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Laelian on an aureus. Caption: IMP. C. LAELIANVS P. F. AVG.
Gallic usurper
Reignapproximately late February to early June 269 (against Postumus)
SuccessorMarcus Aurelius Marius
Ulpius Cornelius Laelianus

Laelian (/lliən/; Latin: Ulpius Cornelius Laelianus),[1] also incorrectly referred to as Lollianus and Aelianus,[2] was a usurper against Postumus, the emperor of the Gallic Empire. His revolt lasted from approximately late February to early June 269.[2]


Little is known about Laelian. He shares the same nomen as a prominent Hispano-Roman family, the Ulpii, that included Trajan among its members, and may have been a relative.[2] This is supported by the strong allusion to Hispania on an aureus he struck, which featured the design of Hispania reclining with a rabbit to her side. If he indeed was a relative, this may be the reason Hispania allied itself with Claudius II, after the death of Laelian, seemingly without a struggle.[citation needed]


Laelian declared himself emperor at Moguntiacum (modern-day Mainz in Germany) in February/March 269,[3] after repulsing a Germanic invasion.[4] Although his exact position is unknown, he is believed to have been a senior officer under Postumus,[5] either the legatus of Germania Superior or the commander of Legio XXII Primigenia.[2] Laelian represented a strong danger to Postumus because of the two legions he commanded (Primigenia in Moguntiacum and VIII Augusta in Argentoratum);[2] Despite this, his rebellion lasted only about two months before he was executed,[6] reputedly by his own soldiers, or by Postumus' troops after a siege of Laelian's capital.[1] The siege of Moguntiacum was also fatal for Postumus; it is said he was slain when he refused to allow his troops to plunder the city following its capture.[7]

Laelian (under the Latin name Lollianus) is listed among the Thirty Tyrants in the Historia Augusta.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Martindale, pg. 492
  2. ^ a b c d e Polfer, Laelianus
  3. ^ Polfer, Laelianus; Potter, pg. 265
  4. ^ Polfer, Laelianus
  5. ^ Potter, pg. 265
  6. ^ Polfer, Laelianus
  7. ^ Southern, pg. 118


Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Southern, Pat. The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, Routledge, 2001
  • Potter, David Stone, The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180-395, Routledge, 2004
  • Jones, A.H.M., Martindale, J.R. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I: AD260-395, Cambridge University Press, 1971
  • Michel Polfer, "Laelianus (A.D. 269)", De Imperatoribus Romanis] (1999)

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Laelianus at Wikimedia Commons