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M Clodius Pupienus Maximus

M CLODIUS PUPIENUS MAXIMUS, joint emperor with D. Caelius Calvinus Balbinus during a few months of the year A.D. 238. Pupienus was a distinguished soldier, who had been proconsul of Bithynia, Achaea, and Gallia Narbonensis. At the advanced age of seventy-four, he was chosen by the senate with Balbinus to resist the barbarian Maximinus. Their complete equality is shown by the fact that each assumed the titles of pontifex maximus and princeps senatus. It was arranged that Pupienus should take the field against Maximinus, while Balbinus remained at Rome to maintain order, a task in which he signally failed. A revolt of the praetorians was not repressed till much blood had been shed and a considerable part of the city reduced to ashes. On his march, Pupienus, having received the news that Maximinus had been assassinated by his own troops, returned in triumph to Rome. Shortly afterwards, when both emperors were on the point of leaving the city on an expedition Pupienus against the Persians and Balbinus against the Goths the praetorians, who had always resented the appointment of the senatorial emperors and cherished the memory of the soldier-emperor Maximinus, seized the opportunity of revenge. When most of the people were at the Capitoline games, they forced their way into the palace, dragged Balbinus and Pupienus through the streets, and put them to death.

See Capitolinus, Life of Maximus and Balbinus; Herodian vii. 10, viii. 6; Zonaras xii. 16; Orosius vii. 19; Eutropius ix. 2; Zosimus i. 14; Aurelius Victor, Caesares, 26, epit. 26; H. Schiller, Geschichte der romischen Kaiserzeit, i. 2 ; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 7 and (for the chronology) appendix 12 (Bury's edition).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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