Biography of Claudius Aurelianus


Aurelianus, Claudius or Lucius Domitius, Emperor of Rome, born in 212, the son of a peasant. Entered the Roman army, his exploits in which attracted the notice of the emperors Valerian and Claudius, and on the death of the latter in 270, he was proclaimed emperor. His short reign was a series of brilliant victories: the Goths and Vandals were subdued; the Alemanni, who threatened Rome itself, were exterminated; Palmyra was sacked; and in the splendid triumph of Aurelian were led captive Tetricus, the ex-emperor of Gaul, Britain, and Spain, and Zenobia, the renowned Queen of the East. A formidable rebellion at home was crushed with terrible sternness, and the emperor's severity made him feared even by his friends who, as they deemed in pure self-defense, conspired against him and put him to death, 275.