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I have a few questions about the Emperors from Illyria, particularly, Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian and Probus.

 

Were these men romanized barbarians? Or children of Roman citizens living in Illyria?

 

How did those in Rome (the people and the senate) look upon them, if they were barbarian by birth?

 

Are there any books, links, etc that would be good to purchase or look into?

 

 

As always guys, thank you for the coming responses.

 

H. Majorianus Invictus

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If they were Romanized Illyrians, I doubt they were looked down upon in Rome because of their origins. By the mid-3rd Century Rome had already had a couple of Romanized Celts, a Syrian, a few Africans, a Thracian, and an Arab emperor. At least some of these peoples would have been much more offensive than the Illyrians.

 

It's possible that the names of these emperors could give a clue to their origins - Claudius Gothicus and Probus both bore the praenomen/nomen Marcus Aurelius. This indicates that their families received citizenship possibly under M. Aurelius Antoninus, or more probably Caracalla. This in turn would imply that they were probably coming from a non-Roman, and maybe only recently Romanized background. But that's just my two cents.

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It's possible that the names of these emperors could give a clue to their origins - Claudius Gothicus and Probus both bore the praenomen/nomen Marcus Aurelius. This indicates that their families received citizenship possibly under M. Aurelius Antoninus, or more probably Caracalla. This in turn would imply that they were probably coming from a non-Roman, and maybe only recently Romanized background. But that's just my two cents.

 

Usually when ascending to power emperors picked new names for themselves, names that served to legitimize them and very often indicative of a political program. I doubt that the 2 mentioned before were born with those names but picked them to seem successors of the last great emperor.

"Ethnic" ancestry was irrelevant by this time, only foreigners from outside the empire being excluded from the purple.

Edited by Kosmo

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"Ethnic" ancestry was irrelevant by this time, only foreigners from outside the empire being excluded from the purple.

 

I'm skeptic about it: IMHO since the romans (patrician senators) had completely lost the control of their empire by the IIIrd century, they could only bow down to the "barrack emperors" (military commanders) which had the army on their side, even if these emperors were just semi-barbarian romanized provincials that the senators despised.

The comtempt was probably mutual among some of these military commanders: Diocletianus had no qualms about moving the imperial capital from Rome to the provinces and later the balcanic Costantine the Great built Costantinoples as Nova Roma (New Rome). I doubt that there was no desire to further marginalize the old roman senatorial class among the reasons for moving the imperial capital away from Rome.

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