of Lyons, suffers martyrdom. See " PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS IN GAUL,” iii, 246.

180. Death of Marcus Aurelius; his son, Commodus, succeeds him on the Roman throne. See“ BEGINNING OF ROME'S DECLINE: COMMODUS," iii, 263.

183. Lucilla, the sister of Commodus, having conspired against her brother, is exiled from Rome; Commodus vents his rage on the senators.

184. The Caledonians break through the wall on the northern borders of Britain ; they are driven back by Ulpius Marcellus.

185. Marcia, the favorite of Commodus, protects the Christians. Birth of Origen, one of the early Church fathers, at Alexandria.

186. Many prominent Roman citizens are put to death, by order of Commodus.

187. Commodus degrades himself by acting as a gladiator and slaying wild beasts in the Circus at Rome. See “ BEGINNING OF ROME'S DECLINE: COMMODUS,” iii, 263.

188. Lightning strikes the Capitol at Rome; the library and many adjacent buildings are burned.

189. Revolt of Maternus in Spain and Gaul subdued by Pescennius Niger.

Famine and pestilence in Rome; popular commotions; the guards are overcome and Commodus is driven to Lanuvium ; the populace is appeased by the sacrifice of Cleander. See“ BEGINNING OF Rome's DeCLINE: COMMODUS,” iii, 263.

191. Great fire at Rome; the temples of Vesta and of Peace are burned ; many valuable libraries destroyed, in which some works of Galen's are lost.

192. Murder of Commodus.

193. Pertinax elected emperor by the Roman senate ; he is later assassinated by the prætorians. The Imperial dignity is purchased by Didius Julianus; he is slain the same year. Albinus in Britain, Niger in Syria, and Septimus Severus in Pannonia are proclaimed emperors by their respective legions. Fall of Didius Julianus and accession of Seve


194. In the East, Severus triumphs over his rival, Niger. Byzantium resists Severus.

196. Byzantium falls before Severus.
197. Albinus in Gaul is crushed by Severus.

198. Septimus Severus proceeds against the Parthians; he besieges and captures Ctesiphon.

208. Successful campaign of Severus against the Caledonians in Britain and Caledonia.

211. Death of Septimus Severus at York; his sons Caracalla and Geta succeed him.

212. Caracalla slays his brother Geta. 213. Caracalla, universally detested for his cruelties, goes into Gaul and assumes the surname of Germanicus. He leads the first attack of the Romans against the Alemanni.

215. Having proceeded through Dacia, Thrace, and Antioch to Alexandria, Caracalla orders a massacre of the Egyptians.

216. By a delusive offer of marriage with the daughter of Artabanus, Caracalla decoys the Parthians into his camp, where he treacherously attacks and slays a great number of them.

217. Caracalla is assassinated ; Macrinus is proclaimed emperor; he purchases peace with the Parthians. Julia Domna, the mother of Caracalla and Geta, being banished to Antioch, starves herself to death.

218. Macrinus is overthrown by Elagabalus, who succeeds him as emperor of Rome. This was accomplished by Mesa, sister of Julia Domna, bribing a portion of the army to espouse the cause of her grandson Elagabalus.

219. Elagabalus arrives at Rome; he brings with him his Syrian idol, which he places in a stately temple.

220. The highest offices of the State are filled by Elagabalus with his vilest associates.

222. Alexander Severus (Alexianus) succeeds Elagabalus, who is slain by the prætorians; his mother, Soæmias, is killed with him.

223. All persecution of the Christians ceases in Rome.

Alexander Severus guided by his mother, Marnæa, who is created augusta.

224. The Persians, under Ardashir (known by the Greeks as Artaxerxes), revolt against the Parthians.

225. Marriage of Alexander Severus to Sulpitia Memmia.

226. Ardashir overthrows the Parthian kingdom ; he founds the new Persian kingdom of the Sassanidæ.

228. Ulpian, prætorian prefect, endeavors to restrain the licentiousness of the guards; a mutiny ensues and he is put to death.

229. Dion Cassius having, as governor of Dalmatia and Pannonia, offended the army by his strictness, the Emperor testifies his approbation by making him his colleague in the consulship.

230. Artaxerxes, now at the head of a powerful empire and great army, lays claim to all the former territories of Persia.

231. Alexander Severus, at Antioch, prepares to resist the Persian demands by arms.

232. After a campaign in Mesopotamia without decisive results, but in which the Romans claim the victory, Alexander returns to Antioch.

233. Close of the Persian war.

234. Alexander musters his forces in Gaul to repel the German tribes that had invaded the province.

235. Alexander Severus and his mother, Mamæa, are murdered in a mutiny of the army, near Mainz (or Mentz).

Maximin is proclaimed emperor.

Ambrosius assists the labors of Origen by paying clerks to copy for him.

236. Maximin defeats the Germans and drives them across the Rhine.

237. Maximin proceeds to Sirmium, with the design of attacking the Sarmatians. His ferocious tyranny excites universal horror.

338. A rebellion against Maximin in Africa ; Gordian, the proconsul, and his son are proclaimed emperors; they are overthrown by Capelianus and slain. Maximus and Balbinus are elected by the senate as joint emperors ; they are murdered by the prætorians. On his march to Rome, Maximin is assassinated by his soldiers ; his son is also slain. The Third Gordian is associated with Maximus and Capelianus in the empire. The two latter are slain, and Gordian becomes ruler of the Roman domain.

239. The young emperor of Rome, at first deceived by the eunuchs of the palace, is extricated from their pernicious influence by Misitheus.

240. Various tribes of Germany confederate under the name of Franks. This is the first time they are mentioned in history.

241. Victorious advance of Sapor I against the Roman dominions. See “ EVENTFUL REIGN OF SAPOR I, KING OF PERSIA,” iii, 277.

242. The Persians are defeated by Gordian ; Misitheus, his general, recovers Mesopotamia. Plotinus accompanies the Roman army, in the hope of reaching India.

244. Gordian, aged nineteen, is murdered, near Circesium (Carchemish); a lofty mound is there raised to his memory.

Philip the Arabian becomes emperor of Rome; he makes peace with Sapor.

249. The Roman legions revolt in several provinces; some proclaim Jotapianus, and others Marinus, both of whom are killed by their own men. Decius, who is sent to appease the mutineers, is compelled by them to assume the purple and lead them into Italy. Battle of Verona. Philip is defeated and slain, and his son murdered at Rome. Decius is emperor.

250. Decius orders the persecution of the Christians.

The Goths cross the Danube, enter the Roman dominions as far as Thrace, and capture Philippopolis.

251. Victory of the Goths; Decius, at the head of the Romans, is defeated and slain. Gallus ascends the throne.

253. Barbarians invade Mæsia and Pannonia; they are defeated by Æmilianus, who is hailed as emperor by his army; he marches against Gallus, who, with his son, is assassinated by his soldiers. On the approach of Valerian, at the head of the Gallic legions, Æmilianus is slain, near Spoleto. Valerian becomes emperor.

254. Franks invade the northern provinces of Gaul.
An eruption of Mount Ætna.
Persecution of the Christians recommences.

256. The Roman Empire is assailed on all sides. The Franks pass through Gaul and sack Tarraco in Spain; the Alemanni attack Italy; the Sarmatians and Quadi force their way into Pannonia ; Macedon and Greece are ravaged by the Goths; Persians invade Syria and Mesopotamia.

Cyprian, one of the early fathers of the Church, assembles another council at Carthage, which provokes angry disputes.

258. Valerian goes into the East against the Persians. The invaders of Gaul are checked by Postumus. The Goths capture Trebizond.

260. Roman war with Persia; defeat and capture of Valerian by Sa. por. Outbreaks continue throughout the provinces. Gallienus ascends the throne.

261. Manes originates the Manichæan heresy, which taught among other things that there were two souls or spirits in man, one good and the other evil; also that the soul at death went first to the moon and then to the sun, and thence to God.

267. Various Gothic bands, called by some Scythians, ravage Greece and Asia. One section is driven out of Asia by Odenathus; later he is assassinated by his nephew, Mæonius. His widow, Zenobia, avenges his death and fills with glory his vacant throne of Palmyra.

268. Murder of the emperor Gallienus; accession of Claudius II. 269. Claudius signally defeats the Goths at Naissus, Mesia. Zenobia rules in Egypt in the name of Claudius.

270. The Goths are again defeated by Claudius; shortly after, he dies of the plague at Sirmium. His brother assumes the purple, but dies by his own hand seventeen days later. Aurelian is universally acknowledged as emperor; he makes peace with the Goths, and relinquishes Dacia to them, transferring that name to another province south of the Danube.

271. The Alemanni who had invaded Italy are overwhelmed by Aurelian.

272. Aurelian attacks Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra; he captures Tyana, Emeas, and Antioch.

273. Palmyra surrenders to Aurelian, and Queen Zenobia is inade prisoner.

274. Aurelian, having reunited the Roman Empire, celebrates a splendid triumph at Rome. Queen Zenobia is treated generously and passes her life in peace and affluence.

275. On his march to attack Persia, Aurelian is assassinated; Tacitus is elected by the senate.

276. Aurelian's murderers are punished by Tacitus; he dies while leading an expedition against the Goths, who had invaded Asia. Florian, his brother, succeeds him; he is slain. Probus is proclaimed emperor by the army; the senate confirms it.

277. Probus drives out the Franks, Burgundians, and other German tribes that had overrun Gaul. A number of his prisoners, removed to Pontus, seize a fleet in the Euxine, escape through the Bosporus, plunder many cities on the shores of the Mediterranean, and reach Germany again.

278. Probus repairs the fortified line from the Rhine to the Danube, expels the Goths from Thrace, represses the Isaurian robbers, and arrives in Syria, where he arranges terms of peace with Persia.

282. Probus, successful since 276 against the enemies of Rome, is killed in a mutiny of the army at Sirmium.

Accession of Carus; he gives the title of cæsar to each of his two sons, Carinus and Numerianus.

283. Carus wages a successful campaign against Persia; he dies mysteriously in his tent, near Ctesiphon, during a violent storm. Carinus and Numerianus become joint emperors of Rome.

284. Murder of Numerianus; Diocletian proclaimed emperor.
285. Carinus is murdered.
286. Maximian made Imperial colleague of Diocletian.
287. The Bagauds revolt in Gaul.

288. Carausius, in command of the Roman fleet at Gessoriacum, revolts and establishes an independent sovereignty in Britain.

292. Constantius Chlorus and Galerius are appointed cæsars by Diocletian and Maximian; the Roman Empire is divided among the four.

293. Carausius is treacherously murdered by Allectus, who assumes the government of Britain.

296. Athanasius, the “Father of Orthodoxy,” born.*

297. Achillius having revolted in Egypt, Diocletian in person suppresses the insurrection; Alexandria is captured and the inhabitants slaughtered.

298. Rome makes a victorious peace with Persia; extension of the Roman Empire.

300. From this date paganism declines. See“ CONVERSION OF CONSTANTINE,” jii, 289.

303. Diocletian persecutes the Christians; the fiercest and most systematic persecution which they had yet suffered.

304. Severe illness of Diocletian, imputed to his long journey in the winter, but attributable rather to his vexation at the disorders caused by his change of policy toward the Christians, and io his finding it impossible to extirpate their religion. See“ CONVERSION OF CONSTANTINE," iii, 289.

305. The dilemma in which Diocletian is placed by the rash counsels of Galerius determines him to abdicate. He resigns the purple at Nicomedia, and persuades Maximian to follow his example on the same day at Milan. Constantius and Galerius take the title of augustus, and that of cæsar is given to Severus and Maximian.

306. Death of Constantius Chlorus; Constantine the Great, his son, is made cæsar; Severus becomes augustus; Maxentius, son of Maximian, assumes the purple. Maximian resumes the rank of augustus. Civil war begins between Constantine and his rivals. The Salian Franks are defeated by Constantine.

307. Licinius is made augustus on the fall of Severus.

308. There are five emperors actually ruling in the Roman Empire, with Maximian, as a sixth, holding nominal power in the court of his son-in-law, Constantine.

* Date uncertain.

« ForrigeFortsett »