Pertinax

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Publius Helvius Pertinax (1 August 126 – 28 March 193), commonly known as Pertinax, was Roman Emperor for three months in 193.[1] He is known as the first emperor of the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors. A high ranking military and Senatorial figure,[2] he tried to restore discipline in the Praetorian Guards, whereupon they rebelled and killed him. Upon his death he was succeeded by Didius Julianus, whose reign was similarly short.

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Early life

His career before becoming emperor is documented in the Historia Augusta and confirmed in many places by existing inscriptions. Born in Alba Pompeia in Italy,[3] the son of freedman Helvius Successus,[4] originally Pertinax made his way as a grammaticus (teacher of grammar),[5] but he eventually decided to find a more rewarding line of work and through the help of patronage he was commissioned an officer in a cohort.[6] In the Parthian war that followed,[7] he was able to distinguish himself, which resulted in a string of promotions, and after postings in Britain (as military tribune of the Legio VI Victrix)[8] and along the Danube, he served as a procurator in Dacia.[9] He suffered a setback as a victim of court intrigues during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, but shortly afterwards he was recalled to assist Claudius Pompeianus in the Marcomannic Wars.[10] In 175 he received the honor of a suffect consulship[11] and until 185, Pertinax was governor of the provinces of Upper and Lower Moesia, Dacia, Syria and finally governor of Britain.[12]

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