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Numerian Roman Emperor 282-284AD
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Numerian - Roman Emperor: December 283 – November, 284 A.D. -
Silvered Bronze Antoninianus 21mm (4.15 grams) Siscia mint circa 283-284 A.D.
Reference: RIC 467;  Cohen 110.
IMP C NVMERIANVS P F AVG, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right
VIRTVS AVGG, emperor standing right receiving Victory on a globe from Carus standing opposite,
Γ
between, XXI in ex.

In Roman mythology, Jupiter or Jove was the king of the gods, and the god of sky and thunder. He is the equivalent of Zeus in the Greek pantheon. He was called Iuppiter (or Diespiter) Optimus Maximus ("Father God the Best and Greatest"). As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he ruled over laws and social order. He was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with sister/wife Juno. Jupiter is also the father of the god Mars with Juno. Therefore, Jupiter is the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Jupiter was venerated in ancient Roman religion, and is still venerated in Roman Neopaganism. He is a son of Saturn, along with brothers Neptune and Pluto. He is also the brother/husband of Ceres (daughter of Saturn and mother of Proserpina), brother of Veritas (daughter of Saturn), and father of Mercury.

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.

Marcus Aurelius Carus (c. 230 - late July/early August, 283) was a Roman Emperor (282-283). During his short reign, Carus tried to follow the path of restoration of the empire strength marked by Aurelian and Probus. His sons Carinus and Numerian formed, with Carus, a short lived dynasty, which granted further stability to a resurgent empire. He also had a daughter Aurelia Paulina.

 Biography

Carus, whose name before the accession may have been Marcus Numerius Carus, was born, probably, at Narbo (modern Narbonne) in Gaul,[1] but was educated at Rome. He was a senator, and had filled various civil and military posts before he was appointed prefect of the Praetorian Guard by the emperor Probus in 282. After the murder of Probus at Sirmium, Carus was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers. Although Carus severely avenged the death of Probus, he was himself suspected of having been an accessory to the deed. He does not seem to have returned to Rome after his accession, but contented himself with an announcement of the fact to the Senate.

Bestowing the title of Caesar upon his sons Carinus and Numerian, he left Carinus in charge of the western portion of the empire, and took Numerian with him on the expedition against the Persians which had been contemplated by Probus. Having defeated the Quadi and Sarmatians on the Danube, Carus proceeded through Thrace and Asia Minor, annexed Mesopotamia, pressed on to Seleucia and Ctesiphon, and carried his arms beyond the Tigris. The Sassanid Emperor Bahram II limited by internal opposition, could not effectively defend his territory. For his victories, which avenged all the previous defeats suffered by the Romans against the Sassanids, Carus received the title of Persicus Maximus.

Carus hopes of further conquest were cut short by his death. One day, after a violent storm, it was announced that he was dead. His death was variously attributed to disease, the effects of lightning, or a wound received in a campaign against the Persians. The facts that he was leading a victorious campaign, and that his son Numerian succeeded him without opposition, suggest that his death may have been due to natural causes.

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