Claudius Gothicus

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Marcus Aurelius Valerius Claudius[1] (May 10, 213 – January 270), commonly known as Claudius II or Claudius Gothicus, was Roman Emperor from 268 to 270. During his reign he fought successfully against the Alamanni and scored a crushing victory against the Goths at the Battle of Naissus. He died after succumbing to a smallpox plague that ravaged the provinces of the empire.



Origin and rise to power

Claudius' origin is uncertain. Born on May 10, 213,[2] he was either from Sirmium in Pannonia Inferior or from Naissus Dardania (in Moesia Superior).[3]

Claudius had served with the Roman army for all his adult life, making his way up the military hierarchy until the Emperor Gallienus made him the commander of his elite cavalry force.[4] In September 268 he found himself assigned as a military tribune with the emperor, besieging the usurper Aureolus in Milan.[5] There, the troops proclaimed him emperor,[6] amid charges, never proven, that he murdered his predecessor Gallienus.[7] However, he soon proved to be less than bloodthirsty, as he asked the Roman Senate to spare the lives of Gallienus' family and supporters. He was less magnanimous toward Rome's enemies, however, and it was to this that he owed his popularity. [8]

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