Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus born in 207 but details of his early life are largely unknown. In 251 when Trebonianus was proclaimed emperor, Aemilianus was sent to replace him as governor of Moesia Superior. This position required him to keep the Danube frontier peaceful, as in previous years the Goths had threatened the peace.
A treaty was signed by Trebonianus and the king of the Goths which made him unpopular with the soldiers. Aemilianus was also unhappy with this motion and refused to pay the tribute due to their King. After an invasion by the Goths to demand reparation, Aemilianus led his troops to victory against them. This act inspired the troops, many who thought that Rome’s honour and dignity had been restored, and they announced him as their new emperor. To formally claim the throne as his own he needed to approach the senate in Rome. Trebonianus sought to gather an army to defeat this advancement but his soldiers, anticipating defeat, declared their loyalty to Aemilianus and assassinated Trebonianus.
The governor of the Rhine provinces, Valerian, was still loyal to the Emperor Trebonianus an sought to avenge his death. He gathered his armies to march on towards Rome and as had happened to the emperor before him, Aemilianus army anticipated defeat and assassinated him as well.
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