Elagabalus – May 16, 218 AD

Upon the assassination of Caracalla in April 217, the Praetorian Prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus became the next Roman emperor. To help protect himself and his family, Macrinus exiled the remaining members of the Severan dynasty to their estate in Syria, except Julia Domna, who was forced to stay in Rome, where she starved herself to death. When they arrived in Emesa, Julia Maesa, the grandmother, began plotting with Gannys, the tutor of her eldest grandson, Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus, to overthrow Macrinus and his son Marcus Opellius Diadumenianus. Bassianus was born the son of Sextus Varius Marcellus and Julia Soaemias Bassiana in c.203. As part of the plot with Maesa, Soaemias claimed Bassianus was actually the illegitimate son of her cousin, former emperor Caracalla. Being the el...

Constantine vs. Licinius – October 8, 316 AD

After Licinius defeated Maximinus Daia in 313, and added Asia and Egypt to all of his Balkan territories, he and Constantine the Great were the two remaining rulers of the Roman Empire. At first, they tried to cooperate and rule the empire with Licinius in the East and Constantine in the West, but the agreement they had was merely out of convenience and not because they truly wanted to co-rule. This is a category of  Constantine coin. Tensions began immediately and both decided to create essentially a buffer zone in Rhaetia and Pannonia, managed by Bassianus, who was married to the sister of the wife of Licinius, and was also the half-brother-in-law to Constantine. Both saw this as fair, since his loyalty should be split evenly between the two emperors. However, Licinius managed to convinc...

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