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Known forUsurper during the reign of Aurelian

According to the Historia Augusta, Firmus (died 273) was a usurper of Syrian origin during the reign of Aurelian.[1] The contradictory accounts of his life and the man himself are considered to be a complete fabrication, perhaps based on the later Firmus.[2]

Historia Augusta account[edit]

According to the Historia Augusta ("Firmus"), Firmus was a man of great wealth. He had his house fitted with square panels of glass, and owned a huge library. His commercial relationships involved Blemmyes, Saracens, and India. He had two elephant tusks, which later Aurelian projected to use as a basis for a statue to Jupiter and which were actually given as a present by Carinus. Physically, Firmus was noteworthy, being huge and very strong. Firmus was notably also a heavy drinker and could eat quite a bit. The Historia Augusta states that he once consumed an entire ostrich in one day, and even beat one of Aurelian's standard bearers and notorious drinkers in a drinking contest, draining two buckets of wine while remaining completely sober. The importance and threat of Firmus' revolt is related to the interruption of the Egyptian grain supply to Rome.


  1. ^ Blaudeau, Philippe; Nuffelen, Peter (2015-07-01). L'historiographie tardo-antique et la transmission des savoirs (in French). Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. ISBN 978-3-11-040931-4.
  2. ^ Jan den Boeft; Jan Willem Drijvers; Daniël den Hengst; Hans Teitler (coauthor) (3 December 2013). Philological and Historical Commentary on Ammianus Marcellinus XXIX. BRILL. p. 150. ISBN 978-90-04-26787-9.


Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

  • "Firmus", s.v. "Aurelian", De Imperatoribus Romanis site