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Encyclopedia > Macrinus
Macrinus on an aureus. The elaborate symbolism of this coin celebrates Macrinus and his son Diadumenianus, and their prodigality (Liberalitas).
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Macrinus on an aureus. The elaborate symbolism of this coin celebrates Macrinus and his son Diadumenianus, and their prodigality (Liberalitas).

Marcus Opellius Macrinus (c.165 - 218) was Roman emperor for 14 months in 217 and 218. He was an emperor of the equestrian class (Latin: eques), Septimus Severus being an earlier equestrian emperor. Macrinus was the first emperor to hail from the African province of Mauretania. Macrinus. ... Macrinus. ... Aureus minted in 193 by Septimius Severus to celebrate XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix, the legion that proclamed him emperor. ... Macrinus. ... Marcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus or Diadumenian , Roman Caesar (junior emperor), died 218 A.D. was the son of Emperor Macrinus who served his father briefly as Caesar (junior emperor) from May, 217 to 218 A.D. and as Augustus in 218. ... In Roman mythology, Liberalitas was the god of generosity. ... Events Roman operations under Avidius Cassius was successful against Parthia, capturing Artaxata, Seleucia, and Ctesiphon. ... Events May 16 - Heliogabalus is acclaimed as Roman Emperor. ... For other senses of this name, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... This is a list of Roman Emperors with the dates they ruled the Roman Empire. ... Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ... An Equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites) was a member of one of the two upper social classes in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. ... Emperor Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius Severus, (April 11, 146 - February 4, 211) was Roman emperor from April 9, 193 to 211. ... Mauretania was a Berber kingdom on the Mediterranean coast of north Africa (named after the Mauri tribe, after whom the Moors were named), corresponding to western Algeria and northern Morocco. ...

Contents


Background and career

Born in Caesarea (modern Cherchell) in the Roman province of Mauretania to a middle class equestrian family, Macrinus received an education which allowed him to ascend to the Roman political class. Over the years he earned a reputation as a skilled lawyer. Under the emperor Lucius Septimius Severus he became an important bureaucrat. Severus' successor Caracalla appointed him prefect of the Praetorian guard, the highest office which an equestrian could hold. The prefect was second in command to the emperor and responsible for the Praetorian cohorts, nominally the emperor's bodyguard and the only true military force permitted within the city of Rome. While Macrinus likely enjoyed the trust of Caracalla, this may have changed when, according to tradition, he was prophesied to depose and succeed the emperor. Rumors spread regarding Macrinus' alleged desire to take the throne for himself. Given Caracalla's tendency towards murdering political opponents, Macrinus probably feared for his own safety should the emperor become aware of this prophecy. According to Dio, Caracalla had already taken the step of re-assigning members of Macrinus' staff. Cherchell or Cherchel is a seaport of Algeria. ... Cherchell or Cherchel is a seaport of Algeria. ... Map of the Roman Empire, with the provinces, after AD 120. ... Mauretania was a Berber kingdom on the Mediterranean coast of north Africa (named after the Mauri tribe, after whom the Moors were named), corresponding to western Algeria and northern Morocco. ... An Equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites) was a member of one of the two upper social classes in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. ... Emperor Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius Severus, (April 11, 146 - February 4, 211) was Roman emperor from April 9, 193 to 211. ... Caracalla Caracalla (April 4, 186–April 8, 217) was emperor of the Roman Empire from AD 211–217. ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... The Praetorian Guard of Caesar Augustus - 1st century. ...


In the spring of 217, Caracalla was in the eastern provinces preparing a campaign against the Parthian Empire. Macrinus was among his staff, as were other members of the praetorian guard. In April, the emperor went to visit a temple of Luna near the spot of the battle of Carrhae, accompanied only by his personal bodyguard, which included Macrinus. Events are not clear, but it is certain that Caracalla was murdered at some point on the trip (perhaps on April 8). Caracalla's body was brought back from the temple by his bodyguards, along with the corpse of a fellow bodyguard. The story as told by Macrinus was that the dead guard had killed Caracalla. By April 11, Macrinus proclaimed himself emperor. He was the first man to become so without membership in the senatorial class. Macrinus also nominated his son Diadumenianus Caesar and successor and conferred upon him the name "Antoninus", thus connecting him with the relatively stable reigns of the Antonine emperors of the 2nd century. Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ... Parthian Empire at its greatest extent, c60 BCE. The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east and... Roman statue of the moon goddess Luna, who was equated with the Greek Selene. ... Combatants Roman Republic Parthia Commanders Marcus Licinius Crassus † Eran Spahbod Surena Strength 44,000-52,000 (28000 Roman legionary cohorts, 2000 Roman cavalrymen and 1000 Gallic cavalrymen) 10,000 (1000-1500 Heavy cavalry (Cataphracts) and 9000 archer cavalry) Casualties 4,000 wounded, 20,000 dead, 10,000 captured Minimal The... April 8 is the 98th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (99th in leap years). ... April 11 is the 101st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (102nd in leap years). ... Marcus Opellius Antoninus Diadumenianus or Diadumenian , Roman Caesar (junior emperor), died 218 A.D. was the son of Emperor Macrinus who served his father briefly as Caesar (junior emperor) from May, 217 to 218 A.D. and as Augustus in 218. ... Caesar (p. ... The Five Good Emperors if you go to lakeside dont use this web site- luv bobby henry(sometimes erroneously called the Nervan-Antonian Dynasty, which is actually a conflation of the Nervo-Trajanic and Antonine dynasties, including Commodus) were a series of five emperors of the Roman Empire who...


Reign (April 217 - June 218)

Despite his equestrian background, Macrinus was confirmed in his new role by the Senate. According to S.N. Miller, this may have been due to both his background as an accomplished jurist and his deferential treatment of the senatorial class. He found it necessary, howver, to replace several provincial governors with men of his own choosing. Julia Domna was initially left in peace, but when she started to conspire with the military he ordered her to leave Antioch. Being at that time in an advanced stage of breast cancer (Cassius Dio) she chose instead to starve herself to death. The Roman Senate (Latin, Senatus) was a deliberative body which was important in the government of both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. ... Julia Domna Julia Domna (about 170-217), like her sister Julia Maesa, was a daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa in the Roman province of Syria. ...


In urgent matters of foreign policy, Macrinus displayed a tendency towards conciliation and a reluctance to engage in military conflict. He averted trouble in the province of Dacia by returning hostages that had been held by Caracalla, and he ended troubles in Armenia by granting that country's throne to Tiridates, whose father had also been imprisoned under Caracalla. Less easily managed was the problem of Mesopotamia, which had been invaded by the Parthians in the wake of Caracalla's demise. Meeting the Parthians in battle during the summer of 217, Macrinus was defeated near the town of Nisibis and as a result was forced to enter negotiations through which was obliged to pay the enormous indemnity of 200 million sesterces to the Parthian ruler Artabanus V in return for peace. Dacia, in ancient geography the land of the Daci, named by the ancient Greeks Getae, was a large district of Southeastern Europe, bounded on the north by the Carpathians, on the south by the Danube, on the west by the Tisa, on the east by the Tyras or Nistru, now... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Events Macrinus becomes Roman Emperor on the death of Caracalla. ... The newly excavated Church of Saint Jacob in Nisibis. ... Indemnity is a legal exemption from the penalties or liabilities incurred by any course of action. ... Artabanus was the name of two noblemen of Persia: Artabanus was the younger brother of king Darius I of Persia, and satrap of Bactria in the early 5th century BC. He appears in the Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus. ...


Macrinus' reluctance to engage in warfare, and his failure to gain victory over even an historically inferior enemy such as the Parthians caused considerable resentment among the soldiers. This was compounded by the rolling back of the privileges they had enjoyed under Caracalla and the introduction of a pay system by which recruits received less than veterans. After only a short while, the legions were searching for a rival emperor.


His popularity also suffered in Rome. Not only had the new emperor failed to visit the city after taking power, but a late-summer thunderstorm caused widespread fires and flooding, and Macrinus' appointee as urban prefect proved unable to repair the damage to the satisfaction of the populace and had to be replaced.


Downfall

This discontent was fostered by the surviving members of the Severan dynasty, headed by Julia Maesa (Caracalla's aunt) and her daughters Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea. Having been evicted from the imperial palace and ordered to return home by Macrinus, the Severan women plotted from their home near Emesa in Syria to place another Severan on the imperial throne. They used their hereditary influence over the cult of sun-deity Elagabalus to proclaim Soaemias's son Elagabalus (named for his family's patron deity) as the true successor to Caracalla. The rumor was spread, with the assistance of the Severan women, that Elagabalus was in fact Caracalla's illegitimate son, and thus the child of a union between first cousins. The Severan dynasty is a lineage of Roman Emperors, reigning several decades from the late 2nd century to the early 3rd century. ... Julia Maesa (about 170- about 226) was daughter of Julius Bassianus, priest of the sun god Heliogabalus, the patron god of Emesa in the Roman province of Syria. ... Julia Soaemias Bassiana (180-March 11, 222) was the daughter of Julia Maesa, a powerful Roman woman of Syrian origin, and Julius Avitus. ... Julia Avita Mamaea (180- 235) was the daughter of Julia Maesa, a powerful Roman woman of Syrian origin, and Julius Avitus. ... Emesa was an ancient city on the Orontes River in Syria. ... The Trundholm sun chariot pulled by a horse is believed to be a sculpture illustrating an important part of Nordic Bronze Age mythology. ... A bust depicting Elagabalus. ...


On May 18, Elagabalus was proclaimed emperor by the Legio III Gallica at its camp at Raphana. A force under his tutor Gannys marched on Antioch and engaged a force under Macrinus on June 8, 218. Macrinus, deserted by most of his soldiers, was soundly defeated in the battle, and fled towards Italy disguised as a courier. He was captured near Chalcedon and later executed in Cappadocia. His son Diadumenianus, sent for safety to the Parthian court, was captured at Zeugma and also put to death. May 18 is the 138th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (139th in leap years). ... Legio III Gallica was a Roman legion levied by Julius Caesar around 49 BC, for his civil war against the conservative republicans led by Pompey. ... Raphana, in Syria, was a city of the Decapolis. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... June 8 is the 159th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (160th in leap years), with 206 days remaining. ... Events May 16 - Heliogabalus is acclaimed as Roman Emperor. ... The Battle of Antioch on June 8, 218AD took place between two roman armies of roman emperor Macrinus and one contender Elagabalus (whose troops were commanded by General Gannys). ... Chalcedon (Χαλκεδον, sometimes transliterated by purists as Chalkedon) was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari (modern Üsküdar). ... Cappadocia in 188 BC In ancient geography, Cappadocia (Greek: Καππαδοκία; see also List of traditional Greek place names)(spelled Kapadokya in Turkish) was an extensive inland district of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). ... Zeugma – also Seleucia, Seleuceia, Seleukheia, Seleukeia, Seleukeia Euphrates, and Selevkaya Euphrates – is an ancient city of Commagene; currently located in the Gaziantep Province of Turkey It is a historical settlement which is considered among the four most important settlement areas under the reign of the kingdom of Commagene. ...


Macrinus' short reign, while important for its historical "firsts", was cut short due to the inability of this otherwise accomplished man to control or satisfy the soldiery. In his death at the hands of Roman soldiers, Macrinus reinforced the notion of the soldiers as the true brokers of power in the 3rd century empire and highlighted the importance of maintaining the support of this vital faction. His reign was followed by another seventeen years of rule under the Severan emperors Elagabalus and Severus Alexander. A bust depicting Elagabalus. ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from AD 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ...


External links and references

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Macrinus
  • Life of Macrinus (Historia Augusta at LacusCurtius: Latin text and English translation)
  • "Macrinus and Diadumenianius" at De Imperatoribus Romanis (by Michael Meckler of Ohio State University)

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

References

  • Dio Cassius, bk. 78
  • Herodian, 4.14-5.4
  • Historia Augusta
  • Miller, S.N., "The Army and the Imperial House," The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume XII: The Imperial Crisis and Recovery (A.D. 193-324), S.A. Cook et al. eds, Cambridge University Press, 1965, pp 50–2.

Preceded by:
Caracalla
Roman Emperor
217–218
with Diadumenianus
Succeeded by:
Elagabalus

  Results from FactBites:
 
Roman Emperors - DIR Macrinus (963 words)
While it is highly conjectural that, as a young man, the future emperor was the dedicatee of Ampelius' encyclopedic Liber memoralis, Macrinus undoubtedly received a literary education that enabled him to rise high as a bureaucrat in the imperial service during the reign of the emperor Severus.
Macrinus shared the position with the experienced soldier Adventus, and the pair served Caracalla during the emperor's campaigns in the East.
Macrinus traveled across Asia Minor disguised as a courier and nearly made it to Europe, but he was captured in Chalcedon.
Marcus Opellius Macrinus (2155 words)
The fact that Macrinus was both reliable and helpless, made him a perfect political friend for the powerful praetorian prefect of the emperor Septimius Severus, Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, who occupied this office between 197 and 205.
Macrinus seems to have played an important role, because when the emperor returned to his winter quarters in Edessa, the praetorian prefect received the title of vir clarissimus and the right to wear the emblems of a consul.
Macrinus himself escaped from the battlefield and fled to Rome, hoping to gain support from the Senate and the people, but he was seized in Chalcedon in Bithynia by Aurelius Celsus and taken to Cappadocia, where he was decapitated by Marcianus Taurus.
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