1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Claudius, Marcus Aurelius

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CLAUDIUS, MARCUS AURELIUS, surnamed Gothicus, Roman emperor A.D. 268–270, belonged to an obscure Illyrian family. On account of his military ability he was placed in command of an army by Decius; and Valerian appointed him general on the Illyrian frontier, and ruler of the provinces of the lower Danube. During the reign of Gallienus, he was called to Italy in order to crush Aureolus; and on the death of the emperor (268) he was chosen as his successor, in accordance, it was said, with his express desire. Shortly after his accession he routed the Alamanni on the Lacus Benacus (some doubt is thrown upon this); in 269 a great victory over the Goths at Naïssus in Moesia gained him the title of Gothicus. In the following year he died of the plague at Sirmium, in his fifty-sixth year. He enjoyed great popularity, and appears to have been a man of ability and character.

His life was written by Trebellius Pollio, one of the Scriptores Historiae Augustae; see also Zosimus i. 40-43, the histories of Th. Bernhardt and H. Schiller, and special dissertations by A. Duncker on the life of Claudius (1868) and the defeat of the Alamanni (Annalen des Vereins für nassauische Altertumskunde, 1879); Homo, De Claudio Gothico (1900); Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie, ii. 2458 ff. (Henze).