Aurelian in Roman Biography

Au-re'11-an or Au-re-H-a'nus, [Fr. Aurelien, 6'ra'le'aN',] (Claudius Domitius,) a Roman emperor, who was born of obscure parents about 212 A.D., at Sirraium, in Pannonia, or, according to some, in Lower Dacia, or in Moesia. He rose by his talents and courage from the rank of private to the highest position in the army of Valerian, and was appointed consul in 25S a.d. On the death of Claudius in 270, Aurelian was proclaimed emperor by the army. About the same time the north of Italy was invaded by the Alemanni, who were defeated at Fanum, in Umbria. The principal event of his reign was an expedition against Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, who reigned over Syria, Egypt, etc., and whose army he defeated near Emesa. Palmyra and the queen were captured by him in 273 a.d. (See Zenobia.) He punished a revolt of the Palmyrenes, which occurred soon after, with a general massacre, and acted with extreme severity on other occasions. He was very successful in his military enterprises, and was called the restorer of the empire, but was more competent to command an army than to govern a nation. He was assassinated by his own officers in 275 A.D., and was succeeded by Tacitus. See Vopiscus, "Vita Aureliani;" Trebellius Pollio, "Odenatus," and "Zenobia;" Tillemont, "Histoire des Erapereurs;" Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," chap. xi.

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