and again in Gaul at Aquae Sextiae. Postumus, accepted by the legions of Britain and Spain, establishes the imperium Galliarum.
Valerian captured by Sapor, who raids Asia Minor but is checked by a Palmyrene force. First edict of toleration for Christians.
189. THE ERA OF CONFUSION, TO THE ACCESSION OF DIOCLETIAN.
Several ephemeral emperors. Successes of Odaenathus, the general of Palmyra, against Sapor. Franks take Tarraco (about this time).
Scythians pillage Ephesus. Honours bestowed by Gallienus on Odaenathus, now recognised as king of Palmyra.
Attack on Postumus by Gallienus fails. Victories of Postumus over the Franks.
The Goths make their debut as pirates, attack Illyricum and besiege Thessalonica. Odaenathus assassinated. A new pretender, Aureolus, marches on Rome, but fails. The Heruli taken into Roman service.
Postumus and Gallienus perish. M. Aurelius Claudius, the survivor of a number of pretenders, becomes emperor and defeats the Alamanni heavily by the Lago di Garda.
Ravages by Goths. Zenobia (widow of Odaenathus) seizes Egypt.
Claudius dies of plague at Sirmium. His brother is chosen at Rome as successor, but is soon killed. Aurelian, proclaimed at Sirmium, is hard pressed by barbarians, and abandons the left bank of the Danube; also recognises Zenobia's conquests. Death of Plotinus.
Barbarians invade Italy, and are defeated by Aurelian. Probus recovers Egypt. Aurelian begins the construction of a new wall round Rome.
Aurelian defeats Zenobia, and captures Palmyra. Zenobia pardoned.
Revolt of Palmyra, which is destroyed by Aurelian. Two pretenders, Firmus in Africa and Tetricus in Gaul, are overcome.
Birth of Constantine. Temple of the Sun built at Rome. Decree against Christians. Sanguinary disorders in Rome; many thousands killed.
Aurelian murdered in Thrace (Jan.). The troops ask the Senate to choose an emperor; Tacitus is elected, but early next year meets his death in Asia.
Florianus, brother of Tacitus, chosen emperor at Rome; and M. Aurelius Probus by the Eastern legions. Florianus killed at Tarsus.
Probus beats the Germans and Goths, of whom he takes 16,000 into his service.
Large settlement of barbarians in Thrace.
Piracies by Franks. Several pretenders fail.
Soldiers kill Probus and raise Carus to the throne, but next year, after victories on the Danube and against Persia, he perishes (Dec.).
190. THE REIGN OF DIOCLETIAN.
Diocletian proclaimed emperor. Carinus, the son of Carus, holds Italy, and defeats Diocletian at Margus (in the following year) but is assassinated. The Persians cede Armenia and Mesopotamia.
Maximian becomes Caesar.
Diocletian takes the title Herculius and bestows that of Iouius on Maximian, who is now made Augustus, having won victories over the barbarians. Carausius proclaimed emperor in Britain.
Maximian crushes the Franks.
Diocletian defeats the Sarmatae.
Maximian recognises Carausius as lord of Britain.
Franks settled in Gaul by Maximian. Reform of the silver coinage.
Two Caesars appointed, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus; the former to serve under Diocletian in the Eastern half of the empire, the latter under Maximian in the Western half. Allectus kills Carausius and takes his place.
Arnobius Aduersus nationes.
Persians defeat Galerius. Constantius makes an end of Allectus.
Great and successful operations against Persia. The subdivision of the old provinces is made about this time. Galerius persecutes Christians.
Diocletian's great edict fixing the prices of commodities.
General persecution of Christians begins.
191. STRUGGLES FOR ASCENDANCY AND FINAL SUCCESS OF CONSTANTINE.
Diocletian and Maximian abdicate; Galerius and Constandus become Augusti; Flauius Seuerus and Maximinus Daia made Caesars. Persecution relaxed in the East; ceases about this time in the West.
Constantius dies at York. Disputes about the succession bring on civil war. Galerius recognises Seuerus, while Constantine (son of Constantius) is Caesar. Maxentius, son of Maximian, proclaimed Augustus at Rome (27 Oct.), but Maximian comes out of retirement and is recognised as Augustus again. Seuerus defeated and killed by Maxentius. Maximian quarrels with his son, and flees; then weds his daughter to Constantine, on whom he bestows the title of Augustus. Licinius appointed Augustus.
Lactantius, Diuinae Institutiones.
Maximinus named Augustus by his troops. Maximian proclaims himself an independent Augustus at Arles; is captured by Constantine and pardoned.
Maximian, disloyal to Constantine, is forced to kill himself. Constantine, after a great victory over Germans (27 June), crosses to Britain.
Edict of Toleration by Galerius, Constantine and Licinius. Death of Galerius (5 May). Maximinus drives Licinius out of Asia.
Conversion of Constantine. His defeat of Maxentius at the Pons Muluius. Suicide of Maxentius. Abolition of Praetorians. Reform of gold coinage:
Constantine and Licinius at Milan decree religious freedom. Final defeat of Maximinus by Licinius at Adrianople. His death and that of Diocletian.
Constantine defeats Licinius twice, and makes peace, gaining large territories.
The arch of Constantine set up at Rome, to commemorate his presence there.
Three new Caesars; Constantine's sons Crispus and Constantinus, and Licinianus, son of Licinius.
Great defeat by Constantine of Sarmatae and Goths.
War between Constantine and Licinius, who is driven into Asia Minor.
Final defeat of Licinius at Chrysopolis, and his execution.
192. FROM THE SUPREMACY OF CONSTANTINE TO THE DEATH OF JULIAN.
Council of Nicaea, with Constantine as president.
Execution of the empress Fausta, the emperor's son Crispus, and his nephew Licinianus, son of Licinius. Constantine in Rome.
Byzantium becomes the new capital, Constantinopolis.
Goths, numbering 40,000, enter Roman service as foederati.
More than 300,000 Sarmatae settled within the empire.
Constantine appoints as heirs to the empire his three sons and a nephew, Dalmatius.
Baptism of Constantine. His death (22 May). Massacre of members of the imperial family (including Dalmatius). The three sons of Constantine recognised as Augusti (Constantinus, Constans, Constantius).
The three Augusti meet and define their territories.
Constans defeats and kills Constantine II and annexes his dominions.
Constans in Britain. The basilica of Sancta Sophia built at Constantinople.
Magnentius assumes the purple in Gaul, drives Constans to his death and enters Rome (Aug.), having overcome the pretender Vetranio.
Gallus, nephew of Constantine and brother of Julian, made Caesar. Great defeat of Magnentius by Constantius at Mursa (28 Sept.).
Magnentius kills himself in Gaul.
Gallus fails in an insurrection and is executed.
Julian marries the sister of Constantius and is sent to Gaul, and the Rhine, where he wins victories.
War with Persia.
Julian made Caesar. The Caesares of Aurelius Victor ends with this year.
Death of Constantius in Asia (3 Nov.). Julian enters Constantinople as emperor (11 Dec.) and re-establishes heathen cults.
Julian mortally wounded in the war against Persia. Iouianus (Jovian), raised to the throne by soldiers, establishes Christianity again.