Carus (Emperor)


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Aureus of Carus

Marcus Aurelius Carus (* around 223 in Narbo ; † 283 in Mesopotamia ) was Roman emperor from 282 to 283 .

Life

Few sources are available to us for the short reign of Carus. These are primarily various late antique breviaries (e.g. Aurelius Victors Caesares , the work Eutrops and the Epitome de Caesaribus ), whose reports for the 3rd century are apparently based on a common source, the so-called Enmann Imperial History . The imperial history of Eusebios , which should not be confused with the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea , which reached into the time of Carus, has not survived. The biography of Carus in the Historia Augustawhich is the work of an anonymous pagan author around 400 has little reliable information. In addition, there are other later authors such as Zosimos , the Anonymus post Dionem (probably equated with Petros Patrikios ) and Byzantine authors such as Johannes Zonaras , who was able to fall back on sources that are lost today (see also Leo source ). There are also coins and other non-literary evidence.

Originally from southern Gaul, Carus went through a military career. Although Emperor Probus had appointed him Praetorian prefect , Carus was proclaimed anti-emperor by the Raetian and Noric troops in 282; it is unclear whether the usurpation was initiated by him or was forced upon him by the troops. But Carus found general recognition after the Probus was assassinated in the same year. Carus even raised the dead Probus among the gods. End 282 rose Carus his eldest son Carinus , shortly afterwards his younger son Numerianus to Caesar . Little is known about other domestic political measures taken by the Carus and about its relations with the Senate .

Carus fought successfully against the Sarmatian cavalry tribe of the Jazygens living on the Pannonian Danube and in the Hungarian lowlands , and won a victory over them in early 283. Carus then went to war against Persia with his son Numerianus , while Carinus remained as administrator in the west of the empire. Carinus was elevated to Augustus in the spring of 283, probably to secure his authority during the father's absence in the East and because of successes against the Germanic tribes .

In memory of Carus, the Roman mint in Alexandria minted a billon tetradrachm with a burning altar on the reverse.

During his Persia campaign , Carus benefited from the fact that the then Sassanid king Bahram II had to fight a revolt in the east of his empire, where his brother Hormizd had risen. Apparently the Persian campaign was an offensive measure, because nothing is known of previous Persian attacks on Roman territory. This can be seen as an indication that the situation in the empire had eased after the previous period of crisis . Little is known about the campaign; possibly it can also be seen as an act of revenge for the humiliating defeat of Valerian against the Persians over 20 years earlier. Carus conquered the main Persian residence Ctesiphon in June / July 283 and then accepted the honorary title Persicus Maximus . However, further attempts by the Romans to the east were unsuccessful. At the end of July 283 the emperor was found dead in his tent in the field camp. Allegedly he was killed by a lightning strike, but it seems more plausible that he died of an illness or was murdered. His sons succeeded him together.

The death of Carus a. a. in a ballad by August von Platen .

literature

  • Klaus Altmayer: The rule of Carus, Numerianus and Carinus as a forerunner of the tetrarchy (= Historia. Individual writings. Vol. 230). Steiner, Stuttgart 2014, ISBN 978-3-515-10621-4 .
  • Moisés Antiqueira: La muerte del emperador Caro y la historiografía pagana latina del siglo IV: historias más allá de la historia. In: Classica et Christiana 12 (2017), pp. 9–32.
  • Gerald Kreucher: Probus and Carus. In: Klaus-Peter Johne (Ed.): The time of the soldiers' emperors. Crisis and transformation of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. (235-284) . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-05-004529-0 , pp. 395-423, especially pp. 415ff.

Web links

Commons : Carus  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Remarks

  1. ^ Documents from Gerald Kreucher: Probus and Carus . In: Klaus-Peter Johne (Ed.): The time of the soldiers' emperors. Volume 1. Berlin 2008, pp. 395–423, here p. 415, note 145.
  2. See the corresponding documents in Gerald Kreucher: Probus and Carus . In: Klaus-Peter Johne (Ed.): The time of the soldiers' emperors. Volume 1. Berlin 2008, pp. 395-423, here pp. 415ff. Detailed interpretation also by Klaus Altmayer: The rule of Carus, Numerianus and Carinus as forerunners of the tetrarchy. Stuttgart 2014.
  3. On his family cf. Klaus Altmayer: The rule of Carus, Numerianus and Carinus as a forerunner of the tetrarchy. Stuttgart 2014, p. 66ff.
  4. Klaus Altmayer: The rule of Carus, Numerianus and Carinus as a forerunner of the tetrarchy. Stuttgart 2014, p. 80ff.
  5. The exact time is unclear, cf. Gerald Kreucher: Probus and Carus . In: Klaus-Peter Johne (Ed.): The time of the soldiers' emperors. Volume 1. Berlin 2008, pp. 395-423, here pp. 419f.
  6. ^ Gisela Förschner: The coins of the Roman emperors in Alexandria. Melsungen 1987, ISBN 3-89-282-001-5 , p. 382.
  7. Klaus Altmayer: The rule of Carus, Numerianus and Carinus as a forerunner of the tetrarchy. Stuttgart 2014, pp. 87ff.
  8. Cf. Klaus Altmayer: The rule of Carus, Numerianus and Carinus as forerunners of the tetrarchy. Stuttgart 2014, p. 120ff .; Gerald Kreucher: Probus and Carus . In: Klaus-Peter Johne (Ed.): The time of the soldiers' emperors. Volume 1. Berlin 2008, pp. 395-423, here pp. 418f.
  9. Platen, The Death of Carus (1830)
  10. Review by Frank Kolb in: Sehepunkte 14 (2014), No. 6 [15. June 2014], ( online ); Christian Unfug in: H-Soz-Kult , May 12, 2014, ( online ); Klaus-Peter Johne, in: Historical magazine . Vol. 302 (2016), p. 467f.
predecessor Office successor
Probus Roman emperor
282–283
Carinus