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Silbannacus: the Roman emperor that time forgot

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During the 1930s, British Museum curators came across a baffling discovery – a Roman coin depicting an enigmatic emperor whose identity was entirely unknown. Professor Kevin Butcher examines the mystery of the Roman emperor lost to histoy...

 

All we have are two coins :)

 

very interesting indeed....

 

...via HistoryExtra

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Thank you for posting this article. Very interesting, indeed.

 

I wrote about another obscure emperor, Domitian II, in the past:

 

http://www.unrv.com/forum/topic/15488-domitianus-ii-little-known-romano-gallic-usurper/

 

Once again, the study of coins and medals have filled our gaps in historical knowledge.

 

 

 

guy also known as gaius

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It begs the question who else has been forgotten because they didn't succeed? The Romans loved success, status, and spoils. Although not as 'Winner Takes All' as the Greeks, they did share many of the same predilictions.

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It begs the question who else has been forgotten because they didn't succeed? The Romans loved success, status, and spoils. 

 

Here's a good list of Roman usurpers.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_usurpers

 

Some will be immediately recognized; e.g., Vespasian, Septimus Severus, etc. Others are not so famous; e.g., Pacatianus or Iotapianus, both usurpers of Philip the Arab.

Edited by guy

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I don't like the way that the article seperates 'legitimate' and 'illegal' emperors. Since there was no official post in Roman government called 'Emperor', neither category was any better than the other legally, although I suppose I have to accept that acceptance was an important key to success. But the point here is that all these usurpers are known of, despite some having dubious provenance. I was thinking more of those whose attempts to gain power escaped historical attention.

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I don't like the way that the article seperates 'legitimate' and 'illegal' emperors. Since there was no official post in Roman government called 'Emperor', neither category was any better than the other legally, although I suppose I have to accept that acceptance was an important key to success. But the point here is that all these usurpers are known of, despite some having dubious provenance. I was thinking more of those whose attempts to gain power escaped historical attention.

 

Interesting point. That said, at any point of time in every society, you have innumerable people who, delusional or not, will be perceived to be a threat (real or imagined) by established power.

 

Thus, many people are accused of attempting to usurp power, but really didn't pose a legitimate threat. There was, for example, that Hebrew carpenter fellow who led that disruptive philosophy in the East, but we all know how that ended up for him (and many of his followers).

 

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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Ah yes, and I've seen it stated that he had designs on replacing the Roman Caesar (presumably Tiberius), which I find ridiculous. I don't doubt he was seeking some form of local power. This wasn't impossible, even under Roman domination, as the Roman governor would simply deal with the native government in day to day affairs, but I imagine that Pilate wasn't going to settle for disruption in his province. He was after all a very pro-Roman governor eventually recalled for upsetting the Judaeans with overt displays of Roman symbols. As it was, he acted in typical governor mode. The local elite didn't like our vocal carpenter (and religious activist remember)  but unable to stop him, they complained to Pilate. Since Judaean law wasn't going to work, Pilate simply looked for a reason under Roman law to stop him, and found treason/rebellion as his sufficient to have him dealt with.

 

People certainly did advance themselves from time to time. A more successful story was a school teacher who got it into his head to become an elite, raising a small army in Gaul. The Caesar concerned was told that the former teacher was motivated to protect him from threat and got rewarded with a large income and title made permanent.

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