Monday, March 28, 2016

The Decline Accelerates

The Decline Accelerates


      Today marks the anniversary of the assassination, in 193, of the Roman Emperor Pertinax. This assassination would precipitate the “Year of the Five Emperors.”

      Marcus Aurelius, without question otherwise one of the great Roman emperors, had failed in one of his most crucial responsibilities, namely to secure the succession in someone qualified and competent to assume the leadership of the empire. Rather, during his life, Marcus Aurelius had made his son Commodus his co-emperor, and Commodus succeeded his father upon his father's death.  HERE IS A POSTING about the passing of Marcus Aurelius.

      Ultimately, Commodus was assassinated.  Upon his death Pertinax was appointed emperor.  However, his reign was short, the Praetorian Guard being unhappy with its treatment after having participated in Commodus’ assignation and Pertinax’ elevation.  Not receiving the “bonus” they anticipated, Pertinax was removed to make way for a candidate who might pay.

       Thereafter, recalling the “Year of Four Emperors” that followed after the assassination of Nero, Rome would over the year 193 see five emperors.  The year would end with Septimius Severus on the imperial throne, and the Empire would see almost 50 years of dynastic stability.

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