Thirty Tyrants (Roman)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Thirty Tyrants (Latin: Tyranni Triginta) were a series of thirty rulers who appear in the Historia Augusta as having ostensibly been pretenders to the throne of the Roman Empire during the reign of the emperor Gallienus.

Given the notorious unreliability of the Historia Augusta, the veracity of this list is debatable; there is a scholarly consensus that the author deliberately inflated the number of pretenders in order to parallel the Thirty Tyrants of Athens.

The Historia actually gives 32 names; however, because the author (who wrote under the name of Trebellius Pollio) places the last two during the reigns of Maximinus Thrax and Claudius II respectively, this leaves thirty alleged pretenders during the reign of Gallienus.

The following list gives the Thirty Tyrants as depicted by the Historia Augusta, along with notes contrasting the Historia Augusta's claims with their actual historical positions:

Chapter in
Historia Augusta
Name Notes about historicity
2 Cyriades never claimed Imperial dignity
3 Postumus accurate placement
4 Postumus Junior youth; probably never existed[1]
5 Laelianus accurate placement
6 Victorinus contemporary not with Gallienus but Claudius II and Aurelian
7 Victorinus Junior youth, contemporary not with Gallienus but Claudius II and Aurelian
8 Marius accurate placement
9 Ingenuus accurate placement
10 Regalianus accurate placement
11 Aureolus accurate placement
12 Macrianus accurate placement
13 Macrianus Junior accurate placement
14 Quietus accurate placement
15 Odaenathus never claimed Imperial dignity
16 Herodes youth, never claimed Imperial dignity
17 Maeonius never claimed Imperial dignity
18 Balista never claimed Imperial dignity
19 Valens probably never claimed Imperial dignity
20 Valens Superior contemporary of Decius, not Valerianus
21 Piso probably never claimed Imperial dignity
22 Aemilianus probably never claimed Imperial dignity
23 Saturninus probably fictitious
24 Tetricus Senior contemporary not with Gallienus but Claudius II and Aurelian
25 Tetricus Junior youth, contemporary not with Gallienus but Claudius II and Aurelian
26 Trebellianus probably fictitious
27 Herennianus youth, never claimed Imperial dignity, possibly fictitious
28 Timolaus youth, never claimed Imperial dignity, possibly fictitious
29 Celsus probably fictitious
30 Zenobia female, never claimed Imperial dignity,
31 Victoria (or Vitruvia) female, never claimed Imperial dignity,
32 Titus admittedly not contemporary with Gallienus but Maximinus Thrax
33 Censorinus. admittedly not contemporary with Gallienus but Claudius II

Notwithstanding the author's pretensions regarding the time during which these persons aspired to the throne, this list includes:

  • two women and six youths who never claimed imperial dignity
  • seven men who either certainly or probably never claimed imperial dignity
  • three probably and two possibly fictitious persons
  • two pretenders admittedly not contemporary with Gallienus
  • three pretenders not contemporary with Gallienus

Leaving nine pretenders roughly contemporary with Gallienus. According to David Magie (the editor of the Loeb Classical Library edition of the Historia Augusta), at least some of these men issued coins.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J. F. Drinkwater (1987). The Gallic Empire: Separatism and continuity in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire, A.D. 260–274, Franz Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden GMBH, Stuttgart, ISBN 3-515-04806-5, p. 65.

External links[edit]