(1) Tum, dēspērātīs rēbus et dēlētō paene imperiō Rōmānō, Postumus in Galliā obscūrissimē nātus purpuram sūmpsit et per annōs decem ita imperāvit ut cōnsūmptās paene prōvinciās ingentī virtūte et moderātione reparāverit. Quī sēditiōne mīlitum interfectus est, quod Mogontiacum, quae adversus eum rebellāverat Laeliānō rēs novās mōliente, dīripiendam mīlitibus trādere nōluisset.

(2) Post eum Marius vīlissimus opifex purpuram accēpit et secundō diē interfectus est.

(3) Victorīnus posteā Galliārum accēpit imperium, vir strēnuissimus, sed cum nimiae libidīnis esset et mātrimōnia aliēna corrumperet, Agrippīnae occīsus est āctuāriō quōdam dolum māchinante imperiī suī annō secundō.

    This period is known as the "Rule of the Thirty Tyrants." These men, who revolted from Gallienus and set up separate governments for themselves, were noted in the main for their courage. They repelled the invaders and established governments that gave peace and security to their provinces (Hazzard).

    (1) dēspērātīs rēbus: ablative absolute using a perfect passive participle (AG 419)

    dēlētō paene imperiō Rōmānō: ablative absolute using a perfect passive participle (AG 419)

    purpuram sūmpsit: "assumed the purple," i.e., became emperor (see LS purpura II.B.2)

    per annōs decem: Postumus ruled from 260269 CE.

    ita imperāvit ut:  ita signals a result clause (AG 537)

    Quī: connecting relative referring to Postumus (AG 308.f)

    quod Mogontiacum…dīripiendam mīlitibus trādere nōluisset: "because he had refused to allow the soldiers to plunder the city of Mainz" (Bird); dīripiendam is a gerundive denoting purpose (AG 500.4). The Historia Augusta offers a different account:

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    Postumus was cherished in the hearts and minds of all of the Gauls because he had driven off all of the German tribes and had brought back the Roman Empire to its former glory and peace. But when he began to rule too severely, Lollianus manipulated the Gauls into resuming their usual lust for revolution and killing him. (HA Tyr. Trig. 3.6–7, Trans. Kristin Masters)

    Laeliānō rēs novās mōliente: ablative absolute (AG 419); rēs novās = "revolution, revolt" (LS novus I.A.4)

    (2) vīlissimus opifex: M. Aurelius Marius is said to have been a smith, ferrī opifex (Hazzard). Evidence from coins indicates that he ruled far longer than the two or three days accorded him by Eutropius (H.A. Tyr. trig. 8.1) (Bird).

    (3) Victorīnus: M. Piavonius Victorinus ruled from 268 to 270 CE.

    cum nimiae libidīnis esset: cum here is causal (AG 549), while nimiae libidīnis is genitive of quality (AG 345)

    mātrimōnia aliēna: here mātrimōnia has a concrete meaning "wives" (Hazzard; LS matrimonium II)

    Agrippīnae: "at Cologne," locative case (AG 427.3)

    āctuāriō quōdam dolum māchinante: ablative absolute using a present active participle (AG 419). A quartermaster, a relatively senior officer who kept accounts, supervised stores, and distributed supplies and provisions.

    Core Vocabulary | Numbers | Dates


    dēspērō, āre, āvī, ātus [dē + spērō, to hope]

    to give up hope, despair

    dēleō, ēre, ēvī, ētus

    to destroy, overthrow, rain

    Postumus, ī, m.

    (M. Cassiānus) Postumus, one of the Thirty Tyrants

    Gallia, ae, f.

    the country of the Gauls; modern France and the territories on the west bank of the Rhine. The northern part of Italy was settled by Gauls, and was called Gallia Cisalpina; hence the pl. Galliae.

    obscūrē [obscūrus], adv., comp. obscūrius, sup. obscūrissimē


    purpura, ae, f.

    purple—color, purple, purple garment

    moderātiō, ōnis [moderor], f.

    moderation, self-control

    reparō, āre, āvī, ātus

    to renew

    sēditiō, ōnis [sed + itiō, from eō], f.

    dissension, rebellion, revolt

    Mogontiacum, ī, n.

    a city in Belgic Gaul, modern Mainz.

    rebellō, āre, āvī, ātus

    to wage war again, rebel

    Laeliānus, ī, m.

    one of the Thirty Tyrants; emperor in Gaul after the death of Postumus

    mōlior, īrī, ītus sum [mōlēs, mass]

    to struggle, toil; undertake, attempt

    dīripiō, ere, uī, reptus

    to tear asunder, ravage, plunder

    Marius, ī, m.

    the name of a family at Rome; M. Aurēlius Marius, one of the Thirty Tyrants 2

    vīlis, e, adj.

    cheap, common, worthless

    opifex, ficis [opus + faciō], m.

    workman, artisan

    Victorīnus, ī, m.

    one of the Thirty Tyrants 3

    strēnuus, a, um, adj.

    brisk, active, vigorous

    mātrimōnium, ī [māter], n.

    marriage; pl. wives

    Agrippīna, ae, f.

    a city in Belgic Gaul

    āctuārius, ī, m.

    a secretary, shorthand writer

    māchinor, ārī, ātus sum

    to contrive skillfully, devise, scheme, plot


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