People - Ancient Rome: Numerian
Born Marcus Aurelius Numerius Numerianus, he was a Roman Emperor ruling from December 283 – November, 284, together with his brother Carinus.
Numeriānus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
Marcus Aurelius. A Roman who succeeded to the imperial throne conjointly with his elder brother Carinus, after the death of their father Carus, at the
beginning of A.D. 284. Numerianus was with the army in Mesopotamia at the death of Probus; but, instead of following up the advantage which his father had
gained over the Persians, he was compelled by the army to abandon the conquests which had been already made, and to retreat to Syria. During the retreat,
a weakness of the eyes obliged him to confine himself to a litter, which was guarded by the praetorians. The administration of all affairs, civil as well
as military, devolved on Arrius Aper, the praetorian prefect, his father-in-law. The army was eight months on its march from the banks of the Tigris to
the Thracian Bosporus, and during all that time the imperial authority was exercised in the name of the emperor, who never appeared to his soldiers.
Reports at length spread among them that their emperor was no longer living; and when they had reached the city of Chalcedon they could not be prevented
from breaking into the imperial tent, where they found only his corpse. Suspicion naturally fell upon Arrius; and an assembly of the army was accordingly
held, for the purpose of avenging the death of Numerianus and electing a new emperor. Their choice fell upon Diocletian, who, immediately after his
election, put Arrius to death with his own hands, without giving him an opportunity of justifying himself, which might, perhaps, have proved dangerous to
the new emperor. The virtues of Numerianus are mentioned by most of his biographers. His manners were mild and affable; and he was celebrated among his
contemporaries for eloquence and poetic talent. The Senate voted him a statue, with the inscription, “To Numerianus Caesar, the most powerful orator of
his times” (Vopisc. Numerian.; Aurel. Vict. De Caes. 38; Eutrop. ix. 12).
Numerian in Roman Biography
Nu-me'ri-an, [Lat. Numeria'nus; Fr. Numeriex,
nu'mS're4,N',| (Marcus Aurelius,) son of Cams, succeeded
him as Emperor of Rome in 284 A.D., in conjunction
with his brother Carinus. He was afterwards put
to death in the same year, as is supposed, by his fatherin-
law, Arrius, and Diocletian was chosen emperor.
Numerianus was famed as an orator and a poet. His
character is said to have been excellent.
http://books.google.com/books? id=GPXRKSUyj14C&printsec=frontcover&dq=pronouncing+dictionary+of+biograph y+and+mythology&hl=en&ei=ueCoTLOH
Numerian in Wikipedia
Marcus Aurelius Numerius Numerianus (d. November, 284), known in English as Numerian, was a Roman Emperor (December 283 –
November, 284), together with his brother Carinus. They were sons of Carus, a Gaul raised to the office of praetorian prefect
under Emperor Probus in 282.
In 282, the legions of the upper Danube in Raetia and Noricum proclaimed Numerian's father, the praetorian prefect Marcus Aurelius
Carus, emperor, beginning a rebellion against the emperor Probus. Probus' army, stationed in Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica,
Serbia), decided they did not wish to fight Carus, and assassinated Probus instead. Carus, already sixty, wished to establish a
dynasty; and immediately elevated Carinus and Numerian to the rank of Caesar.
In 283, Carus raised Carinus to the title Caesar, left him in charge of the West, and moved with Numerian and his praetorian
prefect Arrius Aper to the East, to wage war against the Sassanid Empire. (The Sassanids had been embroiled in a succession
dispute since the death of Shapur, and were in no position to oppose Carus' advance.) According to Zonaras, Eutropius, and
Festus, Carus won a major victory against the Persians, taking Seleucia and the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon (near modern Al-
Mada'in, Iraq), cities on opposite banks of the Tigris. In celebration, Numerian, Carus, and Carinus all took the title Persici
maximi. Carus died in July or early August, reportedly due to a strike of lightning.
Carus' death left Numerian and Carinus as the new Augusti. Carinus quickly made his way to Rome from Gaul, and arrived in January
284. Numerian lingered in the East. The Roman retreat from Persia was orderly and unopposed, for the Persian King, Bahram II,
was still struggling to establish his authority. By March 284 Numerian had only reached Emesa (Homs) in Syria; by November,
only Asia Minor. In Emesa he was apparently still alive and in good health, as he issued the only extant rescript in his name
there. (Coins are issued in his name in Cyzicus at some time before the end of 284, but it is impossible to know whether he
was still in the public eye by that point.) After Emesa, Numerian's staff, including the prefect Aper, reported that Numerian
suffered from an inflammation of the eyes, and had to travel in a closed coach. When the army reached Bithynia, some of
Numerian's soldiers smelled an odor reminiscent of a decaying corpse emanating from the coach. They opened its curtains.
Inside, they found Numerian, dead.
Aper officially broke the news in Nicomedia (İzmit) in November. Numerian's generals and tribunes called a council for the
succession, and chose Diocles, commander of the cavalry arm of the imperial bodyguard, emperor, in spite of Aper's
attempts to garner support. On November 20, 284, the army of the east gathered on a hill 5 km (3.1 mi) outside Nicomedia. The
army unanimously saluted their new Augustus, and Diocles accepted the purple imperial vestments. He raised his sword to the light
of the sun, and swore an oath denying responsibility for Numerian's death. He asserted that Aper had killed Numerian and concealed
it. In full view of the army, Diocles drew his blade and killed Aper.
According to Historia Augusta, Numerian was a man of considerable literary attainments, remarkably amiable and known as a great
orator and poet. However, no other sources, apart from the unreliable Historia, report anything about his personality.
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