Didius Julianus  

28 March 193 - 1 June 193



28 March 193 - 1 June 193

Didius Julianus

Didius Julianus
Didius Julianus

After the death of Pertinax, the soldiers made proclamation that they would sell the empire at the highest price offered. Two bidders were found, Sulpician and Didius; the latter producing immense sums of money, prevailed.

Didius being conducted to the senate house, he addressed the few senators, who were present, in a very laconic speech. Fathers, you want an emperor, and I am the fittest man you can choose. Didius was acknowledged emperor in the fiftyseventh year of his age.

Instead of attempting to gain the hearts of the people, he gave himself up to ease. He was mild and gentle, but avarice followed him in his exaltation; so that the soldiers, who elected him, soon began to detest him. The people, against whose consent he was chosen, were his enemies. When he issued from his palace, they openly poured forth their imprecations against him.

Soon after Severus, an African by birth, being proclaimed emperor by his army, began by promising to revenge the death of Pertinax. Didius being informed of his approach towards Rome, obtained the consent of the senate to send him ambassadors, offering to make him a partner in the empire. But Severus rejected the offer. The senate perceiving the timidity and weakness of their present master, abandoned him, and decreed that he should be deprived of the empire, and that Severus should be proclaimed in his stead. They commanded Didius to be slain, and sent messengers to despatch him.

Previous page                                                                         top of page                                                                                        Next page