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Postumus

Postumus: founder and emperor of the Gallic Empire (260-269).

Postumus
Postumus
Names:

Main deeds

Succeeded by: Marius

Text from the Historia Augusta

Postumus' triumph
Postumus' triumph
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 page was created in 2005; last modified on 1 January 2015.