- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology»
- Ancient History
Roman Emperor - Aurelian
215 AD - 275 AD
Aurelian, full name Lucius Domitius Aurelianus (AD 214-75), Roman Emperor, 270-75, born of humble parents at Sirmium in Pannonia.
He was a common soldier who attained high military office under the Roman emperors Valerian and Claudius II. After a distinguished military career he was proclaimed by the army as successor to Claudius II.
Aurelian's vigorous military rule reunited the empire, which appeared to be breaking up when he first came to power. Aurelian stamped his coins with the words Restorer of the World.
The Aurelian Wall, a fortification surrounding Rome, was built by Aurelian in 271. It was made of concrete, and substantial ruins exist.
He won major victories over Zenobia, queen of Palmyra in Syria, defeating her in two battles and besieged her in Palmyra. Aurelian took the Queen prisnoer and razed the city.
He restored discipline to the army and advanced the general welfare and unity of the empire.
Having secured the Danube and Rhine by driving the Goths from Moesia and by defeating the Alemanni and other German tribes, Aurelian completed his reunification of the empire by crushing two pretenders to the throne, Firmus in Egypt and Tetricus in Gaul.
Next, in 271, he went East to quell the revolt of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, and three years later celebrated a magnificent triumph at Rome. He staged a parade in Rome, displaying captured barbarians and rulers.
Late in 274 Aurelian set out on an expedition against the Parthians, but was murdered in Thrace by some of his own officers, at the instigation of a dishonest secretary.
The Aurelian Wall was a fortified wall surrounding ancient Rome, begun by the Emperor Aurelian in AD 271 and completed by Marcus Aurelius Probus in 280. Its circuit of about 20 km can still be traced, and much is in an excellent state of preservation.
The wall had an average height of 15-20 meters and a width of about 4 meters. It was constructed of concrete, with brick facing, and had square towers at intervals of 14 meters, and 14 gates.