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Chaos Emperors

Table of the Reigns of the Emperors During the Period of Military Anarchy or Imperial Crises

Related Resources
Severan Emperors
Table of the Emperors: The Tetrarchy
Period of Military Anarchy or Imperial Crises

Beginning with Maximinus Thrax and ending with Carinus, these are the emperors (and usurpers) between the dynasty of the Severans and the tetrarchy organized by Diocletian, during the period of military anarchy (235-285).
Name Dates of Rule Birth Accession Death
Maximinus Thrax

Imperator Caesar Gaius Iulius Verus Maximinus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Feb. or Mar. 235-Apr. 238 172 or 173 in Thrace or Moesia. Acclaimed by troops near Mainz Murdered by troops at Aquileia.
Gordian I

Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus
Early Jan. 238 - late Jan. 238 (20 days) 158 or 159 Accesssion in Africa Suicide in Carthage.
Gordian II

Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus
Early Jan. 238 - late Jan. 238 (20 days) c. 192 Accession in Africa Killed in Carthage.
Pupienus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus Augustus
Early Feb. 238 - early May 238 (99 days) c. 164 Proclaimed emperor by the senate Murdered by praetorians.
Balbinus

Imperator Caesar Decius Caelius Calvinus Balbinus Pius Felix Augustus
Early Feb. 238 - early May 238 (99 days) ? Proclaimed emperor by the senate Murdered by praetorians.
Gordian III

Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Felix Augustus
Mar. 238 - Feb. 244 Jan. 20, 225, in Rome. Acclaimed emperor by the praetorian Murdered near Circesium in Mesopotamia.
Philip the Arab

Imperator Caesar Marcus Iulius Phillipus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Feb. 244 - Sept/Oct. 249 c. 204, in Trachonitis, Syria. Killed in battle in Macedonia.
Philip II

Imperator Caesar Marcus Iulius Severus Phillipus Augustus
244 - Sept/Oct. 249 c. 237. Murdered by his troops after his father's defeat by Decius.
Uranius

Imperator Caesar Lucius Julius Aurelius Sulpicius Uranius Antoninus Augustus
Feb. 248 - 254 ? Proclaimed emperor by his troops. Probably assassinated.
Pacatian

Imperator Caesar Tiberius Claudius Marinus Pacatianus Augustus
Summer 248 (a few weeks) ? Proclaimed emperor by Pannonian and Moesian troops. Assassinated by his soldiers.
Jotapian

Imperator Caesar Marcus Fulvius Rufus Jotapianus Augustus
Summer 248 (a few weeks) ? Killed by troops.
Decius

Imperator Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Sept./Oct. 249-June 251 c. 190 at Budalia near Sirmium (Balkans) Killed in battle at Abrittus in Moesia.
Herennius Etruscus

Imperator Caesar Quintus Herennius Etruscus Messius Decius Augustus
250 - June 251 Killed in battle against the Goths at Abrittus.
Trebonianus Gallus

Imperator Caesar Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
June 251-Aug. 253 c. 206 Perugia Chosen by the Roman army Murdered by his soldiers at Interamna.
Hostilian

Imperator Caesar Gaius Valens Hostilianus Messius Quintus Augustus
Dec. 250 - Nov. 251 ? Died of plague.
Volusian

Imperator Caesar Gaius Vibius Afinius Gallus Vendumnianus Volusianus Augustus
Jul. 251 - summer 253 ? Killed in battle against Aemilian.
Aemilius Aemilianus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Aug. 253-Oct. 253 at Jerba in Africa Murdered by his own soldiers near Spoleto.
Valerian

Imperator Caesar Publius Licinius Valerianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Oct. 253 - 260 c.195 Had himself proclaimed emperor when he learned of Gallus' murder The date of Valerian's death is unknown. He was captured by Persians in June 260.
Gallienus

Imperator Caesar Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Oct. 253 - Sept. 268 c. 213 Made Caesar along with his father Valerian Killed by the commander of his Dalmatian cavalry.
Salonius

Imperator Caesar Publius Licinius Cornelius Salonius Valerianus Augustus
258 - Sept. 260 c. 242 Made co-emperor with his father Gallienus. Executed by the Gallic emperor Postumus.
Macrianus

Imperator Caesar Titus Fulvius Junius Macrianus Augustus
Sept. 260 - Spring 261 ? Proclaimed emperor with his brother Quietus when Valerian was captured by the Persians. Killed in battle against Gallienus.
Quietus

Imperator Caesar Titus Fulvius Junius Quietus Augustus
Sept. 260 - Nov. 261 ? Proclaimed emperor with Macrianus Besieged and killed at Emesa.
Regalianus

Imperator Caesar Cornelius Publius Regalianus Augustus
Autumn 260 - 260 ? Proclaimed emperor by troops in Upper Pannonia Probably killed by his troops.
Claudius II "Gothicus"

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Claudius Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Sept. 268 - Aug. 270 May 10, 214 in Illyricum Died of plague in Simium.
Quintillus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus Invictus Pius Felix Augustus
Aug. 270 - Sept. 270 (perhaps 17 days) ? He had been left to defend northern Italy when his brother Claudius fought the Goths and then was made emperor. Committed suicide in Aquileia when the legions supported Aurelian instead of him.
Aurelian

Imperator Caesar Lucius Domitius Aurelianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Aug. 270 - Sept./Oct. 275 Sept. 9, 214 in Moesia Murdered by the praetorian guard at Coenofrurium.
Tacitus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carinus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Nov./Dec. 275 - July 276 c. 200 in Danube provinces Elected by the senate. Murdered in Cappadocia.
Florianus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Annius Florianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus.
July 276 - Sept. 276 (88 days) ? When Tacitus died, power passed to the commander of the praetorian. Murdered by his soldiers at Tarsus.
Probus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Probus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
July 276 - Sept. 282 Aug. 19, 232 Simium. Murdered by his soldiers near Simium.
Carus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Sept. 282 - July/Aug. 283 c. 224 at Narbo. Killed by lightning near Ctesiphon.
Numerian

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Numerianus Pius Felix Augustus
July/Aug. 283 - Nov. 284 c. 253 Became emperor on the death of his father. Murdered near Nicomedia.
Carinus

Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carinus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus
Spring 283 - summer 285 c. 250 Had been made joint Augustus with his father Carus. Murdered during battle at the River Margus.

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