MACRINUS (Marcus Opellius Severus Macrinus)
- Marcus Opellius Severus Macrinus was born in 164 at Caesarea, a harbour town on the coast of Mauretania, North Africa.
- He trained as a lawyer, and was was appointed steward by the powerful Plautianus, commander of the praetorian guard under Septimius Severus.
- By 212 Macrinus himself was praetorian commander and he was serving with Caracalla in the east when the latter was assassinated on 8th April 217.
- Macrinus may have been involved but it was 3 days until he was acclaimed Emperor by the troops, on 11 April 217.
- He had to carry on where Caracalla had left off by dealing with the Parthians. The two forces met near Nisibis in northern Mesopotamia but the battle was inconclusive. To win peace Macrinus agreed to pay the Parthians the enormous sum of 200 million sesterces.
- During the night of 15 May 218 the 'False Antoninus', Varius Avitus, better known as Elagabalus, the 14-year-old grandson of Julia Maesa, the sister of Julia Domna, was smuggled into the camp of the Third Legion 'Gallica' at Raphanaea, near Emesa.
- The soldiers proclaimed him emperor and rose in open rebellion.
- Macrinus tried to strengthen his position by raising his 9-year-old son Diadumenianus to the rank of Augustus, using this as a pretext for distributing money to the troops to win back their favour. This failed to stem the tide of desertions, and he was forced to flee to Antioch.
- On 8 June 218 Macrinus was defeated by rebels outside Antioch, and fled in disguise. He was caught at Chalcedon while waiting to cross the Bosphorus.
- He was executed by a centurion at Archelais in Cappadocia.
- His son, Diadumenianus, was captured at Zeugma on the Syrian frontier (and killed?).