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Portrait Gallery of Roman Emperors|
Carus was born in Narbo in Gaul in around 230 AD. He followed a Senatorial career and was eventually appointed Praetorian Prefect under the Emperor Probus. When Probus was assassinated by mutinous soldiers in 282, Carus was suspected of complicity, although he made sure that those believed to have been directly responsible for the previous Emperorís death were brutally punished for their crime.
Carus then set out to secure his position by winning military glory for Rome and for himself by attacking the Sassanid Persians. In this he was remarkably successful, seizing Mesopotamia and the Persian capital, Ctesiphon and advancing Roman armies as far as the river Tigres. He thus avenged the humiliating defeat and capture of the Emperor Valerian some 22 years before. However, whilst he was still leading his armies in the east in 283, he died, allegedly by a bolt of lightning which struck his tent, although this this phrase may have been used as a euphemism for murder by unknown assassins.
Whatever the case, he was succeeded by his sons Carinus and Numerian, a comparatively rare instance of dynastic succession during this period in Roman history.
Roman Emperors Portrait Gallery
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