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Augustus  AD 260 - 269

Marcus Cassianius Latinus Postumus.

Postumus, governor of Lower Germany, was proclaimed emperor by the Rhine legions in the early autumn of 260, after Valerian's capture by the Persians. His first notable acts were to beat off an attempt by Gallienus to put down the rebellion, and then capture and execute Gallienus's son Saloninus. After that he busied himself with consolidating his rule over the three provinces of Gaul and the two Germanies. He evidently had no intention to march on Rome and contest Gallienus's throne, and the latter decided to bid his time and deal with the insecure situation on the Danube first. Postumus, for his part, focused on strengthening the defenses on the Rhine and sorting out the damages from the Alemannic and Frankish invasions of previous years. By 265 Gallienus felt strong enough to strike back. His expedition, led by himself and Aureolus, his cavalry commander, failed. Gallienus withdrew, and then had to march east again. This move encouraged Aureolus to defect and declare for Postumus. What the latter thought about this step, which could had netted him the throne is unclear, for he made no move while Gallienus hurried back to Italy to suppress his rebel commander. One explanation is that Postumus could not have done much anyway, for his found himself tied up with suppressing the rebellion of his own governor, Laelianus, governor of Upper Germany. Laelianus was besieged at Mainz, captured and executed. Postumus did the fatal mistake to forbade the sack of the town and this so enraged his soldiers that they assassinated him a few days after the fall of Mainz.

Mints: Colonia Agrippinensis, Lugdunum, Mediolanum.

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