custodians sources by 6195nl1


									Custodians of Empire
Who? What? When? Chronology and the Sources
        Significant dates in the history of the guard
27 BC (?)            Formal organisation by Augustus
2 BC                 First praetorian prefects appointed
AD 14                Action in Pannonia
AD 23                Move to Castra Praetoria
AD 31                Fall of the praetorian prefect Sejanus
AD 41                Participation in the assassination of Gaius
AD 65                Pisonian Conspiracy against Nero
AD 69                Involved in the machinations between Galba,
                             Otho and Vitellius
AD 70                Appointment of Titus as praetorian prefect
end of 1st century   Creation of equites singulares Augusti
2nd century          Praetorians as front-line troops
AD 180s            Prominent praetorian prefects under
AD 192             Murder of Commodus; accession of Pertinax
AD 193             Murder of Pertinax; ‘auction’ of empire by
                   guard; accession of Septimius Severus; guard
                   disbanded and replaced by legionaries
AD 205             Fall of the praetorian prefect Plautianus
AD 217             Assassination of Caracalla with involvement of
                   the praetorian prefect Macrinus
AD 222-3           Problems with guard under Alexander Severus
AD 249             Murder of Philip the Arab’s son in the camp
                   after the death of his father in the field
late 2nd century   Diocletian reduces the number of the guard
AD 306             Praetorians declare Maxentius emperor in
                   Rome when Constantine is named in Britain
AD 312             Guard disbanded by Constantine
• Who?
• Problems?
…Tiberius had scarcely entered Illyricum when he was
summoned by a hasty letter from his mother; but it has
not been satisfactorily uncovered whether at the city of
Nola he discovered Augustus still breathing or lifeless.
For Livia had cordoned off the house and streets with
fierce guards, and from time to time favourable news was
published until, after provision for what the occasion
demanded, a single report carried the simultaneous
announcement that Augustus had passed away and that
Nero was in control of affairs.

                                   Tacitus Annals 1.5.3-4
Meanwhile [Libo’s] house was being
encircled by soldiery, and they were making
a din even in the forecourt, so that they could
be audible and visible, when finally Libo,
racked by the very banquet which he had laid
on as his last pleasure of all, called for an
assailant, grasped the right hands of his
slaves and tried to place a sword in them.
And as they in their trembling retreat
overturned the light placed nearby on the
table, in darkness now fatal to himself he
directed two blows into his vital organs. At
the falling man’s groan his freedman ran up;
and the soldiers, seeing the slaughter, stood
back. The accusation was nevertheless
carried through before the fathers with the
same assertiveness, and Tiberius swore that
he would have asked for the man’s life,
despite his guilt, if he had not hastened his
voluntary death.

                  Tacitus, Annals 2.31 (AD 16)
…Sulpicianus, who had been sent by Pertinax to the camp to set
matters in order there, remained on the spot, and intrigued to get
himself appointed emperor. Meanwhile, Didius Julianus, at once
an insatiate money-getter and a wanton spendthrift, who was
always eager for revolution and hence had been exiled by
Commodus to his native city of Mediolanum, now, when he heard
of the death of Pertinax, hastily made his way to the camp, and
standing at the gates of the enclosure, made bids to the soldiers
for the rule over the Romans. Then ensued a most disgraceful
business and one unworthy of Rome. For, just as if it had been i
some market or auction-room, both the City and its entire empire
were auctioned off. The sellers were the ones who had slain their
emperor , and the would-be buyers were Sulpicianus and
Julianus, who vied to outbid each other, one from the inside, the
other from the outside.

                                                     Dio 74.11.3-4
. . . . . u | . . militi cohor. VI pr., | Ostienses locum
sepult. | dederunt | publicoque funere efferen. |
decrerunt | quod in incendio | restinguendo interit.

                          CIL 14.4494; early 1st century AD
C. Arrio C. f. Corn.| Clementi militi coh. IX | pr.,
equiti coh. eiusdem, donis | donato ab imp.
Traiano | torquibus armillis phaleris | ob bellum
Dacicum, singulari | pr[a]efectorum pr., tesserario,
op | tioni, fisci curatori, cornicul. | tribuni, evocato
Aug., (centurioni) coh. I vigil., (centurioni) | statorum,
(centurioni) coh. XIIII urb., (centurioni) coh. VII pr.,|
trecenario, donis donato ab. imp. | Hadriano hasta pura
corona aurea, | (centurioni) leg. III Aug., primipilari,
IIviro quin | quennali, patrono municipi, | curatori rei
publicae, | decur. et Aug. V[I vir.] municipes Matil

                                     ILS 2081; 2nd century AD
To Gaius Arrecinus Clemens, son of Gaius, of the tribe
Cornelia, soldier of the ninth praetorian cohort, mounted
soldier of the same cohort, decorated by the emperor Trajan
with Necklaces, Armbands, and Ornaments for service in the
Dacian War, aide (singularis) of the praetorian prefects,
officer in charge of the watchword, orderly (optio), clerk in
charge of the treasury, reservist of the Emperor, centurion of
the first cohort of the vigiles, centurion of the Imperial
messengers (statores), centurion of the fourteenth urban
cohort, centurion of the seventh praetorian cohort,
trecenarius, decorated by the Emperor Hadrian with an
Untipped Spear and Gold Crown, centurion of the Legion III
Augusta, chief centurion, member of the Board of Two
quinquennalis, patron of the municipality, curator of the
community; the town councillors, the board of six Augustales,
and the citizens of the municipality of Matilica (set this up).
Military diplomata
Outer side of first tabula
(reign of Titus)
                              Inner side of first tabula

Outer side of second tabula
Diploma given to M.
Afranius Quintianus after
26 years of service with
the 1st cohort of the
praetorian guard
(AD 246)
Denarius issued by Antony
to honour his praetorian
cohorts; military aquila
between two standards;
legend: C(O)HORTIVM
Aureus of Claudius:
emperor in dextrarum
iunctio with the signifer
of the guard. Legend:
Praetorians from the Arch
of Claudius (AD 51) –
much restored
Scene from Trajan’s
Column: praetorian
standards and horns
carried by signiferi and
Cancellaria relief:
praetorians and
Marcus Aurelius with a
tribune of the guard (?)
to his left; to his right,
soldier (guardsman?)
offering a scroll

To top