Front Page Titles (by Subject) 4.: THE PRETENDERS IN THE REIGN OF GALLIENUS, KNOWN AS THE THIRTY TYRANTS — ( P. 49 ) - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 2
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4.: THE PRETENDERS IN THE REIGN OF GALLIENUS, KNOWN AS THE THIRTY TYRANTS — ( P. 49 ) - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 2 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 2.
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THE PRETENDERS IN THE REIGN OF GALLIENUS, KNOWN AS THE THIRTY TYRANTS — (P. 49)
Fati publici fuit, says Trebellius Pollio, who recorded the deeds of the tyrants in the Augustan History, ut Gallieni tempore quicunque potuit, ad imperium prosiliret. Gibbon recognised that the significance of these shadow-emperors was only “collective”; they all vanished rapidly; the emperor’s power always proved superior. Their simultaneous appearance only illustrates vividly the general disintegration of the Empire.
It may be well, however, to add a few details, chiefly references, to the succinct account of Gibbon. I take them in the order of his list.
(1) Cyriades. See p. 44, and Appendix 3.
(2) Macrianus. The generals Macrianus and Balista caused the two sons of the former, T. Fulvius Junius Macrianus and T. Fulvius Junius Quietus, to be proclaimed emperors (261 ; see Hist. Aug. Vita Gall. 1, 2). It is a question whether Macrianus their father (he to whom Gibbon imputed the blame of Valerian’s disaster) assumed the purple also. There can, I think, be no doubt that he did not. We have (a) the negative evidence that no coins which can be certainly ascribed to him and not to his son are forthcoming; (b) the story of his refusal in Hist. Aug. xxiv. 7-11; and (c) the positive statement of Zonaras, xii. 24. Against this we have to place the apparent statement in Hist. Aug. xxiii. 1, 2-4 (I say apparent, because the passage is mutilated), and the clear statement in xxiv. 12, 12, which is glaringly inconsistent with the immediately preceding narrative. Macrianus is described as refusing the empire on the ground of old age and bodily weakness, and casting the burden on his sons. Balista, who had offered him the empire, agrees; and then the narrative proceeds: “Macrianus promises (clearly in the name of his sons) a double donation to the soldiers and hurls threats against Gallienus; accordingly he was made emperor along with Macrianus and Quietus his two sons,” as if this were the logical outcome of the proceedings. From this evidence there can I think be only one conclusion.
(3) Balista. He has even less claim than the elder Macrianus to a place among the tyrants; like Macrianus he was only a tyrant-maker. Hist. Aug. xxiv. 12, 4, and 18.
(4) Odenathus. The ground for placing Odenathus among the tyrants seems to be that he assumed the title of king (Hist. Aug. xxiv. 15, 2) and that he had great power in the East. But a tyrant means one who rebels against the true emperor and usurps the Imperial title. Odenthaus never rebelled against Gallienus and never usurped the title Augustus (Σεβαστὁς) or the title Cæsar. He supported the interests of Gallienus in the East and overthrew the real tyranny which was set up by Macrianus. For his services Gallienus rewarded him by the title of αὐτοκράτωρ or imperator, an unusual title to confer, but not necessarily involving Imperial dignity. (This title is enough to account for the statement in Hist. Aug. xxiii. 12, 1.) As a king he held the same position that, for instance, Agrippa held under Claudius. An inscription of a statue which two of his generals erected in his honour in 271 has been preserved (de Vogüe, Syrie centrale, p. 28) and there he is entitled king of kings. This, as Schiller says (i. 838), should be decisive.
(5) Zenobia. What applies to Odenathus applies to Zenobia as far as the reign of Gallienus is concerned. She received the title Σεβαστή in Egypt, but not till after 271 and doubtless with the permission of Claudius.
(6) Postumus. (See note 86, p. 25.) He made his residence at Trier, was acknowledged in Spain and Britain, and seems to have taken effective measures for the tranquillity and security of Gaul. In 262 he celebrated his quinquennalia (Eckhel, vii. 438). His coinage is superior to that of the lawful emperors of the time; it did not pass current in Italy, and the Imperial money was excluded from Gaul (Mommsen, Röm. Münzwesen, 815). It is important to observe that Postumus was faithful to the idea of Rome. He was not in any sense a successor of Sacrovir, Vindex, and Classicus; he had no thought of an anti-Roman imperium Galliarum.
(7) Lollianus. This is the form of the name in our MSS. of his Life in the Historia Augusta (xxiv. 5); his true name, Cornelius Ulpianus Laelianus, is preserved on coins (Cohen, v. 60). In a military mutiny (268 , in his fifth consulship) Postumus was slain and Laelianus elevated. The new tyrant marched against the Germans, who had taken advantage of this struggle (subita irruptione Germanorum) to invade the empire and destroy the forts which Postumus during the year of his rule had erected on the frontier; but he was slain by his soldiers, — it is said, because he was too energetic, quod in labore nimius esset (Hist. Aug. xxiv. 5). Victorinus, who succeeded him, had probably something to do with his death.
(8) Victorinus. In 265 Gallienus sent Aureolus to assert his authority in Gaul against Postumus. In the course of the war, an Imperial commander M. Piauvonius Victorinus deserted to the tyrant, who welcomed him and created him Cæsar. Victorinus obtained supreme power after the death of Laelianus. He reigned but a few months; his death is noticed by Gibbon in chap. xi.
Victoria or Victorina. The mother of Victorinus (see chap. xi.). Her coins are condemned as spurious (Cohen, 5, 75).
(9) Marius. M. Aurelius Marius; Eckhel, vii. 454. According to Hist. Aug. xxiv. 8, 1, he reigned only three days after the death of Victorinus. Perhaps he survived Victorinus by three days, but there can be no doubt that he arose as a tyrant, at an earlier date, perhaps immediately after the death of Postumus. If he had reigned only three days, it is unlikely we should have his coins. Compare Schiller, i. 856.
(10) Tetricus. (See chap. xi.)
(11) Ingenuus. His tyranny was set up in Pannonia and Moesia in the same year as that of Postumus in Gaul (258 ). He was defeated by Aureolus at Mursa — the scene of the defeat of a more famous tyrant in later times — and slain, at his own request, by his shield-bearer.
(12) Regillianus. A Dacian, who held the post of dux of Illyricum; his true name was Regalianus, preserved on coins and in one MS. of the Historia Augusta. He had won victories against the Sarmatians, and his name, in its corrupt form, lent itself to the declension of rex: “rex, regis, regi, Regi-lianus” (Hist. Aug. xxiv. 10, 5). But his reign lasted only for a moment. His elevation was probably due to disaffection produced by the hard measures adopted by Gallienus in Pannonia when he suppressed the revolt of Ingenuus.
(13) Aureolus. (See chap. xi.)
(14) Saturninus. Of him we know nothing. See Hist. Aug. xxiv. 23, and xxiii. 9, 1.
(15) Trebellianus. See Hist. Aug. xxiv. 26; beyond what is stated there we know nothing. Palatium in arce Isauriae constituit. He was slain by an Egyptian, brother of the man who slew Æmilianus, tyrant in Egypt; see below.
(16) Piso. It is probably a mistake to include Piso among the tyrants. He belonged to the party of Macrianus (see above), who in 261 sent him to Greece to overpower the governor Valens. But a curious thing happened. Piso, who had come in the name of a tyrant, supported the cause of the lawful emperor Gallienus (see Hist. Aug. xxiv. 21, 4), while Valens, who represented the cause of Gallienus, revolted, and became a tyrant himself. Both Piso and Valens were slain by their soldiers; — the news of Piso’s death had reached Rome by the 25th June (Hist. Aug. ib. 3).
(17) Valens. See last note.
(18) Æmilianus. He threatened to starve the empire, which depended for corn on Egypt. There are no genuine coins of this tyrant.
(19) Celsus. Elevated by the proconsul of Africa and the dux limitis Libyci. Hist. Aug. xxiv. 29.
Of these nineteen, Macrianus, Balista, Odenathus, Zenobia, and Piso have no claim to be regarded as tyrants. But the places of Macrianus the father and Balista may be filled by Macrianus the son and Quietus. Thus the number nineteen is reduced to sixteen.
It is worth noting that Pollio, who, as Gibbon says, “expresses the most minute anxiety to complete the number” of the thirty tyrants, and as we have seen includes some who were certainly not tyrants, should omit two names of rebels which are mentioned by Zosimus. In i. 38 (ed. Mendelssohn) this historian says: ὲν τούτῳ δὲ ὲπαναστάντων αὐτῷ (Gallienus) Μέμορός τε τον̂ Μουρουσίου καὶ Αὐριόλου καὶ Ἀντωνίνου καὶ ὲτέρων πλειόνων. Aurelius we know; ὲτέρους πλείονας we know; but who were Memor and Antoninus? Are they mentioned by Pollio under other names or did they not reach the length of an Imperial title? Of Antoninus as far as I know we hear nowhere else, but of Memor we have a notice, in a fragment of the Anonymous Continuer of Dion Cassius (Müller, F.H.G. iv. p. 193), frag. 4, where the mention of a Theodotus recalls him who put to death Æmilianus and makes us think of Egypt. (In the old Stephanian text of Zosimus Κέκροπος is read instead of Μὲμορος; but the unknown MS. used by Stephanus seems to have been worthless.)