Pescennius Niger 193 – 194 A.D

Niger was the governor of Syria at the time of Pertinax's murder. When he heard what had happened he decided he was the right man for the job. His soldiers quickly fell in line and off they went to Rome. A little kink in their plans cropped up when news reached them that the army of Septimius Severus had the same plans. Niger judiciously figured that his chances of defeating Severus in the open field were not good so he retreated at once back to Syria to await Severus on his own turf. Although this made things a bit more difficult for Severus, however, he was still able to defeat his rival in separate...

Read more

Didius Julianus 193 A.D.

In what was to become one of the most shameful episodes in the political annals of the empire, the death of Pertinax launched a frantic search for an imperial replacement. The imperial guard, who held de facto power, decided to "right the wrongs" of Pertinax in a most self-serving manner: by auctioning off the throne! Two of Rome's richest Senators, Didius Julianus and Sulpicianus bid back and forth the donative to be given to each soldier until the sum of about 625 denarii was reached by Julianus. He was at this point declared the winner amid a joyous uproar. A joyous uproar, of course, by the soldiers...

Read more