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Roman Empire

Ruler: Numerian as Caesar
Reigned: Caesar 282-283 AD: Augustus 283-284 AD
Denomination: AE Antoninianus/Aurelianus
Mint: Lugdunum
Date of Issue: 283 AD
Obverse: Radiate and cuirassed bust right. "IMP. C. NVMERIANVS AVG."
Reverse: Mars walking right, holding trophy & spear. "MARS VICTOR"
Mint marks:
Reference: RIC V.2 388
Weight: 3.6 gms
Diameter: 21.6 mm

NUMERIAN (Marcus Aurelius Numerianus)

  • Numerian was born around 253 at a place unknown and was the younger son of Carus.
  • He was made Caesar on his father's accession in late 282. He was to rule the east with his father, while his elder brother, Carinus, ruled the west.
  • In the spring of 283 Carus and Numerian fought successfully against Sarmatians and Quadi on the Danube.
  • They then set out for a war on Persia. They advanced through Mesopotamia, capturing Ctesiphon, the Persian capital.
  • On the banks of the Tigris, in his tent, Carus was killed by a bolt of lightning, allegedly.
  • Numerian spent the winter of 283 in Syria, and the following year travelled across Asia Minor towards the Bosphorus.
  • Numerian was murdered in the litter he was being transported in, allegedly by his father-in-law, and praetorian commander, Lucius Flavius Aper. The murder went undetected until the smell of Numerian's decaying body, revealed the crime, at Nicomedia, in November 284.
  • Diocletian, commander of the bodyguard, was proclaimed emperor in place of Numerian, later conveniently doing away with Aper.

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