Aurelian, or Aurelianus, Lucius Domitius Valerius, the son of a peasant at Sirmium in Pannonia, was born about 212 A.D. He possessed great bodily strength and military ability, and serving in the Roman army against the Franks and Goths speedily rose to the rank of consul. In 269 he distinguished himself highly in the great campaign of Claudius II. against the Goths, and was nominated both by the emperor and the legionaries as successor to the throne. He defeated the Gauls again in Pannonia, and repelled the united forces of the Alemanni, Vandals, Marcomanni, and Jugonthi after a great effort on the Metaurus. His next task was to quell the ambitious Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. That city was captured and sacked in 273, and Aurelian then turned to the West, where Tetricus had for some years usurped absolute sovereignty over Gaul, Spain, and Britain. Vararanes, the King of Persia, now rebelled, and the emperor was on his way to attack him when he was assassinated by his own officers, whom his severity had long since alienated, at Coenophrurium in Thrace in 275. Aurelian at first left the Christians undisturbed, but before his death he issued an edict which led to the ninth persecution of the Church.