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Pupienus
Pupienus
(Latin: Marcus Clodius Pupienus
Pupienus
Maximus Augustus;[1] born c. 165/170[2] – 29 July 238), also known as Pupienus
Pupienus
Maximus, was Roman Emperor with Balbinus
Balbinus
for three months in 238, during the Year of the Six Emperors. The sources for this period are scant, and thus knowledge of the emperor is limited. In most contemporary texts Pupienus
Pupienus
is referred by his cognomen "Maximus" rather than by his second nomen (family name) Pupienus.

Contents

1 Origins and early career 2 Reign 3 Family 4 References 5 Sources 6 External links

Origins and early career[edit] The Historia Augusta, whose testimony is not to be trusted unreservedly, paints Pupienus
Pupienus
as an example of advancement through the cursus honorum due to military success. It claims he was the son of a blacksmith, was adopted by one Pescennia Marcellina (otherwise unknown), and who started his career as a Centurio primus pilus before becoming a Tribunus Militum, and then a Praetor.[3] He was in fact part of the aristocracy, albeit a minor one, and possibly quite recently.[4] Hailing from the Etruscan city of Volterra,[5] it has been speculated that Pupienus
Pupienus
was the son of Marcus Pupienus
Pupienus
Maximus, a Senator who was the first member of his family to enter the Senate, and wife Clodia Pulchra.[6] Pupienus’s career was impressive, serving a number of important posts during the reign of the Severan dynasty
Severan dynasty
throughout the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries. This included assignment as Proconsul
Proconsul
of the senatorial propraetorial provinces of Bithynia et Pontus, Achaea, and Gallia Narbonensis.[7] He was later assigned as imperial legate to one of the German provinces, most probably after his first suffect consulship, circa 207 AD.[7] During his time as governor, he was quite popular and scored military victories over the Sarmatians and German tribes. In 234, during the last years of Severus Alexander’s reign, he was installed as Consul for the second time. In that same year he was also appointed Urban Prefect of Rome and gained a reputation for severity, to the extent that he became unpopular with the Roman mob.[8] Reign[edit] When Gordian I
Gordian I
and his son were proclaimed Emperors in Africa, the Senate appointed a committee of twenty men, including the elderly Senator Pupienus, to co-ordinate operations against Maximinus until the arrival of the Gordians.[9] On the news of the Gordians' defeat and deaths, however, the Senate met in closed session in the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus
Jupiter Capitolinus
and voted for two members of the committee to be installed as co-emperors – Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus.[7] Unlike the situation in 161 with Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus, both emperors were elected as pontifices maximi, chief priests of the official cults. According to Edward Gibbon (drawing on the narratives of Herodian and the Historia Augusta), the choice was sensible, as:

the mind of Maximus [Pupienus] was formed in a rougher mould [than that of Balbinus]. By his valour and abilities he had raised himself from the meanest origin to the first employments of the state and army. His victories over the Sarmatians and the Germans, the austerity of his life, and the rigid impartiality of his justice whilst he was prefect of the city, commanded the esteem of a people whose affections were engaged in favour of the more amiable Balbinus. The two colleagues had both been consul... and, since the one was sixty and the other seventy-four years old, they had both attained the full maturity of age and experience.[10]

However, factions within the Senate who had hoped to profit from the accession of the Gordians manipulated the people and the Praetorian Guard to agitate for the elevation of Gordian III
Gordian III
as their imperial colleague.[11] Leaving his senior colleague Balbinus
Balbinus
in charge of the civil administration at Rome, sometime during late April Pupienus marched to Ravenna, where he oversaw the campaign against Maximinus, recruiting German auxiliary troops who had served under him whilst he was in Germania;[7] after the latter was assassinated by his soldiers just outside Aquileia he despatched both Maximinus's troops and his own back to their provinces (along with a considerable donative) and returned to Rome with his newly acquired German bodyguard.[12] Balbinus, in the meantime, had failed to keep public order in the capital. The sources suggest that Balbinus
Balbinus
suspected Pupienus
Pupienus
of using his newly acquired German bodyguard to supplant him, and they were soon living in different parts of the Imperial palace.[13] This meant that they were at the mercy of disaffected elements in the Praetorians, who resented serving under Senate-appointed emperors, and now plotted to kill them.[14] Pupienus, becoming aware of the threat, begged Balbinus
Balbinus
to call for the German bodyguard. Balbinus, believing that this news was part of a plot by Pupienus
Pupienus
to have him assassinated, refused, and the two began to argue just as the Praetorians burst into the room. Both emperors were seized and dragged back to the Praetorian barracks where they were tortured and brutally hacked to death in the bath house.[15] Family[edit] Pupienus
Pupienus
had at least three children. His eldest son, Tiberius
Tiberius
Clodius Pupienus
Pupienus
Pulcher Maximus, was a Consul Suffectus c. 235, and patron of the town of Tibur outside Rome.[16] His youngest son, Marcus Pupienus Africanus Maximus, was Consul Ordinarius in 236 as colleague of the Emperor Maximinus Thrax. This run of consulships in the family, across the reigns of Severus Alexander
Severus Alexander
and Maximinus Thrax, show that the family was influential and in high favour. Pupienus
Pupienus
also had a daughter, named Pupiena Sextia Paulina Cethegilla, wife of Marcus Ulpius Eubiotus Leurus. References[edit]

^ In Classical Latin, Pupienus' name would be inscribed as MARCVS CLODIVS PVPIENVS MAXIMVS AVGVSTVS. ^ Michael Grant, The Roman emperors: a biographical guide to the rulers of imperial Rome, 31 BC-AD 476 (1985), pg. 144 ^ Historia Augusta, Maximus and Balbinus, 5:1-8 ^ John Drinkwater, Maximinus to Diocletian
Diocletian
and the crisis, in The Cambridge ancient history: The crisis of empire, A.D. 193-337 (ed. Alan K. Bowman, Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron) (2005), pg. 32 ^ Michel Christol, L'empire romain du IIIe siècle: histoire politique (1997), pg. 114 ^ Christian Settipani, Continuité gentilice et continuité familiale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque impériale: mythe et réalité (2000), pg. 120 – Note that this speculation is based upon onomastic similarities and probabilities ^ a b c d McMahon, Pupienus
Pupienus
(238 A.D.) and Balbinus
Balbinus
(238 A.D.) ^ Christopher S. Mackay, Ancient Rome: a military and political history (2004), pg. 268 ^ Potter, pg. 169 ^ The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. I, p. 225, Edward Gibbon (The Online Library of Liberty). [1]. ^ John Drinkwater, Maximinus to Diocletian
Diocletian
and the crisis, in The Cambridge ancient history: The crisis of empire, A.D. 193-337 (ed. Alan K. Bowman, Peter Garnsey, Averil Cameron) (2005), pgs. 33 ^ McMahon, Pupienus
Pupienus
(238 A.D.) and Balbinus
Balbinus
(238 A.D.); Southern, pg. 67 ^ Potter, pg. 171; Canduci, pgs. 64-65 ^ Michael Grant, The collapse and recovery of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(1999), pgs. 5-6 ^ McMahon, Pupienus
Pupienus
(238 A.D.) and Balbinus
Balbinus
(238 A.D.); Canduci, pgs. 64-65 ^ Ronald Syme, Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
papers (1983), pg. 194

Sources[edit]

McMahon, Robin, Pupienus
Pupienus
(238 A.D.) and Balbinus
Balbinus
(238 A.D.), De Imperatoribus Romanis (2001) Potter, David Stone, The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
at bay, AD 180-395 (2004) Southern, Pat, The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
from Severus to Constantine (2004) Canduci, Alexander Triumph and Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of Rome’s Immortal Emperors (2010)

External links[edit] Media related to Pupienus
Pupienus
at Wikimedia Commons

Regnal titles

Preceded by Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Roman Emperor 238 Served alongside: Balbinus Succeeded by Gordian III

Political offices

Preceded by Uncertain Consul suffectus of the Roman Empire around 207 with uncertain Succeeded by Uncertain

Preceded by Lucius Valerius Claudius
Claudius
Acilius Priscillianus Maximus, Gnaeus Cornelius Paternus Consul of the Roman Empire 234 with Marcus Munatius Sulla Urbanus Succeeded by Gnaeus Claudius
Claudius
Severus , Titus
Titus
Claudius
Claudius
Quintianus

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 75111555 LCCN: n78059

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