Friday, March 15, 2013

A.D. 275

In A.D. 275, the emperor Aurelian set out against the Persians. On the way, in Caenophrurium, he was assassinated, abetted by his secretary who bore the provocative name of Eros.

Aurelian, himself rose to power in 268 by aiding the military plot to destroy Gallienus. For his help in the conspiracy, he was appointed to be the chief commander of the cavalry by Claudius II. Only two years later he became the emperor by ousting Quintillus after the death of Claudius.

So after forty years of disastrous rule, Rome under Aurelian considered herself restored to her rightful place, which lasted all of five years. Aurelian had a couple of problems to deal with. Roman money was now essentially worthless. But Aurelian tried to meet the problem by being an absolute tyrant noted for his ruthlessness. When he died, he was plotting to renew persecution of the Christians.

This might be the only time in history when Christians were saved by Eros.