Homeschool Project - Roman Empire

Map 13

269 AD

269AD : Gallic and Palmyrene Losses

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With Commodus' death in 192, the empire was once again plunged into bloody civil war. The praetorian guard proved to be the real power behind the choice in successors, setting up new emperors and then killing them at the praetor's first displeasure. It would fall upon Rome's generals to bring stability back to the empire. Three leaders arose from opposite sides of the empire, Severus of the Danube region reached Rome first in 193 AD. By 197 AD Severus had defeated them both, leaving him to attempt to restore the empire to it's former glory. However, his death in 211 brought forth another unworthy son to reign over the empire. Severus' son was assassinated in Mesopotamia in 217, and the empire was once again reduced to a cycle of ascensions and assassinations. In 230 AD Alexander Severus, a distant relative of the dead emperor, waged wars against the Persians, who had replaced the Parthians as Rome's enemy in the east. Although successful in many battles however, no territory was gained and he was summarily executed in 235 AD.

The empire was on the verge of collapse between the infighting of generals, Goths to the north, tribes along the Danube and the ambitious Persians in the east. In 260 AD the Persians made large gains into Roman territory, but were then pushed back by an unexpected ally, Odenathus prince of Palmyra. The Persians were pushed back and Odenathus was granted power in the east of the empire, which he used effectively in his further attacks on the withdrawing Persians. The empire was far from stability however, as a new empire was formed from the western Roman territories by the separatists Postumus and Tetricus. The "Gallic Empire" consisted of Spain, Britain, and Gaul. Even further crushing to the Romans was the loss of many eastern territories in 269 AD to Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, whom had gained control of the east with her husband Odenathus' death in 267 AD. Zenobia of Palmyra conquered much of Asia Minor, as well as Syria and Egypt.

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Original Web Upload November 2002
Last Update: November 20, 2002