History, Facts and Information about Pertinax
The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about the Emperor Pertinax and the all-powerful Caesars who ruled the empire of Ancient Rome. The word "Caesar" was originally the name of the famous aristocratic patrician family of ancient Rome and became synonymous with the Roman Emperors. Refer to the comprehensive List of Roman Emperors for the names of the most famous Romans, their dynasties and the historic eras of all the Roman Emperors and usurpers. Read about the life of Pertinax who can be described, or remembered, as:
"The Emperor who enjoyed the simple life but was murdered by the Praetorian guard"
Short Biography about the life of Pertinax
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of Pertinax, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.
- Name commonly known as: Pertinax
- Latin Roman Name: Publius Helvius Pertinax
- Reigned as Roman Emperor / Caesar: 31 December 192 - 28 March 193
- Dynasty / Historical Period: The Year of the Five Emperors (192 - 193)
- Place and Date of Birth: Pertinax was born 1 August 126 at Alba
- Name of previous Emperor: His predecessor or the Emperor before Pertinax was Commodus
- Family connections / Genealogy
- Father Helvius Successus
- Married: Flavia Titiana
- Place and Date of Death: Pertinax died 28 March 193 (aged 66) in Rome
- Name of next Emperor: The successor to Pertinax was Didius Julianus
Interesting facts about the life of Pertinax
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor Pertinax from the following facts and information about his life. Pertinax was an aging senator of consular rank and now Prefect of the city of Rome. He was approached by the conspirators who were responsible the murder of Commodus to take over as Emperor. Pertinax was one of the few friends and ministers of Marcus Aurelius who had survived, and, having filled many important offices, had always been distinguished for firmness, prudence and integrity. The rumor was spread that Commodus had died of apoplexy, and that Pertinax had succeeded him; but the Praetorian Guards were dissatisfied at his election. The Senate, however, confirmed the choice of the conspirators and Pertinax but reigned with limited authority. His manners were simple, his mode of life frugal and he sought to revive the pleasing simplicity of the early Republic. Pertinax administered justice with strictness, released those who had been left in prison by Commodus, reformed the finances and introduced economy, re-dividing the uncultivated lands among those who would farm them, removed oppressive restrictions upon trade and earned the respect of some of his subjects.
The Death of Pertinax
However, the Praetorians were never reconciled to his rule, and on the 28th of March, A.D. 193, eighty-six days after his election, they broke into the imperial palace, and struck down the emperor with innumerable blows. His head was separated from his body, and, being placed upon a lance, was carried in triumph to the Praetorian camp. A wealthy senator called Didius Julianus paid to become the next emperor.
Dynasties of Roman Emperors - Year of the Five Emperors (192 - 193)
The Year of the Five Emperors (192 - 193). Following the murder of Commodus Rome saw a year of turmoil and chaos in Rome. Pertinax becomes emperor but is murdered by angry soldiers. The empire is then sold to Didius Julianus who is soon ousted and Pescennius Niger is proclaimed emperor in Syria. Septimius Severus then marches on Rome and disarms the Praetorian Guard which resulted in Claudius Albinus being recognized as Caesar. He loses the power struggle with Septimius Severus who is proclaimed Emperor and begins the Severan Dynasty.
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Map of the Roman Empire c395AD illustrating the power of the Emperor