|49th Emperor of the Roman Empire|
Bust of Carinus.
|Reign||282–284 (as Caesar of the west under his father);
284–285 (in competition with Diocletian)
|Full name||Marcus Aurelius Carinus (from birth to elevation to Caesar);
Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carinus (as Caesar);
Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carinus Augustus (as emperor)
|Place of death||River Margus|
|Predecessor||Carus / Numerian|
Carinus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Carinus Augustus; died 285) was Roman Emperor from 282 to 285. The elder son of emperor Carus, he was appointed Caesar and co-emperor of the western portion of the empire upon his father's accession. Official accounts of his character and career have been filtered through the propaganda of his successful opponent, Diocletian.
He fought with success against the Germanic Quadi tribes, but soon left the defence of the Upper Rhine to his legates and returned to Rome, where the surviving accounts, which demonize him, assert that he abandoned himself to all kinds of debauchery and excess. More certainly, he celebrated the annual ludi Romani on a scale of unexampled magnificence.
After the death of Carus, the army in the east demanded to return to Europe, and Numerian, the younger son of Carus, was forced to comply. During a halt at Chalcedon, Numerian was found dead. Diocletian, commander of the body-guards, claimed that Numerian had been assassinated, and he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers.
Death in 285 
Carinus was successful in several engagements. At the Battle of the Margus River (Morava), according to one account, the valour of his troops had gained the day, but Carinus was assassinated by a tribune whose wife he had seduced. Another account represents the battle as resulting in a complete victory for Diocletian, and Carinus' army deserted him. This account is confirmed by the fact that Diocletian kept in service Carinus' Praetorian Guard commander, Titus Claudius Aurelius Aristobulus.
Carinus has the reputation as one of the worst Roman emperors. This infamy may have been supported by Diocletian himself. For example, (the unreliable) Historia Augusta has Carinus marrying nine wives, while neglecting to mention his only real wife, Magnia Urbica, by whom he had a son, Marcus Aurelius Nigrinianus.
Primary Sources 
- Anonymous, Epitome de Caesaribus
- Aurelius Victor
- Eutropius, Breviarium ab urbe condita
- Historia Augusta, Life of Carus, Carinus and Numerian
- Joannes Zonaras, Compendium of History extract: Zonaras: Alexander Severus to Diocletian: 222–284
Secondary Sources 
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- In Classical Latin, Carinus' name would be inscribed as MARCVS AVRELIVS CARINVS AVGVSTVS.
- Leadbetter, William. Carinus (283–285 A.D.).
- Spence, H. Donald M. (2003). Early Christianity and Paganism. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 391–392. ISBN 0-7661-3068-1.
- Southern, Pat (2001). The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. New York: Routledge. p. 133. ISBN 0-415-23944-3.
- Pohlsander, Hans A. (1996). Constantine. Routledge. p. 6. ISBN 0-415-31938-2.
- Varner, Eric R. (2004). Mutilation and Transformation : Damnatio Memoriae and Roman Imperial Portraiture. Brill Academic Publishers. p. 212. ISBN 90-04-13577-4.
Served alongside: Numerian
|Consul of the Roman Empire
Titus Claudius Aurelius Aristobulus
Marcus Junius Maximus,