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Carus
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Carus.jpg
Carus on a posthumous coin.
Reign 282-283
Full name Marcus Aurelius Carus (from birth to accession);
Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carus Augustus (as emperor)
Born c. 230
Birthplace Narbo
Died late July/early August 283 (aged 53)
Place of death Beyond the River Tigris
Predecessor Probus
Successor Carinus
Offspring Carinus, Numerian, Aurelia Paulina

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.

Contents

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.

References

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Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The tradition that he was one of the so-called "Illyrian Emperors", based on the unreliable vita Cari embedded in the Augustan History, was accepted uncritically by Joseph Scaliger, who assumed the other sources were wrong, and followed by Edward Gibbon in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. (Tom B. Jones, "A Note on Marcus Aurelius Carus" Classical Philology 37.2 (April 1942), pp. 193-194).
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Probus
Roman Emperor
282–283
Succeeded by
Carinus and Numerian

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Carl Gustav Carus article)

From Wikispecies

German physician and anatomist (3.I.1789 - 26.VII.1869).


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