|9 September 214, Dacia Ripensis
|October 275 (aged 61), Caenophrurium, Thracia
Among one of the greatest army commanders in Roman history!
Aurelianus was a name shared by several historical figures in the Roman Empire, but two of them stand out for their achievements and influence: Aurelian, the emperor who restored the unity of the empire in the 3rd century, and Aurelianus, the Gallo-Roman noble who supported Clovis I, the founder of the Frankish kingdom, in the 5th century.
Aurelian, or Lucius Domitius Aurelianus, was born around 215 AD near the Danube River. He rose through the ranks of the army and became a commander of the cavalry under Emperor Gallienus. After Gallienus was assassinated in 268, Aurelian supported his successor Claudius II, who defeated the Alamanni at Lake Benacus. Claudius died of plague in 270 and was briefly succeeded by his brother Quintillus, who was killed by Aurelian’s troops in Sirmium. Aurelian then became emperor with the consent of the senate.
Aurelian faced many challenges as emperor, as the empire was divided and threatened by external enemies and internal revolts. He embarked on a series of campaigns to restore Roman authority and security. He defeated the Vandals, the Juthungi, and the Sarmatians in northern Italy and along the Danube. He built a new wall around Rome to protect it from barbarian invasions. He abandoned the province of Dacia, which was too difficult to defend, and resettled its inhabitants south of the Danube. He conquered the Palmyrene Empire in Syria, which had seceded from Rome under Queen Zenobia. He also conquered the Gallic Empire in western Europe, which had broken away under Postumus and his successors. By 274, Aurelian had reunited the empire under his rule.
Aurelian also reformed the administration and the economy of the empire. He reorganized the provinces and increased their number to improve governance and taxation. He reformed the coinage and stabilized inflation. He promoted a new cult of Sol Invictus, or the Unconquered Sun, as a supreme god of the empire and a symbol of his own power. He celebrated his victories with a magnificent triumph in Rome in 274, parading Zenobia and Tetricus, the former ruler of Gaul, among his captives.
Aurelian was preparing for a war against Persia when he was assassinated by some of his officers near Byzantium in 275. He had ruled for only five years, but he had earned the title of Restitutor Orbis, or Restorer of the World, for his achievements.
Aurelianus, or Aurelianus Melunensis, was a Gallo-Roman noble who lived in the late 5th century. He was a duke of Melun, a town near Paris, but he is best known for his role as an advisor and ally of Clovis I, the king of the Franks.
Clovis was a pagan ruler who had inherited a small kingdom in northern Gaul from his father Childeric I. He expanded his domain by conquering other Frankish tribes and defeating Syagrius, the last Roman governor in Gaul, at Soissons in 486. Aurelianus was one of Syagrius’s supporters who defected to Clovis after his defeat. He became one of Clovis’s most trusted counselors and helped him consolidate his power over Gaul.
Aurelianus also played a crucial role in Clovis’s conversion to Christianity. According to Gregory of Tours, a 6th-century historian, Aurelianus was a devout Catholic who persuaded Clovis to abandon his pagan gods and embrace Christianity. He accompanied Clovis to Reims, where he was baptized by Bishop Remigius in 496 or 498. Clovis’s conversion was a turning point in European history, as it established an alliance between the Franks and the Catholic Church that would shape medieval Christendom.
Aurelianus remained loyal to Clovis until his death around 511. He witnessed Clovis’s victories over the Alamanni at Tolbiac and over the Visigoths at Vouillé. He also witnessed Clovis’s division of his kingdom among his four sons at Paris. Aurelianus was honored by Clovis with gifts and privileges for his services. He was buried at Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris.
Aurlianus was one of the most influential Gallo-Roman nobles of his time. He bridged two worlds: that of Roman civilization and that of Frankish barbarism. He contributed to the formation