Roman Emperors Dir Florian
After Tacitus died, the army chose Florian to succeed him.[] His full name as Emperor was Imperator Caesar Marcus Annius Florianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus. The Historia Augusta characterizes the succession as a dynastic coup in which the Senate was ignored, but since Florian like Tacitus issued coins inscribed SC, advertising the Senate's authority for minting them, the Historia Augusta's complaint may be factitious. Most of this biography is.[]
Florian had hardly assumed office when the armies and provinces of Phoenicia, Palestine, Syria and Egypt declared for Probus.[] Florian turned from pursuing the the Eruli north to return to Cilicia and confront Probus and his army.[] Florian appears to have had the larger army, but Probus, an experienced general, held back. After a few weeks of sporadic fighting, Florian was assassinated by his own troops near Tarsus. He had reigned about 88 days.[]
Florian's different nomen, Annius rather than Claudius, means that he cannot have been Tacitus's full brother as the Historia Augusta implies; but one passage identifies him as Tacitus's half brother by the same mother, which might be true.[] Some historians doubt, however, whether any blood connexion existed at all.[] Little can be said about Florian's reign. One inscription assigns him a consulate.[] Though neither reigned long, both Tacitus and Florian had a large and varied coinage, "lively with hope for a golden age neither emperor ever realized."[]
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________. Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Vol XII, no. 1409. London, 1916.
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________. "Three Notes on the Reforms of Diocletian and Constantine." Journal of Roman Studies. Vol. XV. (1925): Pp. 195ff.
Den Hengst, Daniel. "Some Notes on the Vita Taciti." In Giorgio Bonamente and Francois Paschoud (eds.), Historiae Augustae Colloquium Genevense. Bari, 1994.
Groag, Edmund and Arthur Stein. "Imp. Caesar M. Claudius Tacitus Augustus." Prosopographia Imperii Romani. Part II. Claudius, No. 1036. Berlin,1936.
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Jones, A.H.M., Martindale, J.R. Morris, J. "M. Claudius Tacitus," p. 873; "M. Annius Florianus," p 367. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Vol. 1. Cambridge, 1971.
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Stein, Arthur. "Zur Chronologie der Römischen Kaiser." Archiv für Papyrusforschung vol 7. Berlin, 1924.
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Syme, Ronald. Emperors and Biography. Oxford, 1971.
________. Historia Augusta Papers. Oxford, 1983.
[] Italy, Gaul, Spain, the Transalpines, Britain, Africa, and Mauretania supported Florian: Zosimus 64, 1-2; John of Antioch, Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, ed. Charles Muller (Paris, 1885), vol. 4, pp. 599-600 (nos. 157-158).
[] Ibid. 64.4; SHA, Vita Taciti XIV.2. Length of reign: 88 days, Chronicle of 354 A.D. (ed. Theodor Mommsen, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, vol. I, Chronica Minora, [Hereafter, Chron. Min.] [Berlin, 1892]); two months, twenty days, Eutropius, ed. J.C. Hazard (New York,1898). PIR dates Florian's reign from June 7, to September 9, 276. See v. Rohden, op. cit. for summary of the sources.
[] Brother: SHA Vita Taciti, XIII.6, XIV.4; Vita Probi, XI.3, XIII.3. Other sources copied the error, e.g., Polemius Silvius, Chron. Min..522. Half brother with common mother: SHA, Vita Taciti, XVIII.4.
[] CIL XII, 1115; Dessau 593. The Historia Augusta claims that Tacitus had proposed a consulate for Florian but too late in the year; given the unreliability of this life, it is better to trust the inscription. A. Degrassi, I Fasti Consolari Dell' Impero Romano (Rome, 1952), dates the consulate to 276.
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