39 Facts About Aurelian


Aurelian would go on to lead the cavalry of the emperor Gallienus, until Gallienus' assassination in 268.

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Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273.

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Aurelian was responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, the abandonment of the province of Dacia, and monetary reform, trying to curb the devaluation of the Roman currency.

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Aurelian's successes were instrumental in ending the crisis, earning him the title.

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Aurelian was an Illyrian like several other emperors of the late 3rd century all of whom shared a common military background.

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Aurelian married the daughter of Aurelius from whom Aurelian received his name via his mother.

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Aurelian's suggestion has not been taken up by other academic authorities.

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Aurelian used his force of 2, 500 auxiliaries, and the armies of four Germanic chieftains to defeat the Goths in battle.

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Aurelian used the resources gained from the battles to enrich the provinces.

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One source says Aurelian, who was present at the siege, participated and supported general Claudius for the purple—which is plausible.

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Aurelian was married to Ulpia Severina, about whom little is known.

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Aurelian intercepted the Goths with his Dalmatian cavalry and defeated them in a series of minor skirmishes, killing as many as three thousand of the enemy.

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Aurelian continued to harass the enemy, driving them northward into Upper Moesia where emperor Claudius had assembled his main army.

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Aurelian, sensing his enemies' desperation, attacked them with the full force of his cavalry, killing many and driving the remainder westward into Thrace.

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Aurelian used his cavalry to great effect, breaking the Goths into smaller groups which were easier to handle.

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Aurelian defeated Quintillus' troops, and was recognized as emperor by the Senate after Quintillus' death.

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The claim that Aurelian was chosen by Claudius on his death bed can be dismissed as propaganda; later, probably in 272, Aurelian put his own dies imperii at the day of Claudius' death, thus implicitly considering Quintillus a usurper.

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Late in 270, Aurelian campaigned in northern Italia against the Vandals, Juthungi, and Sarmatians, expelling them from Roman territory.

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Aurelian, being an experienced commander, was aware of the importance of the army, and his propaganda, known through his coinage, shows he wanted the support of the legions.

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Aurelian, who was in Pannonia to control the Vandals' withdrawal, quickly entered Italia, but his army was defeated in an ambush near Placentia.

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However, the menace of the Germanic people and a Germanic invasion was still perceived by the Romans as likely, therefore Aurelian resolved to build a new system of walls around Rome that became known as the Aurelian Walls.

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In 272, Aurelian turned his attention to the lost eastern provinces of the empire, the Palmyrene Empire, ruled by Queen Zenobia from the city of Palmyra.

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Aurelian won this campaign largely through diplomacy; the "Gallic Emperor" Tetricus was willing to abandon his throne and allow Gaul and Britain to return to the Empire, but could not openly submit to Aurelian.

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Aurelian returned to Rome and won his last honorific from the Senate –.

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In four years, Aurelian had secured the frontiers of the Empire and reunified it.

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Aurelian was a reformer, and settled many important functions of the imperial apparatus, dealing with the economy and religion.

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Aurelian restored many public buildings, reorganized the management of the food reserves, set fixed prices for the most important goods, and prosecuted misconduct by the public officers.

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Aurelian strengthened the position of the Sun god Sol Invictus as the main divinity of the Roman pantheon.

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Aurelian's intention was to give to all the peoples of the Empire, civilian or soldiers, easterners or westerners, a single god they could believe in without betraying their own gods.

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Aurelian appears with the title deus et dominus natus on some of his coins, a style later adopted by Diocletian.

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Lactantius argued that Aurelian would have outlawed all the other gods if he had had enough time.

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Aurelian was recorded by Christian historians as having organized persecutions.

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Aurelian wanted to eliminate this, and put Felicissimus on trial.

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Aurelian ordered the cohortes urbanae, reinforced by some regular troops of the imperial army, to attack the rebelling mob: the resulting battle, fought on the Caelian hill, marked the end of the revolt, even if at a high price (some sources give the figure, probably exaggerated, of 7, 000 casualties).

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Aurelian is usually credited with changing or completing the change of the food distribution system from grain or flour to bread, and adding olive oil, salt, and pork to the products distributed to the populace.

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Aurelian is credited with increasing the size of the loaves of bread without increasing their price – a measure that was undoubtedly popular with the Romans who were not receiving free bread and other products through the dole.

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Deaths of the Sassanid Kings Shapur I and Hormizd I (273) in quick succession, and the rise to power of a weakened ruler (Bahram I), presented an opportunity to attack the Sassanid Empire, and in 275 Aurelian set out for another campaign against the Sassanids.

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However, Aurelian never reached Persia, as he was murdered while waiting in Thrace to cross into Asia Minor.

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Aurelian's death prevented a full restoration of political stability and a lasting dynasty that could end the cycle of assassination of emperors and civil war that marked this period.

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