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Encyclopedia > Praetorian Guard
The Praetorian Guard of Augustus - 1st century. Depicted in a marble bas-relief

The Praetorian Guard (in Latin: praetoriani) consisted of a special force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors. Before being used by the emperors, a Roman general's bodyguard, also styled the praetorian guard, was employed, dating at least to the Scipio family — around 275 BC. Constantine I dissolved it in the 4th century. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For other uses, see Augustus (disambiguation). ... Venus de Milo, front. ... Bas relief is a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Bodyguards of Viktor Yushchenko (far left) after leaving Gdansk city hall. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... This is a list of the Roman Emperors with the dates they ruled the Roman Empire. ... Scipio (plural, Scipiones) is a Roman cognomen used by a branch of the Cornelii family. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 320s BC 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC 220s BC Years: 280 BC 279 BC 278 BC 277 BC 276 BC - 275 BC - 274 BC 273 BC... Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[2] (27 February c. ...

Contents

History

This article is part of the series on: Image File history File links Rmn-military-header. ...


Military of ancient Rome (Portal)
800 BC–AD 476 The Military of ancient Rome (known to the Romans as the militia) relates to the combined military forces of Ancient Rome from the founding of the city of Rome to the end of the Western Roman Empire. ...

Structural history
Roman army (unit types and ranks,
legions, auxiliaries, generals)
Roman navy (fleets, admirals)
Campaign history
Lists of Wars and Battles
Decorations and Punishments
Technological history
Military engineering (castra,
siege engines, arches, roads)
Personal equipment
Political history
Strategy and tactics
Infantry tactics
Frontiers and fortifications (Limes,
Hadrian's Wall)

The term "Praetorian" came from the tent of the commanding general or praetor of a Roman army in the field—the praetorium. It was a habit of many Roman generals to choose from the ranks a private force of soldiers to act as bodyguards of the tent or the person. They consisted of both infantry and cavalry. In time, this cohort came to be known as the cohors praetoria, and various notable figures possessed one, including Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Augustus (Octavian). As Caesar discovered with the Legio X Equestris, a powerful unit more dangerous than its fellow legions was desirable in the field. When Augustus became the first ruler of the Roman Empire in 27 BC, he decided such a formation was useful not only in war but also in politics. Thus, from the ranks of the legions throughout the provinces, Augustus recruited the Praetorian Guard. The branches of the Roman military at the highest level were the Roman army and the Roman navy. ... The Roman army is the set of land-based military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military. ... This is a list of both unit types and ranks of the Roman army from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Roman Empire. ... This is a list of Roman legions, including key facts about each legion. ... Auxiliaries (from Latin: auxilia = supports) formed the standing non-citizen corps of the Roman army of the Principate (30 BC - 284 AD), alongside the citizen legions. ... // Manius Acilius Glabrio -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 191 BC) -- Manius Acilius Glabrio (consul 91) -- Titus Aebutius Helva -- Aegidius -- Lucius Aemilius Barbula -- Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir) -- Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus -- Marcus Aemilius Scaurus (praetor 56 BC) -- Flavius Aëtius -- Lucius Afranius (consul) -- Sextus Calpurnius Agricola -- Gnaeus Julius Agricola -- Flavius Antoninus -- Marcus... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... Roman trireme, a warship, 31 BC. Note the bank of oars (two on the hidden side), the square-rigged sails, the steering oars, the tower on deck, the ram at the prow, the ballistae and the Greek fire. ... The history of ancient Rome - originally a city-state of Italy, and later an empire covering much of Eurasia and North Africa from the ninth century BC to the fifth century AD - was often closely entwined with its military history. ... The following is a List of Roman wars fought by the ancient Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, organized by date. ... The following is a List of Roman battles (fought by the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire), organized by date. ... As with most other military forces the Roman military adopted a carrot and stick approach to military, with an extensive list of decorations for military gallantry and likewise a range of punishments for the punishment of military transgressions. ... The technology history of the Roman military covers the development of and application of technologies for use in the armies and navies of Rome from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. ... Roman military engineering is a type of Roman engineering carried out by the Roman Army - almost exclusively by the Roman legions for the furthering of military objectives. ... Basic ideal plan of a Roman castrum. ... Roman siege engines were, for the most part, adapted from Hellenistic siege technology. ... List of ancient Roman triumphal arches (By modern country) // France Orange Reims: Porte de Mars Saint Rémy de Provence: Roman site of Glanum Saintes: Arch of Germanicus Greece Arch of Galerius, Thessaloniki Hadrians Arch, Athens Italy It has been suggested that List of Roman arches in Rome be... For the one-off TV Drama, see Roman Road (TV Drama) A Roman road in Pompeii. ... Roman military personal equipment was produced in large numbers to established patterns and used in an established way. ... Root directory at Military history of ancient Rome Romes military was always tightly keyed to its political system. ... The strategy of the Roman Military encompasses its grand strategy (the arrangements made by the state to implement its political goals through a selection of military goals, a process of diplomacy backed by threat of military action, and a dedication to the military of part of its production and resources... Roman infantry tactics refers to the theoretical and historical deployment, formation and maneuvers of the Roman infantry from the start of the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. ... Map of all the territories once occupied by the Roman Empire, along with locations of limes Roman military borders and fortifications were part of a grand strategy of territorial defense in the Roman Empire. ... The limes Germanicus, 2nd century. ... // Hadrians Wall is a stone and turf fortification built by the Roman Empire across the width of Great Britain. ... Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, either before it was mustered or more typically in the field, or an elected... The Roman army is the set of land-based military forces employed by the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and later Roman Empire as part of the Roman military. ... The Praetorium (also called Pilates House) is the place in what is now the Antonia Fortress where Jesus of Nazareth was brought to trial before Pontius Pilate. ... A cohort (from the Latin cohors, plural cohortes) is a fairly large military unit, generally consisting of one type of soldier. ... Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC – March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in world history. ... Bust of Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (Latin: M·ANTONIVS·M·F·M·N[1]) ( January 14 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), known in English as Mark Antony, was a Roman politician and general. ... For other uses, see Augustus (disambiguation). ... Legio X Gemina, the twin legion, was levied by Julius Caesar on 58 BC, for his invasion of Gaul. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC - 20s BC - 10s BC 0s 10s 20s 30s Years: 32 BC 31 BC 30 BC 29 BC 28 BC 27 BC 26 BC 25 BC 24 BC 23 BC 22...


Early Guard

The group that was formed initially differed greatly from the later Guard, which would assassinate emperors. While Augustus understood the need to have a protector in the maelstrom of Rome, he was careful to uphold the Republican veneer of his regime. Thus he allowed only nine cohorts to be formed, originally at 500 but increased to 1,000 men each, and only three were kept on duty at any given time in the capital. A small number of detached cavalry units (turma) of 30 men each were also organized. While they patrolled inconspicuously in the palace and major buildings, the others were stationed in the towns surrounding Rome; no threats were possible from these individual cohorts. This system was not radically changed with the arrival of two Praetorian prefects in 2 BC, Quintus Ostorius Scapula and Salvius Aper, although organization and command were improved. It has been suggested that Selective assassination be merged into this article or section. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC - 0s BC - 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s 7 BC 6 BC 5 BC 4 BC 3 BC 2 BC 1 BC 1 2 3 4 Events Births Deaths Gaius and...


Augustus's death on August 19, 14, marked the end of Praetorian calm, the only time the Praetorian Guard did not use its military strength to play a part in the politics of Rome to force its own agenda. Augustus would be the sole emperor that would command the Praetorians' complete loyalty. From his death onward, the Praetorians would serve what was in their best interests. Through the machinations of their ambitious prefect, Lucius Aelius Sejanus, the Guard was brought from the Italian barracks into Rome itself. In 23, Sejanus convinced Tiberius to have the Castra Praetoria (the camp of the Praetorians) built just outside of Rome. One of these cohorts held the daily guard at the imperial palace. Henceforth the entire Guard was at the disposal of the emperors, but the rulers were now equally at the mercy of the Praetorians. The reality of this was seen in 31 when Tiberius was forced to rely upon his own cohors praetoria against partisans of Sejanus. Although the Praetorian Guard proved faithful to the aging Tiberius, their potential political power had been made clear. is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events First year of tianfeng era of the Chinese Xin Dynasty. ... Lucius Aelius Seianus (or Sejanus) (20 BC – October 18, 31 AD) was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. ... Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BC – March 16 AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. ... Castra Praetoria are the ancient barracks (castra) of the Praetorian Guard of Imperial Rome. ... Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BC – March 16 AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. ...


While campaigning, the Praetorians were the equal of any formation in the Roman Army. Seldom used in the early reigns, they were quite active by 69. They fought well at the first battle of Bedriacum for Otho. Under Domitian and Trajan, the guard took part in wars from Dacia to Mesopotamia, while with Marcus Aurelius, years were spent on the Danubian frontier. Throughout the 3rd century, the Praetorians assisted the emperors in various campaigns. In the Year of the four emperors (69 C.E.), Marcus Salvius Otho, with the support and aid of the Praetorian Guard, had his predecessor Galba murdered in January and claimed the throne for himself. ... Emperor Otho. ... Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor of the gens Flavia. ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... 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... Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, and parts of eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and southwest Iran. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ...


Political role

Proclaiming Claudius Emperor, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, oil on canvas, c. 1867. According to one version of the story of Claudius' ascension to the role of Emperor, members of the Praetorian Guard found him hiding behind a curtain in the aftermath of the murder of Caligula in 41, and proclaimed him emperor.

Following the death of Sejanus, who was sacrificed for the Donativum (imperial gift) promised by Tiberius, the Guards began to play an increasingly ambitious and bloody game in the Empire. With the right amount of money, or at will, they assassinated emperors, bullied their own prefects, or turned on the people of Rome. In 41 Caligula was killed by conspirators from the senatorial class and from the Guard. The Praetorians placed Claudius on the throne, daring the Senate to oppose their decision. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 771 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1141 × 887 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 771 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1141 × 887 pixel, file size: 2. ... Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, OM, RA (January 8, 1836, Dronrijp, the Netherlands. ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41), more commonly known by his nickname Caligula, was the third Roman Emperor and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 37 to 41 . ... Events January 24 - Roman Emperor Gaius Caesar (Caligula), known for his eccentricity and cruel despotism, is assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. ... Lucius Aelius Seianus (or Sejanus) (20 BC – October 18, 31 AD) was an ambitious soldier, friend and confidant of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. ... Donativum (plural, donativa ) was the name given to the gifts of money dispersed to the soldiers of the Legions or to the Praetorian Guard by the Roman emperors. ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41), more commonly known by his nickname Caligula, was the third Roman Emperor and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 37 to 41 . ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ...


During 69, the Year of the Four Emperors, after the emperor Galba failed to provide a donative for the Praetorians, they transferred their allegiance to Otho and assassinated the emperor. Otho acquiesced to the Praetorians' demands and granted them the right to appoint their own prefects, ensuring their loyalty. After defeating Otho, Vitellius disbanded the guard and established a new one sixteen cohorts strong. Vespasian relied in the war against Vitellius upon the disgruntled cohorts the emperor had dismissed, and reduced the number of cohorts back to nine upon becoming emperor himself. As a further safeguard, he appointed his son, Titus as Praetorian Prefect.[1] The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. ... Servius Sulpicius Galba (December 24, 3 BC – January 15, 69) was Roman Emperor from June 8, 68 until his death. ... Emperor Otho. ... Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Civiltà Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24, 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who had... Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (born November 17, 9, died June 23, 79), known originally as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and usually referred to in English as Vespasian, was emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... For other uses, see Titus (disambiguation). ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ...


While the Guard had the power to kill off emperors, it had no role in government administration, unlike the personnel of the palace, the Senate, and the bureaucracy. Often after an outrageous act of violence, revenge by the new ruler was forthcoming. In 193, Didius Julianus purchased the Empire from the Guard for a vast sum, when the Guard auctioned it off after killing Pertinax. Later that year Septimius Severus marched into Rome, disbanded the Praetorians and started a new formation from his own Pannonian Legions. Unruly mobs in Rome fought often with the Praetorians in Maximinus Thrax's reign in vicious street battles. Didius Julianus Marcus Severus Didius Julianus (133–193) was emperor of the Roman Empire from 28 March until 1 June 193. ... Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1, 126 - March 28, 193) was Roman emperor for a short period in 193. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (c. ...


In 271, Aurelian sailed east to destroy the power of Palmyra, Syria, with a force of legionary detachments, Praetorian cohorts, and other cavalry units. The Palmyrans were easily defeated. This led to the orthodox view that Diocletian and his colleagues evolved the sacer comitatus (the field escort of the emperors), which included field units that utilized a selection process and command structure modeled after the old Praetorian cohorts, but was not of uniform composition and was much larger than a Praetorian cohort. Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (September 9, 214–September 275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... Palmyra (now Tadmor,تدمر, Syria) was an ancient city in central Syria, located on an oasis about 210 km (130 mi) northeast of Damascus. ... Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ...


Guard's twilight years

In 284, Diocletian reduced the status of the Praetorians; they were no longer to be part of palace life, as Diocletian lived in Nicomedia, some 60 miles (100 km) from Byzantium in Asia Minor. Two new corps, the Jovians and Herculians (named after the gods Jove, or Jupiter, and Hercules, associated with the senior and junior emperor), replaced the Praetorians as the personal protectors of the emperors, a practice that remained intact with the tetrarchy. By the time Diocletian retired on May 1, 305, their Castra Praetoria seems to have housed only a minor garrison of Rome. Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ... Nicomedia (modern Ä°zmit, also known as Iznik) was founded by Nicomedes I of Bithynia at the head of the Gulf of Astacus (which opens on the Propontis) in 264 BC. The city has ever since been one of the chief towns in this part of Asia Minor. ... Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek city, which, according to legend, was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas or Byzantas (Βύζας or Βύζαντας in Greek). ... Anatolia (Greek: ανατολη anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... Imperial guard of the Emperors of the Roman Empire from 284 until 988 The Praetorian Guard were based at Castra Praetoria just outside Rome, and during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian were in league with the Roman Senate. ... The Tetrarchs, a porphyry sculpture sacked from a Byzantine palace in 1204, Treasury of St. ... is the 121st day of the year (122nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events May 1 - Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome, retire from office. ... Castra Praetoria are the ancient barracks (castra) of the Praetorian Guard of Imperial Rome. ...


The final act of the Praetorians in imperial history started in 306, when Maxentius, son of the retired emperor Maximian, was passed over as a successor: the troops took matters into their own hands and elevated him to the position of emperor in Italy on October 28. Caesar Flavius Valerius Severus, following the orders of Galerius, attempted to disband the Guard but only managed to lead the rest of them in revolting and joining Maxentius. When Constantine the Great, launching an invasion of Italy in 312, forced a final confrontation at the Milvian Bridge, the Praetorian cohorts made up most of Maxentius' army. Later in Rome, the victorious Constantine definitively disbanded the Praetorian Guard. The soldiers were sent out to various corners of the Empire, and the Castra Praetoria was demolished. For over 300 years they had served, and the destruction of their fortress was a grand gesture, inaugurating a new age of imperial history and ending that of the Praetorians. Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius ( 278-28 October 312) was Western Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. ... Maximian Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius (c. ... is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Caesar (plural Caesars), Latin: Cæsar (plural Cæsares), is a title of imperial character. ... Flavius Valerius Severus as caesar. ... Galerius Maximianus (c. ... Constantine. ... Combatants Constantinian forces Maxentian forces Commanders Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius† Strength ~50000 men ~75000-120000 men Casualties Unknown Unknown The Battle of Milvian Bridge took place on October 28, 312 between the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Maxentius. ... Castra Praetoria are the ancient barracks (castra) of the Praetorian Guard of Imperial Rome. ...


Legacy of the Guard

Although its name has become synonymous with intrigue, conspiracy, disloyalty and assassination, it could be argued that for the first two centuries of its existence the Praetorian Guard was, on the whole, a positive force in the Roman state. During this time it mostly removed (or allowed the removal of) cruel, weak, and unpopular emperors while generally supporting just, strong, and popular ones. By protecting these monarchs, thus extending their reigns, and also by keeping the disorders of the mobs of Rome and the intrigues of the Senate in line, the Guard helped give the empire a much needed stability that led to the period known as the Pax Romana. Roman Empire at its greatest extent with the conquests of Trajan Pax Romana (27 BCE-180 CE), Latin for the Roman peace, was the long period of relative peace experienced by the Roman Empire. ...


Only after the reign of Marcus Aurelius, when this period is generally considered to have ended, the guard began to deteriorate into the ruthless, mercenary and meddling force for which it has become infamous. However, during the Severan dynasty and afterwards during the Crisis of the Third Century, the legions, the Senate and the emperorship along with the rest of Roman government were falling into decadence as well. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ... The Severan dynasty is a lineage of Roman Emperors, reigning several decades from the late 2nd century to the early 3rd century. ... Emperor Maximinus Thrax, ruled 235-238, was the first of the emperors during the Crisis of the Third Century. ...


Relationships between emperors and their Guard

Emperor Year Relationship with the Guard
Augustus 27 BC - AD 14 Created the Praetorian Guard, commanded their complete loyalty
Tiberius 14 - 37 Allowed Sejanus to gain power as the Guard prefect particularly through allowing him sole (as opposed to joint) control and by allowing him to concentrate the guard in a single camp. He then had him executed and replaced him with Macro
Gaius Caligula 37 - 41 Accession smoothed by popularity with Macro, the Praetorian Prefect he later executed. Murdered by the Guard
Claudius 41 - 54 Proclaimed emperor by the Guard and defended by them when in difficulty e.g. Messalina and Gaius Silius' attempted coup. Began the process of formalised accession donatives on a large scale and his coinage reflects the fact with coin captioned imper.recep i.e. "position of emperor received from" with a picture of the Praetorian camp on.
Nero 54 - 68 Deserted by the Guard[2]
Galba 68 - 69 Murdered by the Guard whose accession donative, promised on his behalf by Tigellinus and Otho, he refused to pay.
Otho 69 Elevated by the Guard who fought ferociously for him at Cremona before he committed suicide
Vitellius 69 Deposed by the Guard then executed
Vespasian 69 - 79 Reduced the size of the Guard after victory in 69[3]
Titus 79 - 81 Served as Praetorian prefect, then as emperor
Domitian 81 - 96 His election was supported by the Guard who remained loyal to him, especially as he increased the army's pay. Killed by his influential palace freedmen.
Nerva 96 - 98 Humiliated by his Guard and forced(?) to adopt Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a military strong man, as colleague and successor
Trajan 98 - 117 Executed the Guard officers who led the rebellion against Nerva.
Hadrian 117 - 138 Founded the Frumentarii
Antoninus Pius 138 - 161
Marcus Aurelius 161 - 180 Made use of the Guard in his war against the Germanian Tribes.
Lucius Verus 161 - 169
Commodus 180 - 192 Bribed the guard and had their loyalty
Pertinax 193 Assassinated by the Guard
Didius Julianus 193 Purchased the Empire from the Guard but was later deserted by them
Septimius Severus 193 - 211 Disbanded the Guard and created a new one from the Danubian Legions
Caracalla 211 - 217 Murdered in a plot by his Prefect, Macrinus
Macrinus 217 - 218
Elagabalus 218 - 222 Murdered in the Castra Praetoria by the Guard
Alexander Severus 222 - 235 Elevated by the Guard
Maximinus Thrax 235 - 238
Gordian I 238
Gordian II 238
Balbinus 238 Murdered by the Guard
Pupienus 238 Murdered by the Guard
Gordian III 238 - 244 Proclaimed emperor by the Guard but killed by his Prefect, Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab 244 - 249
Decius 249 - 251
Herennius Etruscus 251
Hostilian 251
Trebonianus Gallus 251-253
Aemilianus 253
Publius Licinius Valerianus 253-260
Gallienus 260-268
Claudius II 268-270
Quintillus 270
Aurelian 270-275 Murdered by the Guard
Marcus Claudius Tacitus 275-276
Florianus 276
Probus 276 - 282 Murdered by Praetorian troops after a revolt
Carus 282-283
Carinus 283-285
Numerian 283-284
Diocletian 284 - 305 Effectively broke the power of the Praetorians
Maximian 286 - 305, 307 - 308
Galerius 305-311
Constantius Chlorus 305-306
Flavius Valerius Severus 306-307
Maxentius 306-312 Last emperor to command the guard
Constantine I 306-337 Disbanded the Guard and destroyed the Castra Praetoria

For other uses, see Augustus (disambiguation). ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC - 20s BC - 10s BC 0s 10s 20s 30s Years: 32 BC 31 BC 30 BC 29 BC 28 BC 27 BC 26 BC 25 BC 24 BC 23 BC 22... Tiberius Caesar Augustus, born Tiberius Claudius Nero (November 16, 42 BC – March 16 AD 37), was the second Roman Emperor, from the death of Augustus in AD 14 until his own death in 37. ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (August 31, 12 – January 24, 41), most commonly known as Caligula, was the third Roman Emperor and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 37 to 41. ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... For other persons named Claudius, see Claudius (disambiguation). ... Nero[1] Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (December 15, 37 – June 9, 68)[2], born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, also called Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was the fifth and last Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. ... Servius Sulpicius Galba (December 24, 3 BC – January 15, 69) was Roman Emperor from June 8, 68 until his death. ... Emperor Otho. ... Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Civiltà Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24, 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who had... Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (born November 17, 9, died June 23, 79), known originally as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and usually referred to in English as Vespasian, was emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... For other uses, see Titus (disambiguation). ... Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ... Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor of the gens Flavia. ... For other uses, see Nerva (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Roman Emperor. ... Publius Aelius Traianus Hadrianus (January 24, 76 –– July 10, 138), known as Hadrian in English, was emperor of Rome from 117 A.D. to 138 A.D., as well as a Stoic and Epicurean philosopher. ... The Imperial Secret Service. ... Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius (September 19, 86–March 7, 161) was Roman emperor from 138 to 161. ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (April 26, 121[1] – March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death. ... Map of the Roman Empire and the free Germania, Magna Germania, in the early 2nd century For other uses, see Germania (disambiguation). ... Lucius Ceionius Commodus Verus Armeniacus (December 15, 130 – 169), known simply as Lucius Verus, was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius (161–180), from 161 until his death. ... Marcus Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (August 31, 161 – December 31, 192) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192. ... Publius Helvius Pertinax (August 1, 126 - March 28, 193) was Roman emperor for a short period in 193. ... Didius Julianus Marcus Severus Didius Julianus (133–193) was emperor of the Roman Empire from 28 March until 1 June 193. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Caracalla (April 4, 186 – April 8, 217) was Roman Emperor from 211 – 217. ... Macrinus on an aureus. ... Macrinus on an aureus. ... A bust depicting Elagabalus. ... Castra Praetoria are the ancient barracks (castra) of the Praetorian Guard of Imperial Rome. ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexandrus (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ... Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus (c. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus (c. ... Pupienus Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus and Decius Caelius Calvinus Balbinus (both died on July 29, 238) were elected co_emperors by the Roman senate on April 22, 238 after the failure of Gordian I and Gordian II to defeat the usurper Maximinus Thrax. ... Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus, born about 178, was an example of ascension in the Roman hierarchical system due to military success. ... Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (January 20, 225 - February 11, 244), known in English as Gordian III, was Roman Emperor from 238 to 244. ... Marcus Julius Philippus (c. ... Marcus Julius Philippus (c. ... Bust of Traianus Decius. ... Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius (c. ... Hostilian celebrating Securitas, the security of the Roman Empire. ... Trebonianus Gallus on a coin celebrating Aeternitas. ... Aemilianus celebrating peace-maker Mars god of war. ... Publius Licinius Valerianus (Latin: IMPERATOR CAESAR PVBLIVS LICINIVS VALERIANVS · PIVS FELIX · INVICTVS AVGVSTVS)¹ (ca. ... Gallienus depicted on a lead seal Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (218-268) ruled the Roman Empire as co-emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260, and then as the sole Roman Emperor from 260 to 268. ... Claudius Gothicus on a coin celebrating his equity (AEQUITAS AUGUSTI). ... Quintillus picture on a coin. ... Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (September 9, 214–September 275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... Emperor Tacitus on a coin. ... Hercules crowning Florianus. ... This antoninianus minted under Probus (c. ... Marcus Aurelius Carus (c. ... Marcus Aurelius Carinus, Roman emperor, 283 - July, 285, was the elder son of the emperor Carus, on whose accession he was appointed governor of the western portion of the empire. ... Numerian, on a coin as caesar Marcus Aurelius Numerianus (d. ... Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ... Maximian Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius (c. ... Galerius Maximianus (c. ... On the reverse of this argenteus struck in Antioch under Constantius Chlorus, the tetrarcs are sacrificing to celebrate a victory against the Sarmatians. ... Flavius Valerius Severus as caesar. ... Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius ( 278-28 October 312) was Western Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. ... Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[2] (27 February c. ... Castra Praetoria are the ancient barracks (castra) of the Praetorian Guard of Imperial Rome. ...

Organization and conditions of service

Although the Praetorians have similarities, they are unlike any of the regular Legions of the Roman Empire. Their nine cohorts (one less than a legion) were larger, the pay and benefits were better, and its military abilities were reliable. They also received gifts of money called Donativum from the emperors. As conceived by Augustus, the Praetorian cohorts totaled around 9,000 men, recruited from the legions of the regular army or drawn from the most deserving youths in Etruria, Umbria, and Latium (three provinces in central Italy). Over time the pool of recruits expanded to Macedonia, Hispania Baetica, Hispania Tarraconensis, Lusitania and Illyricum. Vitellius formed a new Guard out of the Germanic legions, while Septimus Severus did the same with the Pannonian legions. He also chose replacements for the units' ranks from throughout the Roman Empire. The Roman Legion (from Latin , from lego, legere, legi, lectus — to collect) is a term that can apply both as a transliteration of legio (conscription or army) to the entire Roman army and also, more narrowly (and more commonly), to the heavy infantry that was the basic military unit of... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ... A cohort was a sub-division of the Roman infantry, originally of a Roman legion, consisting of 480 men, itself divided in 6 centurias commanded each by a centurion. ... Donativum (plural, donativa ) was the name given to the gifts of money dispersed to the soldiers of the Legions or to the Praetorian Guard by the Roman emperors. ... The area covered by the Etruscan civilzation. ... Umbria is a region of central Italy, bordered by Tuscany to the west, the Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. ... Latium (Lazio in Italian) is a region of central Italy, bordered by Tuscany, Umbria, Abruzzo, Marche, Molise, Campania and the Tyrrhenian Sea. ... Roman province of Hispania Baetica, 120 CE In Hispania, which in Greek is called Iberia, there were three Imperial Roman provinces, Hispania Baetica in the south, Lusitania, corresponding to modern Portugal, in the west, and Hispania Tarraconensis in the north and northeast. ... Roman Imperial province of Hispania Tarraconensis, 120 AD Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. ... In red is the province of Lusitania within the Roman Empire, 120 AD Lusitania was an ancient Roman province approximately including current Portugal, except for the area between the rivers Douro and Minho (part of Hispania Tarraconensis), and part of modern day western Spain, the present autonomous communities of Extremadura... This article is about an ancient civilization in southeastern Europe; see also Illyria (software), Illyria (character in the TV series Angel). ... Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Civiltà Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24, 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who had... Emperor Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius Severus, (April 11, 146 - February 4, 211) was Roman emperor from April 9, 193 to 211. ... Position of the Roman province of Pannonia Pannonia is an ancient country bounded north and east by the Danube, conterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. ...


Around the time of Augustus (c. 5) each cohort of the Praetorians numbered 1,000 men, increasing to a high-water mark of 1,500 men. As with the normal legions, the body of troops actually ready for service was much smaller. Tacitus reports that the number of cohorts was increased to twelve from nine in 47. In 69 it was briefly increased to sixteen cohorts by Vitellius, but Vespasian quickly reduced it again to nine.[4] Finally in 101 their number was increased once more to ten, resulting in a force of 5,000 troops, whose status was at least elite. For other uses, see Augustus (disambiguation). ... Vitellius, Museo Nazionale della Civiltà Romana, Rome Aulus Vitellius Germanicus (September 24, 15–December 22, 69) was Roman Emperor from April 17 69 to December 22 of the same year, one of the emperors in the Year of the four emperors. He was the son of Lucius Vitellius, who had... Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (born November 17, 9, died June 23, 79), known originally as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and usually referred to in English as Vespasian, was emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ...


The training of guardsmen was more intense than in the legions because of the amount of free time available, when a cohort was not posted or traveling with the emperor. The Guard followed the same lines as those elsewhere. Equipment and armour were also the same with one notable exception — specially decorated breastplates, excellent for parades and state functions. Insignia of the "Moon and Stars" and the "Scorpion" were particularly associated with the Praetorians. Thus, each guardsman possessed two suits of armor, one for Roman duty and one for the field. United States Marines on parade. ... Armor or armour (see spelling differences) is protective clothing intended to defend its wearer from intentional harm in combat and military engagements, typically associated with soldiers. ...

  • The Praetorians received substantially higher pay[5] than other Roman soldiers in any of the legions, on a system known as sesquiplex stipendum, or by pay-and-a-half. So if the legionnaires received 225 denarii, the guards received 375 per annum. Domitian and Septimius Severus increased the stipendum (payment) to 1,500 denarii per year, distributed in January, May and September.

On special occasions they received special donativum from the emperor. First row : c. ... Titus Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as Domitian, was a Roman Emperor of the gens Flavia. ... Lucius Septimius Severus (b. ... Donativum (plural, donativa ) was the name given to the gifts of money dispersed to the soldiers of the Legions or to the Praetorian Guard by the Roman emperors. ...


Upon retiring, a soldier of the Praetorians was granted 20,000 sesterces (5,000 denarii), a gift of land, and a Diplomata reading "to the warrior who bravely and faithfully completed his service." Many chose to enter the Evocati, while others reenlisted in the hopes of gaining further promotion and other possible high positions in the Roman state. The sestertius was an ancient Roman coin. ... Drawing of a Thracian peltast of 400 BC A warrior is a person habitually engaged in warfare. ... Evocati were мужички in the Roman army, who had served out their time and obtained their discharge (missio), but had voluntarily enlisted again at the invitation of the consul or other commander. ...


Imperial Horseguard

From its beginnings, the guard usually included a small cavalry detachment, equites singulares augusti, to escort the emperors to important state functions and on military campaigns. It was comprised chiefly of selected, highly trusted provincials, who wore their native dress and carried their own weapons. Trajan expanded this force, opening it up to citizens and made it a permanent part of the Praetorian establishment. Its size was that of an ala quingenaria or about 512 horsemen in 16 turmae (troops). It was commanded by a Tribune, and so was, in effect a 10th Praetorian cohort. Later, Severus would double its size to an ala milliaria, giving it the same strength as the other nine cohorts.[1]


Rank and file

Ranks of the Praetorian Guard, in ascending order
Milites Regular soldiers
Immunes After five years these soldiers were allowed to serve in the Equites singulares (cavalry branch) or as Speculatores (special agents)
Principales Legionary administrators
Evocati After 16 years of service, retirement was possible but most soldiers chose to stay in this honorary unit.
Centuriones Soldiers transferred to the Praetorian Guard after service in the legions, the Vigiles or the Urban cohort
Tribuni These officers also from the legions and usually of the Equestrian class, commanded a cohort. Centurions could rarely be promoted to the Tribuneship
Procuratores A rank of the Equestrians
Praefectus Available to the Vigiles and urban cohorts; the highest rank in the Praetorian Guard, head of the Praetorian Guard
  • Prefect(s) in command of the Praetorian Guard

See the article Praetorian prefect, which also lists the incumbents of the post of Praefectus praetorio and covers the essentially civilian second life of the office, since ca 300, as administrator of a quarter of the empire), and its Germanic continuation Praetorian prefect (Latin Praefectus praetorio) was the constant title of a high office in the Roman state that changed fundamentally in nature. ...


Modern analogous uses of the term

  • In common language, the phrase "praetorian guard(s)" designates an exclusive, unconditionally loyal group personally attached to powerful people, especially dictators such as Napoleon I's Imperial Guard, Adolf Hitler's SS troops or Romania's former communist leader Ceauşescu's Securitate (secret police).
  • However, the term is also used in unarmed, even private contexts: for example, a corporate officer or politician may have a small group of associates or followers whom a journalist may describe as a "praetorian guard". Such use is often pejorative, meant to indicate that the followers are fanatics or extremists and/or that the leader is tyrannical or paranoid.
  • Praetorianism is used to mean the advocacy or practice of military dictatorship.
  • John Stockwell, a former member of the CIA, used the title The Praetorian Guard for his book about the negative aspects of U.S. foreign policy.
  • In the 1995 Sandra Bullock film The Net, the Praetorians are an Internet terrorist group who infiltrate the government main frames by installing a trojan horse onto the system alongside their Gatekeeper protection software, after letting them believe that the systems can be broken into, and thereby seizing control of all the information sources, being able to change them at their whims.
  • Jeremy Scahill refers to Blackwater USA as the Praetorian Guard of the George W. Bush administration.

For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... The Imperial Guard (French:Garde impériale) was originally a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew considerably over time. ... Hitler redirects here. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop... Nicolae Ceauşescu (IPA , in English, sometimes (and erroneously) ) (January 26, 1918–December 25, 1989) was the leader of Romania from 1965 until December 1989. ... The Securitate (Romanian for Security; official full name Departamentul Securităţii Statului, State Security Department), was the secret police force of Communist Romania. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... A military dictatorship is a form of government wherein the political power resides with the military; it is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military. ... Stockwell John R. Stockwell is a former CIA officer who became a critic of United States government policies after serving in the Agency for thirteen years serving seven tours of duty. ... The Net is a 1995 film directed by Irwin Winkler and starring Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam and Dennis Miller. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Jeremy Scahill is an American investigative journalist and author. ... Blackwater USA is a private military company and security firm. ... The Bush administration includes President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Bushs Cabinet, and other select officials and advisors. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Bingham, pp. 118–122.
  2. ^ Suetonius, Nero 47.1–2; Dio 63.26.2b.
  3. ^ Bingham, p. 122 and n. 13.
  4. ^ Bingham, pp. 121–122.
  5. ^ Roman Economy - Prices in Ancient Rome. ANCIENTCOINS>BIZ. Retrieved on 2007-06-13.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus ( 69/75 - after 130), also known as Suetonius, was a prominent Roman historian and biographer. ... The Twelve Caesars is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. ... Cassius Dio Cocceianus (ca. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 164th day of the year (165th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Bingham, Sandra J. [1997] (1999). The praetorian guard in the political and social life of Julio-Claudian Rome (PDF), Ottawa: National Library of Canada. ISBN 0-612-27106-4. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is the file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

In Film

The Praetorian Guard has appeared in the 2000 film, "Gladiator", pictured as a group of bodyguards for the Emperor. In the film, both General Maximus and Emperor Commodus are betrayed by the Praetorian guard, again referencing the power and the influence the Guard had.


Further reading

Military of ancient Rome Portal

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