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Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (9 September 214 or 215 – September or October 275), commonly known as Aurelian, was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war, as well as the Goths and Vandals. Aurelian restored the empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, and the abandonment of the province of Dacia. His successes effectually ended the empire's Crisis of the Third Century.


Rise to power

Aurelian was born near Serdica or Sirmium in Moesia.[2][3] to an obscure provincial family; his father was tenant to a senator named Aurelius, who gave his name to the family.[4] Aurelian probably joined the army in 235 at around age twenty.[5] He undoubtedly distinguished himself in several wars during the tumultuous mid-century. His success ultimately made him a dux equitum (cavalry commander) of emperor Gallienus and his army. In 268, he and his cavalry participated in Claudius' victory over the Goths at the Battle of Naissus. Later that year Gallienus was assassinated. One source says Aurelian participated and supported Claudius II for the purple - which is plausible.[6]

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