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Postumus


Gold coin of Postumus. Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Gold coin of Postumus (Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn)
Postumus: founder and emperor of the Gallic Empire (260-269).

Names:

  • full name and date of birth unknown 
  • Autumn 260: Imperator Caesar Marcus Cassianus Latinius Postumus Augustus 
  • March 269: lynched by soldiers

Main deeds:

  • Praeses of Germania Inferior during the reign of Gallienus
  • 260 Consul (with Honoratianus); defeats the Franks near Empel; proclaimed emperor, takes Cologne
  • 261 Consul II; accepts the title Germanicus maximus; recognized in Gaul, Britain, Spain
  • 262 Consul III
  • 262-263 Invasion of Germania
  • 265 War against Gallienus, who is repelled
  • 266 or 267: Consul IV (with Victorinus)
  • 268 Consul V; debasement of coinage; receives support from Aureolus in Milan
  • 269 insurrection of Laelianus; Postumus suppreses the rebellion but is murdered after the capture of Mainz
Succeeded by: Marius

Links:

  • A full account of Postumus' reign can be found on the webpage dedicated to the Gallic Empire
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Coin showing Postumus' triumph. Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Coin showing Postumus'  triumph (Rheinisches  Landesmuseum, Bonn)

Text from the Historia Augusta (largely fictitious):

This man, most valiant in war and most steadfast in peace, was so highly respected for his whole manner of life that he was even entrusted by Gallienus with the care of his son Saloninus (whom he had placed in command of Gaul) as the guardian of his life and conduct and his instructor in the duties of a ruler. Nevertheless, as some writers assert -though it does not accord with his character- he afterwards broke faith and after slaying Saloninus seized the imperial power. As others, however, have related with greater truth, the Gauls themselves, hating Gallienus most bitterly and being unwilling to endure a boy as their emperor, hailed as their ruler the man who was holding the rule in trust for another, and despatching soldiers they slew the boy. 

When he was slain, Postumus was gladly accepted by the entire army and by all the Gauls, and for seven years he performed such exploits that he completely restored the provinces of Gaul, while Gallienus spent his time in debauchery and taverns and grew weak in loving a barbarian woman. Gallienus, however, was warring against him at that time when he himself was wounded by an arrow. Great, indeed, was the love felt for Postumus in the hearts of all the people of Gaul because he had thrust back all the Germanic tribes and had restored the Roman Empire to its former security. But when he began to conduct himself with the greatest sternness, the Gauls, following their custom of always desiring a change of government, at the instigation of Laelianus put him to death.


This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
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