previous next

Numeria'nus, M. Aurelius

the younger of the two sons of the emperor Carus, and his companion in the expedition against the Persians, undertaken in A. D. 283. After the death of his father, which happened in the following year, he was, without opposition, acknowledged as joint emperor with his brother Carinus. The idle fears of the army compelled him to abandon all hopes of prosecuting a campaign commenced with so much glory, and of extending the conquests already achieved. For terrified by the mysterious fate of Carus [CARUS], which they regarded as a direct manifestation of the wrath of heaven, and an evident fulfilment of the ancient prophecy which fixed the river Tigris as the limit of the Roman sways the soldiers refused to advance. Yielding to their superstitious terrors, Numerianus commenced a retreat in the very hour of victory, and slowly retraced his steps towards the Thracian Bosporus. During the greater part of the march, which lasted for eight months, he was duly confined to his litter by an affection of the eyes, induced, it is said, by excessive weeping. After this seclusion had continued for a considerable period, dark reports began to circulate, and the excitement increasing by degrees, at length became so fierce that the soldiers forced their way into the Imperial tent, and discovered the dead body of their prince. The concealment practised by Arrius Aper, praefect of the praetorians, father-in-law of the deceased, and who had lately acted as his representative, gave rise to the worst suspicions. He was publicly arraigned of the murder in a military council, held at Chalcedon, and, without being permitted to speak in his own defence, was stabbed to the heart by Diocletian, whom the troops had already proclaimued emperor, and whe on this occasion acted with a degree of hasty violence strangely at variance with the calmness of his well-regulated mind. [DIOCLETIANUS.]

The Augustan historian represents Numerianus as a prince remarkable alike for moral and intellectual excellence. He gained universal love and admiration by gentleness of temper, affability of address, and purity of life, while at the same time he bore away the palm in eloquence and poetry from all his contemporaries-virtues and accomplishments which shone the more conspicuous and bright when contrasted with the brutal profligacy and savage cruelty of his brother and colleague Carinus [CARINUS]. (Vopisc. Nunerian. ; Aur. Vict. Epit. 38, de Caes. 38; Eutrop. 9.12; Zonar. 12.30.)


hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
283 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: