Today in the year 193 AD, the Roman Emperor Pertinax was assassinated and the most gruesome and bloodiest chapter of the Roman History Began.
The year of 193 AD arrived with blood on its hands. Commodus – the last one of the Five Good Emperors was assassinated making Pertinax the new emperor. Pertinax led his life ' from rags to riches'. Born to a Freed Slave, Pertinax was a Grammaticus (teacher of grammar). However, he withdrew from the quiet and uneventful life and entered the military. He successfully led a war against Parthia which became a turning point in his life.
In a very short time, Pertinax rose to the most powerful position i.e Prefect of the city of Rome. Former Emperor Commodus caused much anger and resentment during his reign which inspired prefect Laetus to start a conspiracy to assassinate the Emperor. This assassination attempt was successful, and both Commodus’ reign as Emperor and his life ended on the final day of 192. The Senate members offered Pertinax to ascend the Throne. Hence, Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus became the emperor.
Pertinax proved to be an excellent ruler, which, eventually turned out to be hazardous. In early March, he narrowly escaped a conspiracy. His consul – Falco tried to replace his rule, while Pertinax was away. Though the conspiracy was suppressed, the brutal execution of the officers added fuel to the fire. As a result, on 28 March 193, was killed with a spear in his chest.
Shown above, is a Gold Aureus issued by Emperor Pertinax. The Obverse has laureate head of emperor with the legend: IMP CAES P HELV PERTIN AVG around. On the other hand, the reverse depicts Goddess Providentia facing left with her right hand upraised below star and legned: PROVID DEOR COS II.
Image Courtesy: http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk