Sabinus Julianus

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Sabinus Julianus
Usurper(s) of the Roman Empire
Guliano di Pannonia-RIC 0004.jpg
Antoninianus of Julianus, celebrating the two provinces of Pannonia.
Reign 283–285 or 286, against Carinus or Maximian
Died Italy or Africa Province
Full name
Marcus Aurelius Sabinus Julianus

Marcus Aurelius Sabinus Julianus[1] (also known as Julian of Pannonia; died 285–286) was a Roman usurper (283–285 or 286) against Emperor Carinus or Maximian. It is possible that up to four usurpers with a similar name rebelled in a time-frame of a decade, but at least one of them is known by numismatic evidence.

Usurper against Carinus (283–285)[edit]

Julianus was a corrector in northern Italy, in 283/284,[2] (and not a praetorian prefect as stated by some sources).[3] Soon after the news of the death of Emperor Carus[2] (in 283) or Numerian[3] (in November 284) arrived in the western provinces, Julianus revolted in Pannonia. He issued coins from Siscia, some of them bearing a legend celebrating Pannonia. Emperor Carinus, brother of Numerian, who had marched from Roman Britain to deal with the usurpation, met, defeated, and killed Julianus early in 285, in Italy[4] (possibly in Verona),[5] or in Illyricum.[2]

According to some scholars, it is possible that two usurpers actually existed: a Marcus Aurelius Julianus, corrector in Italy, rebelled after Carus' death, with the control of Pannonia, and defeated in Illyricum; and a Sabinus Julianus, praetorian prefect, usurper in Italy after Numerian's death, defeated near Verona.[6]

Another usurper, simply named Julianus, raised some turmoil in Africa Province, against Carinus, with the support of the Quinquegentani tribe.[7] It has been proposed[8] that the Julianus proconsul of Africa attested by an undated letter was put to death by Maximian with fabricated treason charges; his figure of rebel in Africa should be, therefore, linked to Sabinus Julianus (see also Amnius Anicius Julianus).

Usurper against Maximian and Diocletian[edit]

A third Julianus is mentioned revolting between the time Maximian had been raised to the rank of Augustus (1 March 286) and the time Constantius Chlorus and Galerius became Caesar (March 1, 293). The revolt of this Julianus took place in Italy, but ended when, during a siege, a breach was opened in the walls of his city, and he threw himself in the fire.[9]


  1. ^ His name is known from his coins, where his name is given as "M. Aur. Iulianus", and from literary sources: Aurelius Victor (Epitome, 38.6) and Zosimus (1.73; 1.3) give "Sabinus Julianus"; "Julianus" is supported by Aurelius Victor, Liber, 39.10.
  2. ^ a b c Aurelius Victor, Liber, 39.10.
  3. ^ a b Zosimus, i.73.1.
  4. ^ Zosimus, i.73.3.
  5. ^ Aurelius Victor, Epitome, 38.6.
  6. ^ Morris.
  7. ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber, 39.22.
  8. ^ Bruce, L.D., "Diocletian, the Proconsul Iulianus and the Manichaeans", in C. Deroux, Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History, iii (Collection Latomus, 180; Brusselles), 336-347.
  9. ^ Aurelius Victor, Epitome, 39.3-4.


Primary sources[edit]

  • Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus, 38.6, 39.3-4
  • Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 39.10, 39.22
  • Zosimus, Historia Nova,

Secondary sources[edit]

External links[edit]