about the life of Pescennius Niger
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of
Pescennius Niger, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.
Name commonly known as: Pescennius Niger *** Latin Roman Name: Gaius
Pescennius Niger Justus *** Reigned as Roman Emperor /
Caesar: 193 - 194 (A usurper) *** Dynasty / Historical Period:
The Year of the Five Emperors (192 - 193) *** Place and Date of Birth:
Pescennius Niger was born c.
140 in Aquinum *** Name of previous Emperor: The
previous emperor before Pescennius Niger was
Family connections / Genealogy
*** Name of Father: Annius Fuscus *** Name of Mother: Lampridia
Place and Date of Death:
Pescennius Niger died 194 in Antioch ***
Name of next Emperor:
The successor to Pescennius Niger was
was also in competition for
the throne, yet another usurper in the Year of the Five Emperors
about the life of Pescennius Niger
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor
Pescennius Niger from the following facts and information about his life.
The armies in the provinces rose in revolt when they
received news that Didius Julianus had won the auction for
the role of emperor and refused to acknowledge his authority
as the new ruler of Rome. Claudius Albinus commanded the
legions in Britain, Septimius Severus those in Pannonia, and
Pescennius Niger the army of the East - all three men wanted
the throne. Niger was tall, in appearance attractive; and
his hair grew back in a graceful way toward the crown of his
head. His voice was so penetrating that when he spoke in the
open he could be heard a thousand paces away. Pescennius Niger
was proclaimed emperor in
Syria. However, Septimius Severus was acknowledged as the
lawful emperor by the Senate in June 2, A.D. 193. Severus
marched against Pescennius Niger across the Bosporus and in
194 won a battle against the forces of Pescennius Niger near
Cyzicus. Pescennius Niger hurried to the scene but was
defeated near Nicaea, with the result that most of the
cities of the Province of Asia came into the hands of
Severus. Niger escaped with his life and fled to Antioch.
The possession of this city was decided by a battle fought
south of Issus in which Pescennius Niger was defeated. He
tried to escape but was overtaken by enemy troops and was
killed towards the end of 194. He was decapitated and his
severed head was exhibited by order of Septimius Severus
before the besieged city of Byzantium. His wife and children
were also put to death.
Was Pescennius Niger a Black Roman Emperor?
Was Pescennius Niger a Black Roman Emperor? An
interesting question but unfortunately there is no
definitive answer. There was a prophesy that a "black man"
would seize the throne and meet his end by violence.
Pescennius Niger is described as a "black man" in some
translations of Roman history. The name "Niger" means
"black", contrasting him with one of his rivals for the
Roman throne, Claudius Albinus, whose name means "white".
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
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